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Swiss travel pass and TGV Lyria

Hi everybody. I'm traveling to Paris next week and then onward to Switzerland. I bought the four-day Swiss travel flexi pass.

I plan on going from Paris to Geneva using the TGV. Looking at their website I was unable determine how much of a discount I would get if I used the flex a pass. I understand that I have to buy the ticket in person at the counter. I was told that the TGV rates go up the closer you get to the departure date.

Basically I don't understand how it works. Is there a discount? How much is the discount? Is it worthwhile using one of my flexi pass days to get the discount? Can I buy the ticket online now and then try to get the discount when I go on the day of travel?

Thanks for your help!

Posted by
8889 posts

Geneva is the border station, it is SNCF (French Railways) tracks up to Geneva station, Swiss thereafter. You pass starts at Geneva.
If you are travelling past Geneva (e.g. Lausanne), and you plan to use one of your flexi-pass days, then you only need to buy a ticket up to Geneva, the pass covers everything thereafter, even if you don't get off the train.

"I understand that I have to buy the ticket in person at the counter" - are you talking about TGV Lyria, or Switzerland?
Yes, TGV Lyria tickets are cheaper the earlier you buy; but once you buy you are committed to whichever train you choose. Buy online at the TGV Lyria site ( http://www.tgv-lyria.com/en-CH ), and get a print-at-home ticket.
If you are using a Swiss flexi-pass in Switzerland, no need to buy tickets, just get on the train with your pass validated (stamped?) for that date.
So in neither case do you need to buy tickets at the station.

Posted by
32976 posts

Geneva is the border between France and Switzerland. The Swiss pass is only valid in Switzerland. I may be wrong - others will correct me if I am - but I don't see how a Swiss pass will help you on essentially a domestic French trip.

How do you understand that you can't get your TGV ticket ahead and print it out???

The closer the date the higher the price. The best time to buy Prems and other discounts is months ahead.

Posted by
32976 posts

great minds think alike - writing at the same time

Posted by
10 posts

Thanks.

The Swiss railways website says that there is a 3 tariff discount on the TGV ticket. For this to work it says I need to buy this ticket in person.

Has anyone gotten a discount ?

I understand that once I am Switzerland that I don't need to buy any tickets.

Thanks again 😊

Posted by
32976 posts

If you are using the Swiss railways website (SBB?) who say you have to buy their savings on a French train at a sales counter it must be a Swiss sales counter. There aren't many of them outside Switzerland.

If you go to a sales counter in a station in France, or to an SNCF Boutique, you will be buying what the French SNCF sell you, not what SBB/CFF/FFS can offer.

I've done a lot of train travel and have never heard of a "3 tariff".

Posted by
8889 posts

If you are buying a ticket from Paris to somewhere in Switzerland past Geneva, than yes, a Swiss pass (of any sort) gets you a discount for the Swiss part of the trip. But, Switzerland starts at Geneva. If you are only going to Geneva, that is French French Railways only, and Swiss passes are irrelevant.

I think you may be reading something about a Swiss "Halb Tax Abo" (French: abonnement demi-tarif, English: Half price card), which does get you discounts, in Switzerland.

Posted by
20290 posts

If you buy a discount advance purchase fare ticket at TGV, the discount will likely exceed any reduction for a Swiss Pass. For Instance, I am looking at the TGV on September 28. There is a train leaving Paris Gare de Lyon at 16:11, arriving Geneva at 19:27. There is a Lyria Semi-Flex ticket available for 34 EUR. The full fare ticket price is 104 EUR. Assuming there was a Swiss portion (there isn't for this train as it goes via Macon and Bellegarde), you would get the Swiss portion at no charge, but full fare for the French portion, which would be, say, 90% of the 104. So you would pay 93.60 for the ticket, but you could just buy it today for 34.00.
So advance purchase discounts trump local passes.

Posted by
10 posts

This is from the SBBB website.

Travelling from France
Are you travelling to Switzerland by the TGV Lyria? If so, present your Swiss Travel System ticket (Swiss Travel Pass, Swiss Travel Pass Flex, Swiss Travel Pass Youth, Swiss Travel Pass Flex Youth, Swiss Half Fare Card or Swiss Transfer Ticket for transfer days) at any SNCF ticket counter and you will obtain a reduced fare (Tarif Pass 3). These reduced price tickets may be purchased only from ticket counters and not via the website of Voyages-SNCF.com.

This is what I am asking about?

Posted by
20290 posts

Yes, but the advance purchase tickets on-line will generally be lower than tickets bought at the station. Example: going from Paris to Geneva via Macon and Bellegarde on the TGV-Lyria, only the last 10 km of the journey is within Switzerland. So the discount would be tiny. It will not pay to use a flex day.

Posted by
8889 posts

rohithsrirama, yes, all those passes do give you reduced fares for the Swiss part of the journey. But, you said you are travelling from Paris to Geneva only. That trip does not involve travelling on any trains in Switzerland, so Swiss passes do not give you a reduction.
If you go to the SBB website, you can do a trial purchase, Paris to Geneva, both with and without your Swiss pass. You can then try Paris to (for example) Zermatt, via Geneva, and it will offer you a lower price with a Swiss pass.

The SNCF site apparently does not offer these discounts, but the SBB site does. And you can get print-at-home from either site.