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Swiss Travel Pass

I don't usually buy 1st class on anything but I was reading one of the comments on the Forum and they opted for the 1st class Swiss Travel Pass. They thought it was worth it for the extra room, less people, etc. What does everyone else think? Just curious. Thank you.

Posted by
2660 posts

I’m one who loves 1st class in Switzerland. 😊 I thought the cost was well worth it as I never had trouble finding a seat in 1st class or room for my luggage. We did have trouble finding seats a few times with 2nd class.

It’s a personal preference. You certainly don’t need 1st class. But if you’re like us and worry about finding seats together and room for suitcases, it might be worth the expense. You’ll have to answer that.

Also, 1st class gets you upper decks on all the boats.

Posted by
4140 posts

I had first class Swiss Travel Passes for fifteen days this past September , and for all the reasons above ,both from your OP as well as Carrie's response , it's worth the extra cost . Since I buy rail tickets for my European trips well in advance , I always buy first class as well . Generally the additional cost is minimal and the increased comfort and convenience are well worth it for me .l

Posted by
32683 posts

I think it depends on the trips involved.

If you pay for first class and spend a lot of time on cable cars, Postbuses, lifts, local trains, gondolas, etc., the first class premium is wasted because there is only one class. If you make short trips on trains with a small first class offering you may find that the hassle of getting to the first class isn't worth it and it is easier to just go in the door next to you.

On the other hand if sitting on the top deck of boats is important to you (not me, I like to be in the bow and be able to walk back to see the steam engine working) or you need bigger seats than most people, or want relative privacy, or take lots of long journeys then maybe it is worth it - to you.

Personally I never use first, always plenty happy in second, and on scenic trains I feel comfortable moving about for the view which might well be frowned on in first.

Something you have to work out for yourself.

Posted by
977 posts

It very much depends on the the routes you take and the of carriages that are used on the route.

I used to have a first class annual ticket up until a few years before I retired. At that point the train company changed the type of carriages used were almost the same as the second class carriages and so most people switched to second class tickets because it was just not worth the cost.

Likewise first class is usually used by business class passengers so if you are using the trains at peak times around the main business cities such as Zurich or Geneva, you may find that you will struggle to get seats in first class as well as in second class.

On the other hand if you are travelling off peak and on good line it can be very enjoyable.

Posted by
4674 posts

We have always used second class and have been very happy. These are Swiss trains, of course, where second class usually has coat hooks, charger ports, and are very clean. I have found second class Swiss trains to be a level above second class trains in other countries, IMHO.
Safe travels!

Posted by
32683 posts

well 3 - 3 doesn't help much does it? Shows that different folks have different priorities, eh?

Posted by
481 posts

It is possible to upgrade to first class on any specific train or boat when you have a valid 2nd class ticket for that journey. You can purchase the upgrade with the SBB app or at a ticket counter. If you decide to go 2nd class this could be a way to handle the occasional journey that is overcrowded.

The ends of the train are usually the least busy - people don't want to walk along the platform that far, but it is often worth it to do so.

Some Switzerland tourism apps give a free 1st class upgrade on the Lake of Brienz.

https://www.myswitzerland.com/en-ch/experiences/experience-tour/highlights-by-train-bus-and-boat/grand-train-tour-of-switzerland/grand-train-tour-of-switzerland-discover-the-new-app/

https://www.myswitzerland.com/en-ch/experiences/swiss-travel-guide-app/

Posted by
32683 posts

I didn't see how the app gives first class travel?

Posted by
481 posts

I didn't see how the app gives first class travel?

Choose your route, Bern-Zurich for example. Click to start the process of purchasing the ticket (don’t worry, you won’t have to pay yet) on the next screen you have some choices regarding what kind of ticket you want to buy, ‘point-to-point class upgrade’ is one of them.

I have a GA, so all I would do is buy this upgrade, my GA serves as my 2nd class ticket.

*Edited for clarity (hopefully) 😄

Posted by
481 posts

You’re welcome! I have actually only done this once; I find that second class works really well for me.