Rail&Fly is a train ticket deal between Deutsche Bahn and some airlines (including Lufthansa & airberlin) for cheap train transportation to German airports.
Passengers on international flights can save on train transportation from and to airports in Germany when using the special Rail&Fly train ticket. Rail & Fly allows passengers on international flights to continue their journeys from the airport to any train station in Germany for a mere €29 (€49 in first class). Lufthansa, Germanwings, airberlin, and many other airlines participate in the Rail&Fly program while British Airways, EasyJet, and Ryanair do not offer passengers this cheap train to airport transportation ticket on flights to Germany.
Save with Rail&Fly Tickets on Train Fares to Airports in Germany
Rail&Fly ticket holders pay only €29 (€49 in first class) for train transportation between any airport and any railway station in Germany. This is a superb deal for passengers that qualify: one-way ICE full-fare tickets from Frankfurt International Airport to other German cities are for example €57 to Stuttgart, €61 to Cologne (Köln), €91 to Munich (München), and €116 to Berlin. In fact, €29 will only get travelers to Heidelberg on a full-fare one-way train ticket from Frankfurt Airport.
Basic Conditions of the Rail&Fly Train to Airport Ticket in Germany
Not all travelers qualify for Rail&Fly savings. Rail&Fly tickets are sold only by participating airlines and not by German Railways. These airlines may add further conditions to the purchase and use of Rail&Fly tickets – see below.
Basic conditions of the Rail&Fly train to airport ticket in Germany include:
- Only participating airlines sell Rail&Fly tickets. Major German airlines Lufthansa, airberlin, Germanwings, Condor, and LTU participate as well as numerous other airlines from all over the world.
- Rail&Fly tickets are only available to passengers on international flights. Furthermore flights from Amsterdam, Basel, Brussels, Paris, Salzburg, Vienna (Wien), and Zurich (Zürich) are usually excluded.
- Rail&Fly tickets are valid on all German Railways (DB Deutsche Bahn) trains but not on TGV Thalys trains, the DB Autozug, or private networks. On night trains and Sprinter trains a supplement is payable. Seat reservations are possible but cost extra and only essential on a few ICE Sprinter trains.
- Rail & Fly tickets are valid on the same day as the international flight as well as on the day prior to departure, or the day after arrival.
- Rail&Fly tickets are not valid on city buses, trams, or U-Bahn metro trains with the exception of some services where a direct train link is not available to the particular airport. For example, Rail&Fly ticket holders may only use bus TXL from Berlin-Tegel Airport to Berlin Hauptbahnhof (and not beyond), tram 6 to Bremen Airport, and U-Bahn U2 to Nuremberg Airport. S-Bahn trains may commonly be used between the airport and main stations.
- Rail&Fly tickets are available to virtually all German airports with the notable exception of Frankfurt-Hahn Airport (HHN), which does not have a railway station nearby.
Further Airline Conditions on Rail&Fly Train to Airport Tickets in Germany
Individual airlines may set further conditions on the sale and use of Rail&Fly train to airport tickets. Notable individual airline conditions relate to the time of sale, types of tickets, and children policies.
Each individual airline may set own policies on when, how, and for which flights Rail&Fly tickets are sold. Rail&Fly tickets must usually be bought at the same time the flight reservation is made. (Germanwings is a notable exception that allows Rail&Fly tickets to be added later.) Lufthansa sells Rail&Fly tickets with award travel while most airlines do not.
Individual airlines use different kinds of tickets. A physical ticket is commonly available but some use a numbered voucher that must be exchanged for a ticket at a DB train ticket vending machine in Germany. (Ticket collection is possible within 72 h prior to the initial journey.) Increasingly, tickets can be printed at home like any plane e-ticket.
Children under 6 usually travel for free on Deutsche Bahn trains, as do children up to 14 when accompanied by a parent or grandparent and confirmed on the ticket at time of purchase. However, with Rail&Fly airlines may place their own conditions on accompanying children. Lufthansa sticks to the basic Deutsche Bahn formula but airberlin has 12 year as the cut-off date for free travel, while children older than two pay full fare when using Germanwings’ Rail&Fly tickets.
Buying Rail&Fly Train to German Airport Tickets Online
Only a few airlines allow Rail&Fly tickets to be bought with online reservations and these further follow different procedures. The following booking procedures are applicable to Germany’s three main airlines:
- Lufthansa has a link to Deutsche Bahn at the final step of the online reservation process – miss the link and there is no second change to by Rail&Fly. This link send users to Deutsche Bahn’s website – make a train reservation here (although any train may be used for actual travel) and select special tariffs (Sparangebote) where the Rail&Fly tariff will be available. Buy and print the ticket and remember to carry the appropriate identification form on the train. (Open-jaw tickets and for trains more than 89 days in advance cannot be bought online from Lufthansa but are available for bookings by phone or through a travel agent. Lufthansa Rail&Fly tickets bought online cannot be refunded or altered even if the flight ticket is fully refundable.)
- Germanwings allows for Rail&Fly tickets to be bought online and printed out even after the reservation process have been completed.
- Airberlin allows Rail&Fly tickets to be bought as part of the normal flight ticket online reservation process. Rail&Fly tickets may not be added later on. It is usually necessary to pick up a physical ticket from a German Railways ticket machine.
For travelers not qualifying for Rail & Fly tickets, Deutsche Bahn has many further savings deals that may help to reduce the price of traveling to the airport in Germany, especially when only regional trains are used, e.g. Ländertickets, Schönes Wochenende, Bahncard savings, and German Rail passes for foreign tourists.