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Fly/Rail Tickets

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Forth Valley...
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33 posts
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Fly/Rail Tickets

Hi

Going to book a weeks holiday in Kandersteg over the New Year period, wondering which is the easier option ie. from Geneva or Zurich by train and any info on getting luggage direct to hotel via Swiss Rail, would be great if we could put luggage on plane at Edinburgh and not see it until arrival at hotel in Kandersteg does anyone know if this can be done? all info would be appreciated...

thanks BJ

Mannheim, Germany
Destination Expert
for Zurich, Mannheim
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1. Re: Fly/Rail Tickets

I have no experience on Fly/Rail baggage handling - hope Swandav or Kileysmom or others will share their experience. It should work from Scotland (within EU)...

As to the trains - you will ned to change once no matter whether from Geneva or Zürich airports.

www.sbb.ch

from: Zürich Airport

or

From: Geneva Airport

To: Kandersteg

There used to be direct connecions from Zürich airport but now the trains to Brig go through the new Lötschberg base tunnel 600 m below Kandersteg.

Basel, Switzerland
Destination Expert
for Switzerland
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3,544 posts
21 reviews
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2. Re: Fly/Rail Tickets

have a look here for info:

mct.sbb.ch/mct/…flyrail-baggage.htm

My personal advise, without any experience whatsoever, is that since it will be New Year time (and since you might be travelling through Heathrow) and because of all these counter terrorist (or whatever) measures, pick up your lugagge in Zürich yourself and then send them from Zürich to your destination in Kandersteg:

mct.sbb.ch/mct/…reisegepaeck-schweiz.htm

tak

Anchorage, Alaska
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for Anchorage, Zermatt
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3. Re: Fly/Rail Tickets

Hi, I don't use the fly/rail baggage system - here's why:

When you check your bag at the departure airport, you have a separate tag on it that is supposed to alert baggage handlers at the arrival airport in Switzerland. They then are supposed to take the bag and put it on a train to your destination. This assumes that the special tag is still on your bag when it arrives in Switzerland. If it isn't, the bag will just go on the baggage carousel and end up in the unclaimed bag room at the airport. You will then have to return to get your bag! It's happened to some who post here.

Secondly, if your bag is lost or damaged or items have been stolen, who is at fault? You know the airline will blame Swiss Rail and Swiss Rail will blame the airline - it's the nature of the system.

It is so easy to collect your bag off the carousel, walk to the station in either airport and ship your bag at the baggage office (it's next to the ticket window in both airports). I have done this repeatedly and it is very easy as well as totally reliable in my experience. If you ship your bag before 9 AM, it is guaranteed to arrive before end of the day for a 20 SF fee. If you can wait until the next day, the fee is 10 SF. By doing this, I know that my bag(s) made it to Switzerland, were in good condition, etc. before I leave the airport so I can make a claim if that is not the case.

Hope this helps.

Kent, England
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4. Re: Fly/Rail Tickets

Fhorchu

As your'e coming from the UK use the fly rail system. As I understand it you cannot use it from the States. But be warned if you land in Zurich easier to get to Kandersteg from than Geneva, you may have to wait until the following day for your luggage, by that I mean breakfast time, no later. The hotel will collect your suitcase/s from the station and deliver them to your room.If you check on the Swiss Rail web site www.sbb.ch/en and go to the fly rail section you will find full details there. It worked perfectly for me last year from Heathrow with Swiss International and I see no reason why it should not work from Edinburgh. For Kileysmom's information the luggage problem at Terminal 5 is a thing of the past and was only valid if flying with BA. If you need any more help come back and ask. By the way I've used this system for over 20 years and never had a problem.

Garmisch-Partenkirch...
Destination Expert
for Montreux, Oberammergau, Garmisch-Partenkirchen
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5. Re: Fly/Rail Tickets

Hi Fhorchu,

Like Swisslover, I've used the system successfully, twice, coming from the US. The big difference from the US is that I had to buy the special tags and customs documents from Raileurope, so it is independant of the air carrier.

But I had no problems at all. My bags (and my mother's on one occasion) showed up just as promised. I absolutely loved the feeling of simply walking past the luggage carousel and going directly to the train station!

So, now you have both sides of the issue! I guess we're no help! Maybe the best you can do is just close your eyes and make a guess!

Good luck!

s

Anchorage, Alaska
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for Anchorage, Zermatt
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6. Re: Fly/Rail Tickets

Please be aware that my thinking has nothing to do with T5 and the problems there. It's based solely on the issue of the bags not making it to the train or having problems making a claim if, when you do get them, there is damage or theft.

Basel, Switzerland
Destination Expert
for Switzerland
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3,544 posts
21 reviews
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7. Re: Fly/Rail Tickets

I think we can safely say that when the system works it works perfectly.

But if it does not, then you are in kandersteg and your luggage is ...somewhere.

For me the risk that something goes wrong is too great if you think:

a) it is new year time and the world and his brother will be on their way

b) if they are again on a security frenzy (and holiday time is a good time for that) your lugagge will stay where it is on the carrousel or by it, tagged or not (as I was tolded on the tel. a year+ ago

c) you know who, where to blame and most important whom to ask to return your luggage.

Plus if your lugagge arrives at the same place and time you do :-) then you can take off what you need for the night, before you sent it again on its way, without thinking about so many mmm in so many bottles in so many transparent bags and if a safety pin is a weapon of mass destruction or not ( I have 50-50 on the latter, depending on airport and time of the year).

I woudl also chose Zurich as airport of arrival.

Tak

Forth Valley...
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33 posts
3 reviews
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8. Re: Fly/Rail Tickets

Hi guys....

Thanks for all your replies, certainly gives me food for thought - I can now see the pros and cons of Fly/Rail but haven't quite made up my mind yet - I always try to avoid Heathrow... have already had T5 problems, we flew in from Lisbon to T1 then transferred via an old smelly diesel bus to T5, we made it but some of our luggage didn't... have had a look at flying KLM via Schiphol to Zurich, think this might be the better option

Thanks again

BJ

London
Destination Expert
for Switzerland
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2,900 posts
25 reviews
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9. Re: Fly/Rail Tickets

We've been holidaying in Switzerland for many many years, and we've used fly rail OFTEN. It has never let us down, and I find it very liberating. BUT I have only used it on direct flights - normally we fly Swiss - and I try to find a flight with an early arrival, so that our luggage arrives on the same day. Of course on the very odd occasion, something could go wrong, but that's true even if you collect your luggage on arrival. If Swiss fly directly from Edinburgh, or with a change of plane at London City airport, then I for one can recommend fly rail, provided you feel comfortable about it.

Forth Valley...
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33 posts
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10. Re: Fly/Rail Tickets

Just an update on our trip to Kandersteg.... Flyrail was brilliant... luggage put on flight (KLM)at Edinburgh - delivered the same day to our hotel in Kandersteg (Hotel Bernerhof - 3* hotel with a 5* service) would recomend it to everyone... provided your flight arrives in Switzerland before noon your luggage will be delivered to your hotel the same day...

Fantastic holiday/hotel... so good we are booking again for New Year 2009/10