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Buying Swiss Pass

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Mar 8th, 2012, 06:23 AM
  #1
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Join Date: Dec 2011
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Buying Swiss Pass

Hoping you can help me with this decision:

I wish to purchase a Swiss Pass. Is it the case that there is the option to have ticket posted, print it yourself at home, or print at ticket window in Switzerland?

Bearing in mind that I will be travelling in Italy for three weeks before entering Switzerland I'm wondering if I'm better to wait until I get to Switzerland to print the ticket. If so how does one do this? I will be entering Switzerland from Milan.

Also, if I opted not to do this, would the ticket supplied through postage from RailEurope be more robust than the one I will produce on standard A4 paper?
Many thanks for any advice
2012moving is offline  
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Mar 10th, 2012, 06:34 AM
  #2
 
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You live in Australia, right? Then simply compare RailEurope Australia's price with the price for passes in Switzerland at www.swisstravelsystem.com - in CHF or Swiss francs and add 3% if your credit card company imposed it on foreign transactions as many do - then if not much difference just wait until Switzerland and buy it at the Brig train station - many rail links between Milan and Spiez now require a change of trains at Brig anyway - from Brig there are lots of trains - at least hourly - to Spiez (Interlaken) or Bern or Lake Geneva or Basel, etc.

If you live in the U S then compare rates in dollars at this site http://www.budgeteuropetravel.com/id3.html or www.raileurope.com (US).

It should be very easy to buy your pass in Brig - smallish station unlikely to have long lines, etc and will speak IMO English (but maybe not Australian).
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Mar 10th, 2012, 08:42 AM
  #3
 
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print at ticket window in Switzerland>

not sure if they print them now but they have paper passes IME - anyway IMO the least hassle - if prices are similar - they could well be cheaper in Switzerland - just go to the ticket window and pick up whatever pass type they have!
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Mar 10th, 2012, 05:09 PM
  #4
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Yes - weighing up whether to buy in Brig or in advance.

www.swisstravelsystem.com - in CHF>
I have attempted to gain access to CHF price for weeks through this site. I must be doing something wrong because I simply end up with a link to RailEurope and never do find out the price in CHF. Am I missing something?

Possible advantages of buying in advance:
Taking advantage of high Australian dollar before it falls.
Could put reservations in place to ensure I have them - as I will need to sit

Possible disadvantages of buying in advance:
Australians definitely paying more for Swiss Pass than say Americans through eg RailEurope and other Australian sites
Danger of Swiss Pass being stolen in Italy - creating a hassle I could do without on holiday

Questions:
How to find CHF price for Swiss Pass through www.swisstravelsystem.com - see above?

Would a Swiss Pass in advance enable me to make seat reservations without paying for the ticket because I already have a Swiss Pass?

Can I reserve Panorama on scenic routes ahead of buying Swiss Pass eg Golden Pass, William Tell, Bernina Express etc
Also a seat on Palm Express?
Thanks to those in the know - or not
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Mar 10th, 2012, 09:24 PM
  #5
 
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Hi 2012moving --

Hope I can answer one or two of your questions.

To get the prices in chf, select "Switzerland" as your delivery country. If you select North America or Australia, yes, you'll be bumped to Raileurope.

Yes, you can make reservations on any scenic train without having the ticket or pass in your hand. The only time you have to have the ticket/pass in your hand is when you're on the train.

Have fun!

s
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Mar 11th, 2012, 12:40 AM
  #7
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Thanks - I found it through prices. Actually I also found a scrap of paper with CHF price on it. This seems to suggest that I had done this before. Bear with me please. Something to do with my state of mind planning both Italy and Switzerland.

Questions re Travelling by train from Milan to Brig.

SSB
site shows a train direct from Milan to Brig. Described as an International Train. It's an EC (Eurocity) train. If I had a Swiss Pass could I use it for this journey? I would have a spare day on Swiss Pass. Seems unlikely but thought I would ask. I think I saw somewhere on this forum that someone validated their Swiss Pass in Milan and caught a train to Brig and beyond. This fascinated me at the time but I didn't understand why this would be the case.

Trenitalia
This train was not showing on Trenitalia earlier today (was on Saturday) but is again now. What are SMART fares? If I select ADULT/STANDARD I get a price. If I select SMART I get "ND". It seems it is not possible to get ticketless. Must be self-service machine or Home Delivery. And I must register. If I had a Swiss Pass could I select Global Pass on Trenitalia site for this journey?

