I am trying to figure out what makes the most sense - half-fare card, or swiss flex 4 day pass, or some other pass. But I am finding it hard to understand the requirements or limitations of each. My first question is about how those cards connect to traveling from Italy, since we will be taking our first train from Milan to Murren (the most expensive leg of the journey) - which passes could be used for that? Here is our itinerary below:
Day 1 - Milan to Murren (244 CHF)
Day 2 - Up Almendhubel (14 CHF)
Day 3 - Up Schilthorn (48 CHF)
Day 4 - Murren to Bern (46.8 CHF)
Day 5 - Bern to Zurich (56 CHF)
The total would be 408.8 CHF per person so far (there are 4 of us, plus a child traveling free - he's 3).
The half-fare card would be 389.4 (204.4 plus the 185 for the card) - not much of a savings (and the requirements are fuzzy to me - would we need to get a swiss pass and send in photos, etc? The SBB website made it seem like quite a process).
The 4 Day flex pass (where we don't use it Day 2) would cost 310 CHF plus 14 each because we wouldn't use it Day 2, so 324 CHF. That seems like our best bet? BUT would the flex pass work for the Milan to Murren trip, or would be need a different type of pass?
I have traveled by train in Italy many times but never in Switzerland and I am banging my head against the wall. Why can't the tickets just be reasonable, and then you could just purchase them outright? Ugh! Any help in understanding the swiss way of doing this is MUCH appreciated.