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Ticket trouble from Switzerland to Germany

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Jun 20th, 2014, 03:43 PM
  #1
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Ticket trouble from Switzerland to Germany

I am trying to reserve seats on a train from Wengen Switzerland to Freiburg BH. I found the train which leaves Wengen at 7:03 and we change at Lauterbrunnen and Interlaken, then straight thru. Arrival is at 10:48. Here's the problem. I can't figure out how to reserve seats. We have the Swiss Pass so we shouldn't have to pay, but there's no way to book the train without paying (At least that I've found!). I know I will have to pay and reserve seats for the German portion, but don't know how to do this without knowing for sure about the first part of the trip. Please help!! Thanks
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Jun 20th, 2014, 04:48 PM
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No clue what date your journey is, but you CAN buy tickets for Wengen - Freiburg Hbf for as little as €29 each (advance-sale saver fare) at the DB website. Reserve, if you wish, when you buy. Ticket prices rise as tickets sell. Then you don't have to use a day of your Swiss pass - use it for some other journey in CH, or buy one railpass day less than you planned to buy.

http://reiseauskunft.bahn.de/bin/query.exe/en
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Jun 20th, 2014, 04:52 PM
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Hi Russ, already have swiss pass and this is the last trip in (or actually out) of Switzerland. So don't need to save it or pay for that part of the trip. The travel date is September 12. Any other thoughts?
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Jun 20th, 2014, 06:59 PM
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No clue how long you will be in Switzerland. But it seems you could simply reserve the journey at any station at some time during your stay.

Trains that get you on your way to Freiburg leave Wengen every hour. I don't really see the need for reservations with that many seats heading there. Are you planning to travel on a major holiday, or to take a train that REQUIRES a reservation? That might be different. But I'd probably just get on the train(s) with your pass and look for seats without reservation indicators. You just need a valid tickt for the trip between the swiss border and Freiburg.

If your swiss pass gets you to Basel, go to the DB site and buy standard fare tickets from Basel to Freiburg - €25.20 each. You can use them at any hour no matter what time you leave Wengen. Many trains from Interlaken Ost - the 8:00, 9:00 and 10:00, for example - are direct to Freiburg. So as long as you have tickets for the Basel-Freiburg leg, you travel seamlessly to Freiburg without any change of train in Basel or anywhere else if you're on one of those.
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Jun 20th, 2014, 07:12 PM
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I guess that's what I was trying to find out... If I needed to reserve a seat and did I need to get tickets since I have a pass. According to what you said, I don't need to do either. I also didn't know that if I bought the ticket for the German leg, if it was only good for one train at one time. Thanks for clearing that up. So my last question is, it this true for my train trip from lucern to Bern, just get on a train, no reservation needed?
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Jun 20th, 2014, 07:47 PM
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Russ, I went on the DB website. They request a specific time for your ticket. I searched the site and couldn't find anything saying that I could use the ticket on any train the same day. What did I miss?
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Jun 20th, 2014, 07:49 PM
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Correct, just board any train Luzern to Bern, and show your pass when the conductor comes around!
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Jun 20th, 2014, 07:59 PM
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Standard fare tickets are good for any train on the specified date. Advance saving fare tickets are good for a SPECIFIC train. So if you buy a standard fare ticket from Basel to Freiburg at 25.20 € as Russ suggests, it will be good for any train on Sept 12th.
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Jun 20th, 2014, 08:03 PM
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Thanks mokka4. I couldn't find anything on the website that states that, but I'll trust you bothe
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Jun 20th, 2014, 09:58 PM
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This is SOOOO simple.

Go to www.bahn.de/en (German Railways) and book from Wengen to Freiburg from 29 euros. Print your ticket. Job done.

These are cheap advance-purchase fares. Budget airline fares for trains.

OK, so you have a Swiss pass so you book from BASEL to Freiburg from 19 euros.

OK, so this potentially only saves 10 euros, and the pass probably cost you rather more than that per day, but you do get the warm cuddly feeling of having 'Used Your Pass' which foreign visitors seems to love so much, even if it costs them money! ;0)
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Jun 22nd, 2014, 08:42 AM
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Man read above where OP says that 29 euro fare you hype will not work for the times he/she wants to travel - so that is out of the question.

