It’s official.

As we reported last week Germany’s Deutsche Bahn becomes the first rail operator to join an airline alliance.

It must be stressed that this new linkage is effective for those customers using Frankfurt airport.

Personally I had hoped there would be more than these two benefits. Currently these are the two main ones:

  • Customers gain access to priority baggage handling and other services at Frankfurt’s AiRail’s check-in area
  • Star Alliance customers using Lufthansa Express (with a through rail-air ticket) will earn points or miles

Michael Peterson, Deutsche Bahn (DB) board member of long distance passenger transport, commented:

“From Freiburg to Singapore you only need one ticket. Our successful partnership with Lufthansa Express means bookings have doubled since 2010.”

Jeffrey Gon, CEO Star Alliance, added:

“Today brings great forces together and opens the Star Alliance’s doors beyond the airline eco system.”

Lufthansa board member Harry Hohmeister, said:

“Our partnership is unique worldwide. Once again we are pioneers in Germany for intelligently linking different types of transport. The successful Lufthansa Rail Express cooperation is an outstanding example of this.”

This development is partly down to sustainability and partly down to lessening runway congestion at Frankfurt.

It’s a development we will doubtlessly see at other major hub airports around mainland Europe who need to make more runway capacity available.

As Business Traveller has already reported there are rail-air links between carriers such as Air France, Austrian Airlines and Swiss.

One minus point, and one often mentioned by our readers, is baggage handling.

As noted above, there will be facilities after arriving at Frankfurt but passengers departing the myriad of DB stations (for Frankfurt airport) may face a task with luggage handling ;