Can I reserve 1st class on the Bernina Express, Glacier Express, & Golden Pass if I have a 2nd class Swiss Travel Pass?

I plan to buy a Swiss Travel Pass for second class travel, but I would like to reserve seats and travel in first class on some of the scenic routes such as Bernina Express, Glacier Express and Golden Pass. Is this possible?
Travel is planned for August 16-27, 2015.
1 person has
this question
+1
Reply
  • Jeff (Official Rep) June 08, 2015 19:44
    Hi Victor.

    A 2nd class Swiss Travel Pass would only be valid for you to travel in 2nd class. If you book your reservations for 1st class and only have a 2nd class rail pass, then you would be charged a supplement locally. Since the supplement is something that is assessed locally, we would not have any information about how much it would be.

    Bernina Express


    The Bernina Express route consists of a bus between Lugano and Tirano and a train between Tirano and either St. Moritz or Chur. Reservations are required on the bus from Lugano to Tirano and the train from Tirano to either St. Moritz or Chur.

    You would purchase reservations by clicking on 'Book your Rail Pass Reservations' on our homepage, entering the route, and indicating that you'll be traveling with a 'Swiss Travel Pass'. When you go to purchase reservations for the Bernina Express on our site, you would piece together the connection by doing a separate search for each segment. Therefore, you would do one search to access the bus between Lugano and Tirano and another search to access the train between Tirano and either St. Moritz or Chur.

    Glacier Express

    The Glacier Express runs from St. Moritz to Zermatt and does require reservations. You would purchase these reservations by clicking on 'Book your Rail Pass Reservations' on our homepage, entering the route, and indicating that you'll be traveling with a 'Swiss Travel Pass'.

    GoldenPass

    The GoldenPass route is between Lucerne and Montreux and involves changing trains twice in between; once in Interlaken and then once in Zweisimmen.

    With regard to the GoldenPass route, reservations are only recommended on the segment between Zweisimmen and Montreux. Reservations aren't really necessary on the segment of this route between Lucerne and Interlaken or the segment between Interlaken and Zweisimmen.

    You would purchase reservations by clicking on 'Book your Rail Pass Reservations' on our homepage, entering the route, and indicating that you'll be traveling with a 'Swiss Travel Pass'. If you decide to purchase reservations for the entire route of the GoldenPass, you would piece together the connection by doing a separate search for each segment (i.e. one search for the Lucerne-Interlaken segment, another search for the Interlaken-Zweisimmen segment, and another search for the Zweisimmen-Montreux segment).

    Generally, these route can be booked once within 90 days of an intended date of departure.
    • view 4 more comments
    • Jeff (Official Rep) October 12, 2017 17:07
      Hi Rosemary,

      The reservation is different than the supplement. The supplement is something you would have to purchase locally, whereas the reservation is something you would purchase in advance, before even leaving for Europe.

      The reservation is for a seat and is required on the Bernina Express. The supplement is something additional to compensate for the fact that your Swiss Travel Pass is not 1st class. If you wish to travel in 1st class but your Swiss Travel Pass is only for 2nd class, then both the reservation and the supplement would be needed.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. sad, anxious, confused, frustrated kidding, amused, unsure, silly happy, confident, thankful, excited indifferent, undecided, unconcerned

  • Jeff.

    Thanks for the detailed reply. Do you have any idea how much is the "supplement" that I would need to pay locally?
    On a related subject: I have been trying for a few days now to reserve 2 seats on Glacier Express departing from St Moritz to Zermatt on August 21st. Your online booking system does not give me an option to reserve 1st class seats, only second class shown available. This prevents me from reserving my entire itinerary which includes also (in addition to Glacier Express) Swiss Travel Pass, Bernina Express and Golden Pass. Could you please look into this problem as, I am sure, first class seats are still available on Glacier Express for travel on August 21st.
    If there is a glitch in your online reservation system, what is the alternative way to book an itinerary listed above?

    Thanks again.

    Victor.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. kidding, amused, unsure, silly indifferent, undecided, unconcerned happy, confident, thankful, excited sad, anxious, confused, frustrated

  • Jeff (Official Rep) June 11, 2015 21:04
    Hi Victor.

    Since such a supplement is something that is assessed locally, we would not have any information about how much it would be.

    Since a 2nd class rail pass is not valid for 1st class travel, our website would not display 1st class as an option if you indicated that your pass is a 2nd class pass. Therefore, our website is working as designed with regard to this scenario. If you wish to book reservations in 1st class for the Glacier Express from St Moritz to Zermatt (or any reservable train), you would have to indicate that your pass is a 1st class pass. When you enter your search, it should look like this:

    • Hi Jeff
      I am wanting to do the same thing. I have a Swiss travel pass 2nd class and wanting to book the BE express and pay the supplement for 1st class. I followed your instructions and it did give me a second option of "comfort" but with the same price as economy.
      Also, how to I guarantee that my mom and I are sitting across from each other by a window?
      Thanks for your help
    • Jeff (Official Rep) February 06, 2017 19:57
      Hi Terri,

      Generally, passholder reservation costs are the same for 1st and 2nd class. The difference in cost between 1st and 2nd class lies with the rail pass itself. This does apply to the Bernina Express train.

      If you'd like to ensure a specific type of seating arrangement, you would have to call us to place your order. We can be reached at 1-800-622-8600 or 1-847-916-1028. Our current hours are 8:00 AM to 6:30 PM CT Monday to Friday and 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM CT on Saturdays.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. sad, anxious, confused, frustrated kidding, amused, unsure, silly happy, confident, thankful, excited indifferent, undecided, unconcerned