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Swiss Travel Pass: Passport Number

I purchased a Swiss Travel Pass via Rick Steves website through Rail Europe. I received the passes today but they do not include my passport number. The people we are going with purchased theirs through the SBB website directly and it has their passport number and country of issue on the Pass.

Do I need this information on my pass and if so how do I get it added?

Posted by
20319 posts

I'll delete that post so we can move on.

I do not think it is important. When you go through SBB, they ask that info because they can. The important information is your name is on the pass. The ticket inspector looks at the name on the pass, then sees that it matches the name on your passport and the picture on the passport looks like you.

The only time I traveled with a Swiss Travel Pass, no conductor even asked to see my passport, even though I was supposed to show it with the pass. They just checked that it was a valid pass and moved on.

PS - Laura from RS will probably see this tomorrow and give a definitive answer on why that is.

Posted by
6 posts

I only thought it odd because Rail Europe also asks for the passport number when you purchase the tickets, so I figured they would ensure that information was on the pass.

Posted by
20319 posts

You got me thinking, so I dug up the 5 year old pass. I got it from a travel agent in New Jersey, printed on IBM card stock, stamped "Swiss Tourism New York". The validity dates and my name were filled in by somebody else, with the "ones" in the distinct European style so they looked like "sevens". Then it looks like residence country and passport number were in my hand writing, although I took pains to put the tails on my "ones". Then my signature.

I don't know what the format is these days.

Posted by
61 posts

Hello, I bought a 15-day Swiss Travel Pass from Rail Europe yesterday. My passport number as well as country of nationality is printed on the bottom row.

Posted by
6 posts

This was the response I was given by Rail Europe:

A new system has been implemented whereby the passport number is not needed on the pass.

Thank you and best regards,

Martin
Rail Europe

Posted by
16894 posts

I have not seen a printed Swiss Travel Pass yet this year, since we're no longer processing the orders in this office.

1) Standard practice on most rail passes is that there is a blank spot for the passport number, which is filled in by the agent who activates that pass in the station.

2) When a pass is pre-activated with start and end dates, as all Swiss Travel Passes now are, then you normally fill in the passport number yourself, again on the line provided.

3) If there's not even a blank spot to fill in the passport number (near your name), then it must be correct that it's not required. You may still be asked by a conductor to show your passport as ID, but then they'd just look for a name match.

It sounds like you received a printed pass, rather than an e-ticketed version (an option for the consecutive-day versions), which may account for some differences. Or maybe you will find it in small print, as another commenter mentioned.

Posted by
6 posts

I’m not sure what the difference is between the e ticket and printed pass. When I purchased the other ones from SBB.ch they emailed me PDFs to print at home just like Rail Europe did.

The place where the passport number is printed in the SBB version is just on a blank row. On the Rail Europe version, there is no label like “passport number” where it’s promoting you to fill it out.

In any case, I followed up with Rail Europe again and here is what they said:

I can understand where the confusion is since the SBB has just (two days ago) begun their new booking portal. The older portal that has been issuing the passes has been in use for several years and did use the passport information. With the SBB new portal they have decided they do not need passport information, although we still collect it securely in case of using the older system. The passes themselves look slightly differently depending on older or newer issuing system.

Posted by
16894 posts

Thanks for following up. I trust that answer. "Change is progress," as my dad liked to say.

FYI, my reference to a "printed" pass meant one printed on special railway ticket stock and physically shipped to you. Printing at home is the new option for consecutive-day passes, but so far not available for the "flexi," 3-days-in-1-month type of pass.

Posted by
285 posts

Timely! I just bought 2 8 day passes for June off the Rick Steve's link (you're welcome Rick) and I don't see any passport information on the PDF printout at all.

I'm surprised it's just a piece of paper, perhaps a bit nervous even. Saved the QR code and document on my phone just in case.

Do you folks who have used this laminate the page or put in a protective sheet or anything? I assume I'll be pulling this in and out of a bag often.

Posted by
16894 posts

If anything, I would opt for a flexible plastic sleeve over actual lamination. The nice thing about a PDF rail pass for consecutive days is that you can actually print multiple copies. (You can't give them to other travelers because the name has to match your ID. And you can't use multiples in a row, since the travel dates are already specified.)

Posted by
285 posts

Good thinking, printing multiples makes a lot of sense. Did not even consider it.

Thank you!

Posted by
8889 posts

Do you folks who have used this laminate the page or put in a protective sheet or anything?

Do not laminate. They warn you (somewhere) not to do that. The on train staff scan the QR code from their company phones. If you laminate it, the plastic causes reflections and they can't read it.
You can fold it if you want, as long as the folds do not go through the QR code.

If you are worried about it getting torn, worn or lost, just print multiple copies, and keep the other ones safe in an envelope in your case until you need them.

The only reason they ask your name (and put that on the pass) is to stop multiple people using the same pass. If they suspect that (pass has been scanned already on the same train), then they ask to see your passport as ID.

Posted by
285 posts

Thanks for that additional information @Chris F!