Key Points:

  • United Airlines collaborates with Deutsche Bahn under Star Alliance’s intermodal partnership to offer rail connections from 25 cities to Frankfurt for U.S. flights.

  • The partnership provides a unified ticketing system for rail and air travel, including priority services and MileagePlusSM benefits.

  • Enhanced flexibility and travel options for passengers, with protection against delays and cancellations, and access to Deutsche Bahn lounges.

United Airlines Enhances Transatlantic Connectivity with Deutsche Bahn

United Airlines has announced its participation in Star Alliance’s intermodal partnership with German rail operator Deutsche Bahn (DB), in collaboration with its transatlantic joint venture partner Lufthansa. Beginning November 22, United’s passengers traveling from 25 German cities and Basel, Switzerland, to Frankfurt Airport can utilize DB’s railway system to seamlessly connect to their flights to the United States. This integration reflects United's commitment to providing more convenient and flexible travel options for passengers journeying across the Atlantic.

Streamlined Rail and Air Travel Experience

Under this new collaboration, travelers will benefit from a simplified travel process. Passengers flying from United hubs in New York/Newark, Chicago O’Hare, Washington Dulles, Houston, Denver, and San Francisco to Germany will have the ease of a combined fare on a single ticket, streamlining their journey. This initiative, building upon the Star Alliance “intermodal partnership” model introduced in July 2022, will enable passengers to receive boarding passes for both train journeys and flights at the time of check-in, enhancing the overall travel experience. Moreover, the partnership ensures priority baggage handling and other exclusive services, such as dedicated AiRail check-in at Frankfurt Airport.

Frequent Flyer Benefits and Special Protection Measures

United Airlines' MileagePlusSM members stand to gain additional advantages, as they can now earn miles for rail travel when booked on a combined rail and flight ticket. Recognizing the common occurrences of delays and cancellations in the German railway system, this partnership offers special protection to mitigate travel disruptions. Eligible passengers will also enjoy access to Deutsche Bahn lounges, providing an added layer of comfort and convenience.

United Airlines SVP Global Network Planning and Alliances Patrick Quayle highlighted the significant benefits of this collaboration, stating, “This new collaboration will give our guests more travel options and additional flexibility, as they can easily connect 25 cities across Germany with the United States via a convenient transfer at Frankfurt Airport—all with just a single ticket.” Star Alliance VP of Corporate Strategy Renato Ramos echoed these sentiments, emphasizing the importance of such initiatives in promoting collaborative transportation solutions.