SBB gifts GA holders free all-day ticket to give to a friend
To celebrate the 125th anniversary of the General Abonnement or GA, Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) has organised a treat for those who have purchased the famous public transport pass: anyone who holds a GA will be given a free all-access ticket for public transport valid for one day, which they are allowed to give to whomever they choose.
What is a Swiss GA or General Abonnement?
The SBB equivalent of a golden ticket, the GA grants unlimited access to almost the entire public transport network in Switzerland - including trains, buses, trams, boats and even some cable cars in ski resorts - and is perfect for entrepreneurs, workers and others who plan to travel long distances between Swiss cities almost every day.
Of course, this offer comes at a high price: GA subscriptions range from 1.645 to 6.300 francs a year depending on how old you are and which class you choose to travel in.
The first ever GA was issued in 1898 by the Association of Working Travellers and the Northeastern Railway that used to run the network to and from Zurich. After a slow start - only 8.000 GAs were in circulation by 1970 - more and more rail companies joined, and by 1990 practically all the network was opened to GA holders.
Free tickets given to all GA holders on 125th anniversary
To celebrate the 125th anniversary of the ticket, Alliance SwissPass and SBB have a gift in store for the estimated 437.000 people who currently hold a GA subscription: anyone who holds a GA will receive an all-access day pass for the whole network, which they will be able to gift to friends, family and loved ones.
The gift will be given automatically to GA holders via post, email or mobile notification, and will be valid for the same class as the GA. The pass itself can be activated at any time and will be valid for 24 hours.
Alongside offering the free gift, Alliance SwissPass said that anyone with fond memories of their time using a GA can submit their stories to the official website. The promotion runs until September 30, 2023 and “there are attractive prizes to be won”, according to the official statement.