Swiss Flexipass and Trains To/From Switz & France

Hi All - I am considering the purchase of a Swiss Flexipass for my upcoming trip to Switzerland. My ingress to the country will be from Nice, France to Lausanne. During my time in Switzerland I will have 2 travel days. One roundtrip from Lausanne to Montreaux where I will incorporate a cruise on Lake Geneva to visit Chillon Castle, and another from Lausanne to Interlaken to tour the Berner-Oberland for a few days via the Lifts. My egress will be from Interlaken to Paris, France. My question is this: Will my international trains to/from Switzerland count for travel days on the Swiss Flexipass? I prefer the Swiss Flexipass over a Regional Switz-France Eurail Pass because of the added in-country travel benefits. Can someone offer some expert advice? Thank You! Eddie.

Posted by Lola
Seattle, WA
5444 posts

I would look for discounted tickets from Nice to Geneva ( on TGV-Europa) and Interlaken to Paris ( on SBB.ch) rather than use a "pass day" for the international trips. (I checked this earlier when you said you were going to Geneva, and did not re-check for Lausanne, but it shouldn't be too much more to go to Lausanne instead) I found the following fares for Nice to Genevaon the direct ( no changes) train: Regular fare, no pass discount, 107 CHF
regular fare, using a Swiss Pass, 90 CHF Special Offer fare for advance purchase (generally 2 to 3 months in advance): 60 CHF. No additional discount with a Swiss Pass. You should be able to find a similar price on the French website, which is what you should use since your trip starts in France. If you were to buy on SBB you would have to have them shipped to you, as they do not do printable tickets for international journeys.

Posted by Eddie
Seattle, WA, USA
3 posts

It's a matter of calculus. I have 2 travel days when I am in Switzerland. A Swiss Flexipass gives me %50 discount on the lifts in Berner-Oberland and free public transportation. (A significant savings) *The lowest Swiss Flexipass has a 3 day minimum. Furthermore it increases in value as you buy Flexipasses with more days. So, basically,
*I do not have enough travel days to purchase a Swiss Pass unless one of my trains in or out (or both) can be used on a pass day. I have 2 days and need a minimum of 3... hence, the reason for asking the question: Will my international trains to/from Switzerland count for travel days on the Swiss Flexipass? Does that make sense?

Posted by Lola
Seattle, WA
5444 posts

Well, you CAN use the FlexPass on one of your international travel days, but it will only cover the portion of the trip within Switzerland. As the prices I posted indicate, that may not be cost effective for the inbound trip. The advance purchase tickets are a much better deal. However, for the Interlaken to Paris trip, then using a day on a Flex Pass is worthwhile, as it will save you 91 CHF (100 CHF instead of 191CHF). Even if you get the discounted Sparangebot tickets the pass is helpful (79 CHF instead of 100). But your best option may well be a Half Fare card instead of a pass. If you are going up the Jungfrau this is generally the best choice, as it gives better coverage ( full 50%) on that expensive trip than a Flex Pass does. And do look into those discounted fares for your two international trips before you decide.

Posted by Lola
Seattle, WA
5444 posts

Eddie, speaking of " calculus", you should look carefully at the prices for the travel you propose with the pass. A 3-day pass is $288 for a single person, so if you weren't doing any additional lifts, the cost of your 3 days of travel should average $96 each to make it cost-effective.But it is actually not that simple as you do get the added benefit if 50% off on lifts, so let's say you factor in that for 2-3 days and bring down the average cost for the break-even point to 70 CHF or so. Your travel won't even cost that much. Lausanne to Interlaken is 56 CHF. For your day at Lake Geneva: boat Lausanne to Chateau de Chillon, 28 CHF, return by train from Montreux to Lausanne, 12 CHF. Benefit of the pass on your trip to France is in the post above. These are all prices in second class.