Saturday, December 9, 2023

Deutsche Bahn and Star Alliance partner for seamless airline transfers

Star Alliance has revealed a partnership with a German rail operator Deutsche Bahn (DB), sending another strong signal for the environment-friendly evolution of the travel industry. Under this partnership, DB customers and passengers of Star Alliance member airlines will be able to start or end their journey comfortably on the environment-friendly train.

Star Alliance’s Intermodal Partnership model intelligently combines airlines with railways, buses, ferries, or any other transport ecosystems alliance-wide. It is designed to link loyalty systems and facilitate seamless airport/station/port transit. Star Alliance plans to expand intermodal partnerships in the future.

The new partnership between DB and Star Alliance builds on the Lufthansa Express Rail program, which has been offering the possibility of a combined ticket for flights and train rides for more than 20 years. This new program is an expansion of Lufthansa’s original initiative, as all 25 other Star Alliance member airlines will start offering this from now on. In addition, the trains included in the intermodal partnership are not conventional ones but DB’s environmentally-friendly trains. Passengers will enjoy other perks that will hopefully encourage them to opt for intermodal transportation more often.

In just one booking process, airline customers receive a combined ticket for the flight and train journeys, including seat reservations. Upon check-in – which is possible until shortly before the train departs – travelers receive their boarding passes for both the flight and the train journeys. With integrated ICE train journeys, air travelers will have even more choices based on timings, duration and prices offered.

For all bookings of combined train-flight journeys via Lufthansa Express Rail with the member airlines of the Star Alliance, points or miles can be collected for the train journeys in the preferred frequent flyer programs of the airline. In addition, Business and First-Class flight customers of Star Alliance member airlines will receive additional benefits with an LH Express Rail ticket, such as access to the DB lounges.

“With attractive inner-German connections and simultaneous links to international travel chains, Deutsche Bahn and Star Alliance make a significant contribution to reducing CO2 emissions in the transport sector,” said Michael Peterson, Board Member for Long-Distance Passenger Transport at Star Alliance. “The new partnership complements our successful cooperation with Lufthansa Express Rail, where the number of bookings has more than doubled since 2010. This is how we get more people off the plane and onto the environmentally friendly rail. In close cooperation with the airlines, we are now tackling the mobility turnaround. We are further networking our offers in such a way that we can optimally use the respective strengths of our modes of transport.”