You can with your Swiss Pass just board any train Wengen to Lauterbrunnen, where you switch to trains to Interlaken-Ost and then via Bern to Basel - as others have said absolutely no reason to book any seats - just hop on - seat reservations IME in Switzerland a waste of money - once in Basel you could just easily buy that short ticket to Freiburg if you do not want to book a specific discounted train in advance - to me the easiest way - or in Interlaken or maybe Wengen buy a full fare ticket Basel SBB Bhf to Freiburg - a ticket you can use on any the same type of trains. With any discounted fare Basel to Freiburg you must take a specific train - but with a full-fare ticket you can hop any train - no need to have to be in Basel at a certain time, etc.

Discounted tickets can save a little money but you forfeit any flexibility to save a few euros - flexibility to me is priceless - and the Swiss Pass allows you to just willy-nilly take any train to Basel anytime - you could even stop off in lovely Bern for a few hours to look around this to me one of the most beautiful and interesting of Swiss towns.

For lots of good info on Swiss trains check www.swisstravelsystem.com; www.ricksteves.com and www.budgeteuropetravel.com.

Man in Seat 61 forgets that some folks find flexibility priceless and that is the worth of a pass - cheapest is not always the best for everyone but he presents discounted tickets always as a panacea without ever saying the restrictions that come with them.
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Jun 22nd, 2014, 11:38 AM
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Thanks PalenQ. I felt his answer was a bit harsh. I do agree that having flexibility is more the way we like to travel. Now that I understand that you can just get on any swiss train with the pass I'm not concerned. I did buy standard tickets from Basel to a Freiburg ahead of time, just so I don't have to think about it when I'm there. Knowing that I already have a ticket and the flexibility is good with me. Funny how he says that we "foreigners" love the passes. That's all you read and hear about and it's generated from the Swiss websites not the American's! So it seems to me that it's the Swiss who love their passes and encourage us to use them to save money!
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Jun 22nd, 2014, 12:07 PM
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soods: "Funny how he says that we "foreigners" love the passes. That's all you read and hear about and it's generated from the Swiss websites not the American's!"

Railpasses, generally speaking, are not such a great value anymore. For this reason, they in fact would probably be unpopular with Swiss citizens and used very little by residents of Switzerland or other European countries if they were made available to them.

As you say, we foreigners (the targets of railpass marketing) usually read and hear only about railpasses - not the alternatives that might bring a railpass purchase into question. Railpass marketers can be Swiss, German, or American - but none of them tell you about the other options (like the Swiss Supersaver fares, or the DB saver fares, or the Länder Tickets, or...)

Passes are extremely convenient for foreign travelers who don't know their exact travel plans, who prefer not to make travel plans (like room reservations) or who anticipate changing their travel plans. Americans and other foreigners DO love them, but they only rarely understand the other less expensive choices they have, so it is indeed a bit of blind love that foreigners exhibit.

I give credit to the Man in Seat 61 for providing information on alternatives the railpass marketers keep hidden from you, and I think he's spot on about foreigners' less-than justifiable love of railpasses.
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Jun 23rd, 2014, 11:35 AM
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I give credit to the Man in Seat 61 for providing information on alternatives the railpass marketers keep hidden from you, and I think he's spot on about foreigners' less-than justifiable love of railpasses.>

so why does Man have a commercial link on his site to RailEurope, the notorious rip-off seller of railpasses and obscenely over-priced tickets (a Fodor's mantra that is was overblown) and obviously profit from folks buying passes and RE tickets thru his site?

He should just say don't buy any pass or ticket from RE - yet he profits from commissions from that link.

Hypocrisy?
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Jun 24th, 2014, 10:53 PM
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Your Swiss Pass will get you a 25% reduction on the German portion if you buy the ticket in Switzerland.

Personally, I'd just purchase it the day of travel - I've never booked a train in Switzerland or Germany.
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Jun 25th, 2014, 05:13 AM
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Your Swiss Pass will get you a 25% reduction on the German portion if you buy the ticket in Switzerland.>

I would re-check that - with a Half-Fare Card you would get 25% off I believe on the German portion of a direct train from Switzerland but I have never heard of a Swiss Pass giving that perk. I may be wrong.
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