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Travel passes

We would like to have a Swiss Travel passes for the first part of our trip and a BO pass for the last part. If we buy a Swiss Travel pass first and use it at the end of its life to buy a BO pass at a discount, will the BO pass still be valid after the Swiss Travel pass expires?
(Crazy, I know, but the plan seems valid to us--thanks!)

Posted by
20309 posts

You can't buy a BO pass with a Swiss Travel Pass and get a discount, you get a discount with a Half Fare Card, which might be a good plan instead of the super expensive STP. What is your itinerary?

Posted by
2771 posts

If I’m reading the BO Pass website correctly, it looks like holders of the Swiss Travel Pass, Swiss Travel Pass Flex, Swiss Half Fare Card, Half Fare Travelcard, GA Travelcard all get a discount on the BO Pass.

https://www.berneseoberlandpass.ch/prices-tickets/

See prices and then the * after the reduced fare refers to Swiss Travel Pass, Swiss Travel Pass Flex, Swiss Half Fare Card, Half Fare Travelcard, GA Travelcard.

The myswissalps website seems to confirm this:

If you have the Swiss Travel Pass, you can purchase the RPBO at a
discounted price.

https://www.myswissalps.com/forum/topic/swiss-travel-pass-discounted-regional-pass-bo#:~:text=If%20you%20have%20the%20Swiss,RPBO%20at%20a%20discounted%20price.&text=Let%20us%20know%20if%20you%20need%20more%20information.

Posted by
20309 posts

Well, I learned something new, but I am not sure if it is a good idea. This is from the Berner Oberland Pass website FAQ;

With a Swiss Travel Flex Pass, do the days have to be activated where you have a Berner Oberland Pass?
Yes. You must activate the days on your Swiss Travel Flex Pass where the Berner Oberland Pass is valid at the reduced price. Otherwise, you will have to buy a Berner Oberland Pass at the full price.

So if you have to have activated days on an STP to get the half fare reduction BO Pass, you have 2 active pass days you are paying for at the same time. All you getting with those expensive BO Pass days is free travel from Wengen to Kleine Scheidegg, Maennlichen, Eigergletcher, down to Grindelwald, and up to First. You get reductions on these already with the STP. So yes, you can get the reduction with an active STP, but it makes no economic sense.

Posted by
993 posts

We would like to have a Swiss Travel passes for the first part of our trip and a BO pass for the last part. If we buy a Swiss Travel pass first and use it at the end of its life to buy a BO pass at a discount, will the BO pass still be valid after the Swiss Travel pass expires?
(Crazy, I know, but the plan seems valid to us--thanks!)

No. Any tickets bought on the basis of a discount for holding another ticket are only valid if the original ticket are still valid.

Posted by
2 posts

Thanks Carrie (and others),
I have enclosed our general itinerary and other thoughts and questions.
Plan is to arrive Zurich, train to Luzern the same day. Stay in Luzern 3 nights (do boat, Rigi, maybe Pilatus, Glacier Garden, Transport Museum.
Then to Montreux 3 nights; Chillon Castle, boat, train to Gruyeres (castle), Gstaad, possibly Geneva or Zermatt day trips.
Then Golden Epoch (not visiting Gstaad again) to Wilderswil near Interlaken and Grindelwald for a total of 7 nights between the two spots with a lot of travel and exploration in the BO. Likely go to Schilthorn and Jungfraujoch also. 

We wondered if we could purchase a Swiss travel pass for the first part of the trip, (prior to visiting the BO area) and while that pass is in effect, buy a BO pass at a discount (the swiss travel pass gives the same discount on the BO pass as the 1/2 fare card) before the swiss travel pass expires.
OR, do both passes need to be valid concurrently to get the BO pass at a discount?

Considering how much travel we plan in both the BO area and outside of it, we are considering a Swiss travel pass for the entire 15 days AND ALSO the BO pass (at a discount) for the time we are in the BO.  Even though the Swiss travel Pass would be unused in the BO, we still need to return to Zurich area and the airport, and the Swiss pass would have given us the better rate on the BO pass.
Costly, yes, but having the freedom of travel throughout and the ease of not buying tickets along the way might be worth it (?!).

Any thoughts?
Thanks!

Posted by
2771 posts

As jim sateted above, if you buy the BO pass at a discount with the swiss travel pass, they both need to be active at the same time.

I would just get the swiss travel pass. That’s what I do. and then just pay for the few things that are not covered 100% with the pass. The pass will give you a discount on just about everything not covered 100%.

You’d have to be doing a lot of traveling each day above murren and wengen to justify also purchasing a BO pass. You need to do the math to see if it’s worth it.

Say you buy a 4 day BO pass at a discount for 175. You’d need to make sure you were doing 43.75 worth of travel not covered by the swiss travel pass each day.

For the few things the pass does not cover 100%, it’s easy enough to just show your pass at the ticket booth to get any ticket you need. I went up to mannlichen from wengen several times and just told them at the ticket counter that I wanted a ticket up and then a ticket down from kleine Scheidegg. I show them the pass and they give me the appropriate ticket with the discount. According to my trip report, it was 9 CHF up and 19.60 CHF down.

While in lucerne, Stanserhorn is a great option. covered 100% with the swiss travel pass.

Sounds like a great trip!!

Posted by
1786 posts

Based on your post and comment, I would purchase the half fare card and date it the beginning of your trip and use it to buy your tickets from Zurich to Lucerne and all the rest of your travel and day trip travel tickets outside the BO and it is good for a month of purchases. I would then figure out how many days you are in the BO and buy a BO pass with the half fare card discount for the number of days you are in the BO.

A Swiss Travel Pass is expensive for the 15 days and don't forget unless you buy the STP-Flex, those are consecutive travel days. The Flex is even a little more expensive.

Posted by
2771 posts

The 15-day Swiss Travel Pass is 429 CFH. That’s only 28.6 CHF per day. It’s a great deal considering how expensive train tickets are.

The half fare card is 120 CHF and an 8-day BO pass is 250 (with the discount). So, 370 CHF for this option. Really not much difference and the Swiss Travel Pass covers a lot more.