Dismay as ÖBB raises prices on night train routes to and from Switzerland
Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB), the main provider of night trains to and from Switzerland, has been accused of raising its prices for tickets between Swiss cities and the rest of Europe. Travel bloggers speaking to Watson found that some trips are now 100 percent more expensive than they used to be.
ÖBB quietly raises Nightjet prices
According to reports from rail blogger Timo Grossenbacher, ÖBB has quietly raised prices on a number of its most popular Nightjet routes to and from Switzerland. For example, a single berth compartment between Basel and Amsterdam on January 16, 2024 costs 600 euros, up from the 285 euros offered this year.
Other rail bloggers took to the popular night train forum night-ride to complain about the higher prices. Chief among their annoyances was the fact that the public transport provider had not announced the changes in advance.
New flexible night train tickets from Switzerland are still a pretty penny
Responding to the criticism, a spokesperson from ÖBB admitted that they had “adapted the pricing system for night traffic.” They argued that they were implementing new, more flexible prices for journeys with various new ticket types (including semi-flexible tickets) so that the company could better respond to demand.
While the company said that cheaper prices would be available when demand is low, both Grossenbacher and Watson noted that even at off-peak times, prices on popular routes like Basel to Amsterdam and Zurich to Vienna are still up to 50 percent more expensive than before the change.
“There are steep surcharges in the sleeping cars; in the deluxe individual compartments, for example, there is almost a threefold increase. Even the cheapest category of the "economy three-series", [there are] increases by an average of around 15 percent… highly confusing,” Grossenbacher concluded.
Night train price rises justified for now, argues former SBB director
Speaking to the Tages-Anzeiger, former Swiss Federal Railway director Benedikt Weibel said that he thought that the price increases - considering rising worker and energy costs at ÖBB - were justified. However, he did say it remains “questionable” as to whether the company could continue to raise prices without upgrading its service.
Thumb image credit: Michael715 / Shutterstock.com