Star Alliance has signaled its intent to align with environmentally-friendly travel industry solutions, welcoming Deutsche Bahn (DB) as its first Intermodal Partner effective 1 August 2022.
Under the new cooperation, DB customers and passengers of Star Alliance member airlines will be able to start or end their long-distance journey on the environment-friendly train. Germany is the first market and DB is the world’s first partner in the new Star Alliance initiative.
An industry-first, Star Alliance’s Intermodal Partnership model intelligently combines airline with railway, bus, ferry or any other transport ecosystem, alliance-wide. The venture is designed to link loyalty systems and facilitate seamless airport/station/port transit.
Michael Peterson, Board Member for Long-Distance Passenger Transport said: “From Freiburg to Singapore: you only need one ticket for that. 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. 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,” Peterson said.
Commenting on the new partnership, Jeffrey Goh, CEO Star Alliance said: “Today brings great forces together and opens the Star Alliance doors beyond the airline ecosystem. Our new model for intermodal partnerships promises seamless coexistence between different modes of transport throughout the alliance.”
Harry Hohmeister, member of the board at Deutsche Lufthansa AG said: “Our partnership is unique worldwide. Once again, we are pioneers in Germany for intelligently linking different types of transport. We are creating added value for customers, for Germany as a business location, for the environment and for society. Mobility of the future means mastering challenges together. The successful Lufthansa Express Rail cooperation is an outstanding example of this – and on this foundation, we are now taking the next logical step. Our customers will benefit from this partnership more than ever before.”
The new partnership between DB and Star Alliance builds on the Lufthansa Express Rail program. Lufthansa customers have been able to buy a combined ticket for trains and flights in one booking step for more than 20 years. In the future, in addition to Lufthansa, all 25 other Star Alliance member airlines will be able to include DB’s ICE trains as flight numbers in their booking engine and customers will benefit from advantages such as:
In just one booking process, airline customers receive a combined ticket for the flight and train journeys including seat reservation. Upon check-in – which is possible until shortly before the train departs – travellers receive their boarding passes for both the flight and the train journeys.
With integrated ICE train journeys, air travellers will have even more choice based on timings, duration and prices offered.
Customers also benefit from priority baggage handling and other services in the AiRail check-in area at the Frankfurt Airport.
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.