Fly Rail Baggage service

Feb 2nd, 2008, 10:12 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 8
Fly Rail Baggage service

Did anyone use a Fly Rail Baggage service? Please share your experience with this.
I know that you can check-in your luggage at the airport in USA, fly to Switzerland, get on the train to your final Swiss destination and pick up your luggage there.
Thanks, TD
TxD is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2008, 10:57 AM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 424
The last time I went to Basel, FlyRail service was not available on the airline company I used (USAirways).

One of my bags was heavier than I could handle by myself on/off the train from ZRH. Using one of the free luggage carts in the airport, I went to the train station right at the airport, bought my ticket, and arranged at the office next to the ticket counter for them to transfer my bag to Basel.

I chose the faster service (15 or 20 CHF?) and my bag was at the office at Basel SBB by 4 that afternoon.

I know in doing my research there was an on-line chart of airlines indicating which do and do not offer the FlyRail service. Sorry I am not successful trying to find it now. Maybe someone else will be able to find it for you?
kmbp is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2008, 11:07 AM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 17,549
Make sure it works for the particular airline and airport you will be using.
Dukey is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2008, 12:38 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,670
Hi TxD,

I've done this a few times; once on my own and once with my mother. Both times I flew Delta (which, by the way, claimed not to participate in this service). Both times it worked great.

I got it through Raileurope; they sent me the customs documents and some clear green plastic tags. I filled out the documents, put them in the tags, and attached the tags to my cases. At Zürich, the Delta employees took my bags off the plane, and the airport employees knew what to do with them (doesn't really matter what the airline employees know or don't know!).

Both times I did it, I called Delta to ask about the service. Both times, they claimed they didn't know about it and didn't participate. But, again, it doesn't really matter because all they have to do is unload the bags.

If you don't want to chance it, it is very, very easy to do as kmbp notes -- just pick up your cases, throw them onto a luggage cart, and wheel them all the way to the station in the basement. Check your bags through yourself for 20 chf.

Have fun!

swandav2000 is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2008, 12:49 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,670
Here's a link to the Raileurope info (for others' information):

swandav2000 is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2008, 12:56 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,542

The service definitely works, just returned from Zermatt and saw lots of travelers who had used it when I picked up my bags (I live in Zurich, so just checked my bags for the domestic train journey). A few years back, 3 friends from the US who were joining me for a ski week in Zermatt used the service as well - some of the bags arrived a day late, so pack an emergency change of clothes in your hand luggage, just in case.

The Fly Rail Baggage service is definitely available on ALL airlines, but only on the journey TO Switzerland.

On the return journey to the US, you can only use the so-called "Airport Baggage" service - you need to pick up your luggage at the airport railway station and check it in again for the flight. The full check-in service offered by the Swiss Railways on several airlines is not allowed for US destinations for "security reasons"...

The Swiss Railways website offers full details of both the Fly Rail Baggage for inbound travelers and the options available for outbound travelers:

From the US, it's probably most convenient to order the Fly Rail tags ($15 per suitcase) through Rail Europe:

The Airport Baggage tags for the return journey can be purchased when you drop off your luggage at the station.

Hope this helps,
Andre is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2008, 07:28 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 8
Thanks a lot for all the advice.

TxD is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2008, 06:35 AM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 424
Thanks, s, for sharing your experiences using the FlyRail service. Interesting that you were able to use it even when Delta claimed they didn't know about it and didn't participate.

kmbp is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2008, 08:42 AM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 232
We used it last summer, and I wouldn't use it again. We were staying in a small village, so we didn't get our luggage until the afternoon of the following day.

Before using it, I would suggest that you verify when your luggage will get to you so you don't have a day and a half without luggage like we did.

On our return trip, taking one bag on the train turned out to be relatively easy, so we will get our bags in Zurich and take them on the train with us this summer when we return to Switzerland.
lilla is offline  
Feb 7th, 2008, 06:09 PM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 52
We go to Switzerland every year and use the fly rail service each time. The airline has nothing to do with it. They take your bag(s) and ticket them for Zurich (or Geneva as the case may be). Once the flight arrives the Swiss luggage handlers who place bags on the luggage carousels will remove each bag that has a green tag (you buy the tags from RailEurope). The tags are completed before you depart and have on them your name and the town or city in Switzerland that you want the bags sent to. I don't remember now whether you check online or whether the location list arrives with the tags (I think it arrives in the mail with the tags), but I can assure you that the location list specifies the exact day and time that your luggage will arrive. It will say if the luggage going to the train station in the town you designated will arrive the same day as the plane's arrival or the next day and the time that it will arrive. And this being Switzerland you can be sure that it will be accurate. You can get off the plane without having to claim luggage, take a train to your destination, give the receipt to your hotel reception desk and at the appointed time the hotel porter will be sent to retrieve your luggage and deliver it to your room. An entirely civilized manner of traveling.

By the way this will also work if you have connecting flights and what's more, if you decide to spend some time in a different location first with just some carry on luggage, your bags will be waiting for you at the train staion at the destination you declared on the green tag, for either 5 days or one week. We are planning to do it this way this summer. I will email the SBB (Swiss Train System) and inquire as to the length of time they will hold the bags.

Good luck and have a wonderful time in Switzerland.
Lenore1 is offline  

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