Please sign in to post.

Swiss Rail Pass - Buyer's Remorse?

My husband and I have the following itinerary planned for 9/26-10/4 (5 weeks away!): 9/26 - arrive by plane in Zurich (1 night); 9/27 - train to Lucerne (1 night); 9/28 - train(s) to Wengen (2 nights); 9/30 - train(s) to Gstaad (2 nights); 10/2 - train to Geneva; 10/4 - early am flight home. Our "travel days" are bolded (4 days out of 8 in country). I have purchased a first class Swiss Pass (saver discount) for 5 days of travel in 1 month.

I understand that other forms of transportation would be free with this pass, but would use up one of our travel days?? I understand that discounts do not use a travel day. I was hoping we could use the pass for boat rides in Lucerne and Geneva but now I'm not confident that I've purchase the correct product. I do think I have time to change this (although not without some penalties). Any input?

Posted by
7205 posts

So what's your question? Right off the bat it looks like you're worrying about nothing.

Posted by
16877 posts

Although I would not normally spring for first class, I see no point in changing your purchase now, and doing so usually results in a 15% penalty. On the 4 days you listed, plus one more day, you can write in the date on the pass and use it for full coverage of trains, buses, and boats (all the solid lines on your Swiss Pass map, including boat rides around Lucerne and Geneva) and for full coverage of in-city trams and museums until midnight of that date. In between those 5 full-coverage days, show the pass and get 50% discounts on any other transportation (except Wengen-Jungfraujoch only 25% off).

Posted by
2 posts

Thanks, Tim - the fact that you don't see anything is encouraging!

Thanks as well, Laura - My concern was with the 3 days that aren't covered. Since the pass was pricey (first class preferred since my husband and I are both tall and he really appreciates the extra leg room) I wanted to be able to get full value. It seems that for 2 days, we'll only get a 50% discount on boats, other transportation, instead of free.

It's been 5 years since our last trip to Europe and we're really looking forward to it. :)

Posted by
16169 posts

Not to add to your buyers remorse, but the 4 journeys you describe would cost 282.20 chf first class if you just walked up to the ticket counter and bought them on the day of travel. The SBB site lists the 5 day Select Saver Pass as 525 chf. I know you will have other trips in there plus local transit, but 243 chf per person seems like a pretty steep price for the convenience.
If you pay the 79 chf to refund the pass, then buy a one month Half Fare Card at 120 chf, you'll still come out 185 chf ahead per person. And the Half Fare Card works for all the other boats, trains, local transit while you are in Switzerland. It even gives 50% off the Wengen-Jungfrau trip, rather than the 25% with the Pass. Also, the Half Fare Card gives you the option of paying for 2nd class if you decide 1st class isn't necessary.
What ever you decide, enjoy your trip!

Posted by
12538 posts

Assuming you keep the pass you have---you can take a boat ride from Luzern on either 9/27 or 9/28 at no additional cost, as these are already "travel days." To get maximum benefit, you could do the Rigi loop (boat to Vitznau, cogwheel train up to the top at Rigi Kulm and back to Rigi Kaltbad, cablecar from there down to the lake at Weggis, and boat ride back) all without extra cost on 9/28, then travel to Wengen late in the day.

You can take a boat ride on Lac Leman (Geneva) on 10/2 after you arrive, as that is a travel day as well. If you want to ride a boat on 10/3 instead, that will trigger an additional day on your pass, your fifth. Or you could use that fifth day for an excursion from Wengen on 9/29. However, the trip up the Jungfraujoch is only covered 25% above Wengen whether you use a travel day or not so there is no point in that. Just use the "half fare" feature of the Flex Pass (but it will still be only 25% for this particular excursion).

As Laura mentioned, be sure to write in the date in the little box provided on the pass for each day of use, before you board the first train or other transport for the day.