Star Alliance is expanding its membership as the German rail operator Deutsche Bahn will be joining as the first non-airline partner in the new Star Alliance initiative.
As an industry first, Star Alliance’s intermodal partnership model will combine airlines with the railway, bus, ferry, and other transport ecosystems to facilitate passenger transits at airports, train stations, and ports across the world.
This means travelers would only need 1 ticket that would include travel from their local train or bus station to their final destination via partner airlines.
Let’s take a look at how this will work …
First Intermodal Partner of Star Alliance
Starting August 1, 2022, Deutsche Bahn (DB) will be the first intermodal partner of Star Alliance.
“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. We welcome Deutsche Bahn as our first intermodal partner to Star Alliance” said Jeffrey Goh, CEO of Star Alliance.
As part of the new cooperation, passengers can book a comfortable, climate-friendly, high-speed ICE train as part of the beginning or end of their flight itinerary. The Lufthansa Express Rail has been connecting air and rail passengers for 20 years, so this will be an expansion of that success in Germany and beyond.
“From Freiburg to Singapore: you only need one ticket for that,” said Michael Peterson, Board Member for Long-Distance Passenger Transport.
While this new partnership is focusing on connecting airline passengers with railway systems to start, travelers can expect bus, ferry, and other transport options in the future.
Star Alliance Customer Benefits
While this partnership will be limited to passengers passing through Frankfurt (FRA) to start, the idea is to help streamline the booking process before travel and the transit process during travel throughout the Star Alliance partner network.
That means that Star Alliance passengers will be able to:
- Receive a combined ticket for the flight and train legs, including seat reservations
- During check-in, receive both plane and train boarding passes for the entire journey
- Have access to priority baggage handling (and other services) in the AiRail check-in area at the Frankfurt Airport
- Earn points or miles for the train-flight journeys (including Lufthansa Express Rail) and credit them to their preferred frequent flyer program
- Receive additional benefits when on a business or first-class airline ticket and traveling on LH Express Rail, including access to DB lounges
It is always good to see airlines trying to improve the travel experience for passengers, this is no exception.
Airline and rail companies have long had relationships throughout Europe, so this is the first step to expanding the reach of those partnerships so that more travelers around the globe can enjoy the benefits.
Although the perks and elite benefits are limited, as are the participating airports (for now), this intermodal partnership should make travel easier for most passengers who need to get beyond the airport and want to do so by rail.
Featured Image Credit:
Deutsche Bahn AG / Star Alliance