Calling schuler

Aug 29th, 2007, 12:35 PM
  #1  
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Calling schuler

Guten Tag-
I was hoping you could help me. We are travelling to Switzerland in October and then on to Italy. I've tried to price the tickets using the sbb.ch website, but it won't allow me to since I'm an international visitor. I've checked on raileurope.com, but I would like to know what the difference in price is by waiting to purchase in Switzerland. We'd be leaving Biel on October 8 and arriving in Florence.

Would you be able to help me with this?

Vielen Dank
swisschocolate is offline  
Aug 29th, 2007, 12:45 PM
  #2  
 
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I think that's me.

Gruezi Swiss Chocolate,

The sbb.ch website does not post prices for train destinations outside of Switzerland. They will send you a free offer if you contact them by email. For more information, see: https://www.sbb.ch/mct/wi/shop/b2c/sprache.do?en

I'm not an SBB expert. I'm more of an SOB expert since they pass near my house almost hourly.

Maybe someone else can give you even better advice.

Good luck!
kleeblatt is offline  
Aug 29th, 2007, 12:54 PM
  #3  
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Thanks for the quick response! I'll try the link you gave me.

Tchuss!
swisschocolate is offline  
Aug 29th, 2007, 12:56 PM
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try www.cisalpino.com for train fares Switzerland to Italy - but Biel is i think off the main Cisalpino routes so figure from the nearest station that is

Cisalpino is the subsidiary of Italy and Suisse railways that runs trains between Switzerland and Italy via Milano but some go onto Florence

If not figure to Milan then go to www.trenitalia.com for Milan to Florence fares.

RE is usually at least a bit more, sometimes not much but at times significantly so so research both ends.
PalenqueBob is offline  
Aug 29th, 2007, 01:05 PM
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Thanks Pal.

I figured out how to make a request. Go to the timetable, pick the train and time you're interested and push the "fare" box. Type in the necessary info and check that you're interested in price information only. This will be sent to the sbb and you should get a reply within a few days.

Good luck!
kleeblatt is offline  
Aug 29th, 2007, 01:09 PM
  #6  
 
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seems like it would be less labor intenstive to just post at least fares to neighboring countries on sbb.ch - and Switzerland is so advanced technologically i don't see why it isn't on there.
PalenqueBob is offline  
Aug 29th, 2007, 01:13 PM
  #7  
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Thank you both - I've submitted a request so hopefully I'll have an answer (and price) in a couple of days.

On the raileurope.com site, the tickets were $266.00 total for 2 people.
swisschocolate is offline  
Aug 29th, 2007, 01:16 PM
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does that include the $15-18 booking fee and $18 mailing fee?

I always advise using BETS if bent on using RailEurope and occasionally they are price competitive but not usually as you talk to experts and they won't charge the $18 mailing fee

but with raileurope.com all orders under $399 have the $18 mailing fee which you have to figure into your price comparisons. And to talk to someone at RE they charge an additional 10% according to their web site.
PalenqueBob is offline  
Aug 29th, 2007, 01:21 PM
  #9  
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PalenqueBob-
I probably didn't get that far in the purchasing process...I cancelled out before getting to the screen to enter credit card info.

That's good to know though!
swisschocolate is offline  
Aug 30th, 2007, 07:06 AM
  #10  
 
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The minimum fee for any order with reservations seems to be $15 - a RailEurope charge that agents like BETS must impose. But they don't charge the $18 mailing fee except i think on rush orders. So it's $15 over the raileurope.com price in that case.
PalenqueBob is offline  
Aug 30th, 2007, 07:11 AM
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Let us know how long the price request took. It might be interesting for others to know as well.
kleeblatt is offline  
Sep 4th, 2007, 06:02 AM
  #12  
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Hi again -
I received a reply on 8/31 from sbb.ch - they quoted me 340.40 francs total. Biel to Zurich - 74.40, Zurich to Firenze - 266.00.

So is their price higher because I'm not a resident of Switzerland? Just making sure I'm understanding this correctly. Otherwise, it looks cheaper to order the tickets now from raileurope.

Advice?
swisschocolate is offline  
Sep 4th, 2007, 06:52 AM
  #13  
 
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Hi Swiss Chocolate,

Tourists and locals pay the same price for train tickets unless you have a special pass.

I have a half fare card and pay half the price.

My children have a juniorkarte (SFr. 20) and ride for free.

My husband doesn't have any cards so he has to pay the full price.
kleeblatt is offline  
Sep 4th, 2007, 07:04 AM
  #14  
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So would you purchase now from raileurope? Even with the fees it is cheaper..

PalenqueBob?
swisschocolate is offline  
Sep 4th, 2007, 07:20 AM
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Surprised that it's cheaper but sometimes that's the case. So yes - and i'd not use raileurope but BETS - i can attest to their great service and also lower mailing fees. If cheaper why not?
PalenqueBob is offline  
Sep 4th, 2007, 07:49 AM
  #16  
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Ok - now here's another question. Usually my in-laws purchase our tickets from Zurich airport to Biel. (They have their own passes, of course) If we were to pay for that portion of our journey as well, would it be advantageous to buy a Swiss Pass to include that?

Zurich - Biel
Biel - Florence (or any portion thereof)

Sorry for all the questions - just trying to make sure I'm making the most cost-efficient decision.

Thanks so much for your help!
swisschocolate is offline  
Sep 4th, 2007, 07:51 AM
  #17  
 
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I believe it would not - not nearly so if Zurich-Biel and Biel- Swiss border are you only rail trips
PalenqueBob is offline  
Sep 4th, 2007, 07:53 AM
  #18  
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Yes, as far as I know they would be.

Thanks again for your assistance. Do you know if BETS has an email form to request tickets? Since I'm at work, it would be better than having to phone them.
swisschocolate is offline  
Sep 4th, 2007, 07:56 AM
  #19  
 
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I believe not as they are phone oriented, to me an advantage to talk to someone expert. check their web site www.budgeteuropetravel.com to see if they do online orders - did not used to. But Byron there is tops in client service IMO
PalenqueBob is offline  

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