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Saver Day Pass

I took some time this evening to try to nail down the costs of the Switzerland part of my trip. That was confusing and I'm really hoping you can help me make the best decision!

The first day I'll be traveling from Zurich to Basel before going on to Strasbourg. That will on cost around 10ish CHF, so I'm not concerned about that. Another day I'm only traveling from Lucerne to Chur, again not a great expense.

If I understand the saver day pass, I'm thinking maybe I should buy 2 of them, one for the day I go from Basel to Lucerne and will be taking a trip up to Mt. Rigi, and the other for the day I go from Chur to Tirano (regional trains). If I buy the day passes now, they're only 52 CHF each, which will be less than if I purchased them straight out.

Am I thinking this through correctly? Thank you for any input you can offer!

Posted by
20319 posts

I think you got it right. Just remember, they are nonrefundable.

Posted by
514 posts

Thank you Sam.

When I purchased the passes, they were only 44CHF each rather than the 52 I expected. My tickets say Saver Day Pass, 2 class, Reduced fare 1/2. I thought the saver day pass covered the whole cost, but does this mean it only covers half? I clicked on Saver Day Pass, not Half Fare.

Am I correct in saying the boat I'll use to get to Mt Rigi is just across from the train station? It looks like I can order that ticket on SBB as well.

Also, random question, but what language do I put into google translate for Switzerland? It looks like several languages are spoken.
Thank you!

Posted by
20319 posts

Looks like you purchased a Saver Day Pass with the Half Fare Card. That means you will also need to buy a Half Fare Card for 120 CHF for the pass to be valid. That is why the cost was 44 CHF rather than 52 CHF.

Yes, the boat dock is right outside the station front entrance and the ride is included with the Saver Day Pass.

Luzern area speaks German normally.

PS. Zurich HB to Basel SBB is 34 CHF, not 10ish. The Half Fare Card will get you a ticket for 17 CHF. Luzern to Chur is 48 CHF, so you get it for 24 CHF with the HFC.

Posted by
27359 posts

Switzerland has a bunch of official languages. This map shows the area where each is predominant:

Swiss language map

Forget Romansh; you're highly unlikely to encounter a Romansh speaker who's not fluent in at least one of the other three.

I think German and French are more common second languages than Italian.

Google says over 60% of the population speaks German as their native language if you include Swiss German.

Posted by
514 posts

Ugh, thank you again Sam. It only gave the option of 44CHF despite showing it as 52 in my research last night, and it said nothing about it being half fare until I saw the ticket. I suppose I’ll have to look at the numbers again now to make sure spending another 120 is worth it vs this being just an expensive mistake.

I don’t understand why the prices seem to vary. I’ve been entering the day of travel correctly. I’m looking at 2nd class since that seems nice enough for me.

For reference, I’m going Zurich to Basel October 11 and Chur to Tirana (probably Chur to St Moritz, then St Moritz to Tirano) October 18.

Again, I appreciate your help. It seems like this is easy for you, but it’s definitely not clear to me!

Posted by
514 posts

Thanks acraven. I’m afraid I’m feeling a bit flustered this morning because of my mistake, so when I saw 4 languages listed for Switzerland, I didn’t even bother to try to figure it out on my own. 😊

Posted by
20319 posts

I just went though the purchase process to see what went wrong for Oct 8. I am working from the website.

When you click on the Saver Day Pass for Oct 8, you get the next page with this message on the right hand side of the page.

Offer
1× Saver Day Pass, Half-Fare Travelcard
2nd class
80040
Open tip Saver Day Pass
Valid: Sun, 08.10.2023
until Mon, 09.10.2023 05:00
from CHF 44.00
Total price
from CHF 44.00

The key is the first line "1× Saver Day Pass, Half-Fare Travelcard". That indicates that a Half Fare Card is required for this price.

On the left and side of the page is this message:

Enter passengers
Please log in with your SwissPass login to make the purchase conveniently for yourself (and/or other co-passengers). Alternatively, you can also complete the purchase as a guest without logging in.
Process passengers | reductions

The key is the last line in a shaded block "Process passengers | reductions"
When you click on that, you enter your email address, name, birthdate, then a block "Discount Cards". When you click on that, you check "No Discount". Then click "Accept" and the next page will show the price of 52 CHF.

Is it complicated? Yes. This seems to be a new wrinkle they have added to the purchase process. Until recently, you saw the box to check "No Discount" on the first page, but now you only see it when you enter your personal information. Sorry this happened. Maybe you can file a complaint to get the purchases rescinded. Can't hurt. In the end, it is not that expensive a mistake.

Posted by
514 posts

Okay, that’s what I saw last night when I was on my laptop. This morning I went through the app on my phone so I’d have the tickets in my phone wallet, but the app is different. I think I was supposed to enter into another place on the app that I have no travelcard. I guess it defaults to half fare. I didn’t realize that until I was trying to figure out what I did wrong. Ironically, I still can’t figure out how to purchase a half fare card.

I went ahead and requested a refund and gave the reason as ordering them under the half fare card by mistake. This must happen regularly, since it was a drop down option. I doubt they’ll honor my request since it said they were non refundable, but I figured it couldn’t hurt to ask.

I guess now I have to figure out whether it’s worth getting the half fare card, and if so, how do I even do that, or if I should just accept that I made an expensive mistake if they don’t offer a refund.

Posted by
20319 posts

You just buy it at the station when you get to Switzerland. How are you arriving?

Posted by
514 posts

I’m flying in to the airport in Zurich. Can I purchase it there? Is it even worth it at this point in addition to the money I spent on the saver day passes?

Posted by
20319 posts

You can buy at the Zurich airport train station.

Look at it like this. If you toss the 2 Saver Day Passes and buy new ones, that is a 104 CHF expenditure. You will also spend an extra 17 CHF going to Basel, and an extra 24 CHF going from Luzern to Chur. So that is a total of 145 CHF, which is more than the 120 CHF to buy the Half Fare Card. Besides, the HFC will save on the train from the airport to Zurich HB and local transport tickets.

So suck it up and buy the Half Fare Card and have a good time in Switzerland. You've only left about 60 CHF on the table, and the Swiss National Railway can always use the money to help it pry out that derailed freight train that is stuck in the middle of the Gotthard Base Tunnel.

Posted by
514 posts

Whew! I can’t thank you enough for your help. It does look like I can order the half fare card online, so I’ll probably do that. It kind of looks like I can then enter the number into my profile so I’ll have it in the app, but if that doesn’t work, I guess I just have to make sure I can show proof I’ve purchased it if anyone asks.

I’ll be glad to wrap this up so I can get back to deciding what to pack!

Posted by
16709 posts

It is a bit tricky, as the default mode on the tickets and Saver Day Passes is the price WITH a Half Fare Card. You have to switch that off near the beginning of the purchase process.

The good news is that Half Fare card will be good for all your travel in Switzerland, should you want to take other excursions.

Posted by
20319 posts

@ Lola SBB has changed its website, and now, the block to eliminate the half fare price is hidden in the personal information block. Check it out.