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United Airlines Launches Intermodal Partnership with Deutsche Bahn

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James Larounis
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James Larounis

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James (Jamie) started The Forward Cabin blog to educate readers about points, miles, and loyalty programs. He’s spoken at Princeton University and The New York Times Travel Show and has been quoted in...
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Keri Stooksbury

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With years of experience in corporate marketing and as the Executive Director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Qatar, Keri is now Editor-in-Chief at UP, overseeing daily content operations and r...

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If you’re traveling on United Airlines through Frankfurt (FRA), you’ll now be able to utilize Deutsche Bahn, the national railway of Germany, to continue your journey to a variety of smaller cities. The initiative, which has previously been launched with other Star Alliance carriers, is now expanding to United Airlines in an effort to create an intermodal transportation link.

How It Works

There are hundreds of small towns dotted along the German countryside, but most travelers fly into one of Germany’s main airports, such as Frankfurt, and then have to either drive or purchase a separate train ticket to their final destination.

Thanks to a new intermodal partnership with Deutsche Bahn, here’s what United flyers will be able to enjoy:

  • You’ll be able to purchase a single itinerary to include rail and flight without having to purchase multiple tickets.
    • When you check in with United in the U.S. for travel to Germany, you’ll receive your United boarding pass and your Deutsche Bahn ticket.
    • When you check in with Deutsche Bahn in Germany, you’ll receive your ticket as well as your United Airlines boarding pass.
  • You’ll be protected if something goes wrong. If your United flight delays, for example, you’ll be placed on the next available Deutsche Bahn train. Similarly, if the train is delayed, you’ll be protected on the next United flight.
  • United business class and first class flyers will be able to enjoy Deutsche Bahn lounges.
  • United flyers will earn MileagePlus miles on the Deutsche Bahn rail segments of the trip.
Deutsche Bahn train with Star Alliance plane
Image Credit: Deutsche Bahn AG / Star Alliance

A similar arrangement is available with other Star Alliance carriers, such as Lufthansa, SWISS, and Austrian.

Currently, you’ll be able to travel to and from these rail stations, though it’s worth noting that more are being added:

  • Aachen HBF – XHJ
  • Augsburg – AGY
  • Basel – ZBA
  • Berlin HBF – QPP
  • Bremen – DHC
  • Cologne/Bonn, Cologne HBF – QKL
  • Dortmund HBF – DTZ
  • Dresden – XIR
  • Düsseldorf HBF – QDU
  • Erfurt – XIU
  • Freiburg – QFB
  • Göttingen – ZEU
  • Hamburg HBF – ZMB
  • Hannover HBF – ZVR
  • Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden – KJR
  • Kassel Wilhelmshöhe – KWQ
  • Leipzig HBF – XIT
  • Mannheim – MHJ
  • Munich HBF – ZMU
  • Munster – MKF
  • Nuremberg – ZAQ
  • Osnabrück – ZPE
  • Siegburg/Bonn – ZPY
  • Stuttgart HBF – ZWS
  • Ulm – QUL
  • Würzburg – QWU

United previously had a partnership with Amtrak in the U.S., though this partnership was discontinued several years ago. Across the globe, more carriers are partnering with ground transport providers, as they know that many people are traveling well beyond the airport’s city.

Hot Tip:

To book one of these journeys including air and rail, simply type in the rail station code as your final destination city and you’ll be presented with the entire itinerary.

Final Thoughts

If you’re traveling to or from select cities in Germany, United has partnered with Deutsche Bahn to offer seamless connections to trains. This is a really exciting partnership as you’ll be able to truly end up at your final destination, or start your journey in one of many small towns, without having to worry about extra tickets or methods of transport.

James Larounis's image

About James Larounis

James (Jamie) started The Forward Cabin blog to educate readers about points, miles, and loyalty programs. He’s spoken at Princeton University and The New York Times Travel Show and has been quoted in dozens of travel publications.

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