So questions are:
Can Swiss Pass be used on SBB EuroCity train Milan to Brig?
Can Swiss Pass be validated at Milan?
What is Smart Fare?
What is ND? - is it not available
If I booked through Trenitalia could I use Global Pass for my Swiss Pass?

I think it's possible you will rejoice when I finally hit the road (start travelling) and cease these questions. Just wait for my trip report.
Thanks
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Mar 12th, 2012, 06:15 AM
  #8
 
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Can Swiss Pass be used on SBB EuroCity train Milan to Brig?
Can Swiss Pass be validated at Milan?

quick note and will return later to answer other questions.

-No Swiss Pass cannot be used on trains Milan to Brig - only after Brig, when you enter Switzerland. No Swiss Pass cannot be validated in Milan but at a Swiss train station only - but if you have a Swiss Pass and are on a train that goes direct from Milan to Spiez then in that case the conductor will activate the pass on the train for you -a caveat so that folks do not need to get off at Brig to activate the pass and can keep going to Spiez or wherever. This rule is that if coming on a train from another country the conductor then activates to pass for you on the train when it enters Switzerland - again so you need not get off the train at Brig - however as noted many Milan to Switzerland trains now require a change at Brig and in that case you would activate the pass easily in Brig (or even buy one there at the ticket window without problem and in a few minutes I would think.

I'll try to answer some other questions above later.

Now tie that kangaroo down mate!
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Mar 12th, 2012, 06:55 AM
  #9
 
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PQ - Why would the OP get off at Brig anyway to activate a pass if the destination is Spiez? Can't you activate the pass at Spiez? If coming from Milan and booking the Smart Fare, the ticket price is the same whether the destination is Brig, Spiez or Basel.
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Mar 12th, 2012, 05:23 PM
  #10
 
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OK - that part I were too lazy to reference above! And that is IF she can actually get the smart price - smart to book right now - here one minute gone the next! I knew she had a 22-day pass and was only going to be in Switzerland 22 days so thought...
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Mar 13th, 2012, 11:29 AM
  #11
 
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SWISS PASS 2 FOR 1 SALE

May not apply to OP as she/he is getting a 22-day pass it seems but for others in the U S at least 4-day Swiss Passes for travel thru the end of May, 2012 are not selling for 2 people for the price of 1 - a great deal of course. But it only applies to the 4-day consecutive and 4-day flexipasses, no others. A flexipass would give 4 unlimited travel days out of a 1-month max period - use one day to get to the Jungfrau Region - another day to go to Zermatt - another day to Geneva, etc. For details http://www.budgeteuropetravel.com/id3.html or www.ricksteves.com or www.raileurope.com.
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Mar 14th, 2012, 09:41 AM
  #12
 
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If I booked through Trenitalia could I use Global Pass for my Swiss Pass?>

??? Global Pass thru Trenitalia? Global Eurailpass? Would be a waste of money and Eurailpasses simply do not cover many many things a Swiss Pass does.

Perhaps I am not understanding your question?
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Mar 15th, 2012, 08:38 AM
  #13
 
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PQ - Why would the OP get off at Brig anyway to activate a pass if the destination is Spiez?>

well they may want to get off at Brig in order to change to the much much more dramatically scenic rail line to Spiez that goes up and over the Lotschberg Pass - one of Europe's most phenomenally scenic rail lines - the Smart fare only allows, I believe, straight thru travel to Spiez using the new line that from Visp/Brig is nearly all in tunnels - so you see none of the scintillating scenery you do on the older line which only takes about an hour longer.

so that is one good reason to answer kybourbon's question why folks may want to get off at Brig!
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Mar 16th, 2012, 11:24 AM
  #14
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You got it in one PalenQ. I don't intend to spend my whole time in tunnels! Scenic rail from Brig to Spiez at least once for me.
A question for you:
When does it become dark in June in Switzerland? Would be a shame if I scheduled for a scenic train ride and ended up in the dark.
Thanks
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Mar 17th, 2012, 06:56 AM
  #15
 
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Switzerland is pretty far north as the globe goes - I would think it would be plain daylight until around 10pm though in Alps that can vary as to in which direction peaks are located. But anytime before 9pm should be clear as daylight I would suspect.
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