vfw614 From Germany, joined Dec 2001, 3772 posts, RR: 5 Reply 1, posted (7 months 3 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 5869 times:
I think these are just existing regular trains that have always travelled between Cologne and Düsseldorf. They simply get a designated AiRail compartment. These reason why they chose those particular trains is because they do not go via Cologne central station which saves a lot of times.
The more interesting question is - is this the beginning of the end for flights from DUS to FRA? The AiRail service from Cologne quickly ended flights from CGN to FRA (in contrast to the Stuttgart / Frankfurt market where Lufthansa still offers flights and AiRail).
DUSint From Germany, joined Apr 2013, 153 posts, RR: 0 Reply 2, posted (7 months 3 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 5814 times:
Personally, I appreciate this as a good solution, from an ecologic, but also economic point of view.
However, there are some reasons that lead me to think that the train flight-numbers are more like a complementary offer, at least for the near future:
There are for sure many foreign travellers going through FRA to DUS (with any star alliance carrier) who would prefer a connecting flight over a train ride, even if it does not save any time. It is more a point of convenience - no need to accommodate to another transportation system... Just proceed to your gate at FRA (or vice versa at DUS).
vfw614 From Germany, joined Dec 2001, 3772 posts, RR: 5 Reply 3, posted (7 months 3 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 5560 times:
While I understand your point, this did not stop LH from axing flights from FRA to CGN. And for many passengers there is the option to connect with a flight when transiting through MUC or ZRH instead of FRA.
DUSint From Germany, joined Apr 2013, 153 posts, RR: 0 Reply 4, posted (7 months 3 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 5392 times:
I see your point, too.
For the sake of my argument, I would add that CGN has not even half the pax numbers per year of DUS.
Also, because of the distance (or the lack of) between Cologne and Frankfurt a flight would be even more ridiculous. By train it takes you about 45 min. But then again, where to draw the line here...?
However, my point is, that there will be LH-trains and flights, so everyone can choose.
eljas From Singapore, joined Mar 2013, 32 posts, RR: 0 Reply 5, posted (7 months 3 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 4449 times:
Does the AiRail service allow passengers to check baggage at Köln / Düsseldorf rail stations through to LH (or other airline) flights out of FRA, or do passengers need to collect bags when they get to FRA and check them in again? It seems to me this would be an important factor for passengers when choosing the train over a flight.
Certainly for O&D passengers, flying between 2 cities so close together with such a fast rail link between them seems pointless. Trains can carry more people faster, cheaper, in more comfort with less hassle, and are much greener. It's the same in other parts of Europe, for example London to Paris/Brussels, with excellent high speed rail, flights become obsolete unless you're connecting. FRA is ahead in terms of train travel, unlike LHR or CDG it has it's own long distance train station.
vfw614 From Germany, joined Dec 2001, 3772 posts, RR: 5 Reply 7, posted (7 months 3 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 3146 times:
Quoting eljas (Reply 5): Does the AiRail service allow passengers to check baggage at Köln / Düsseldorf rail stations through to LH (or other airline) flights out of FRA, or do passengers need to collect bags when they get to FRA and check them in again? It seems to me this would be an important factor for passengers when choosing the train over a flight.
It used to be like that (ckecking-in and collecting bags at Cologne central station, including customs clearance), but Lufthansa stopped that a couple of years ago (can't remember exactly the reason why - might have been the small number of passengers using it). It then changed to checking-in/collecting bags at a dedicated area at Frankfurt airport railway station (not the general check-in/baggage reclaim area). So it means you have got to haul your bags on/off the train yourself and have to find a place to store it. Lufthansa kept check-in counters at Cologne central station after the above-described changes, but moved to a smaller office as space for baggage reclaim / customs was no longer required. This will change soon as well as there will only be self check-in machines in the future and no more customer service agents. I guess it will be the same at Duesseldorf central station, so it will be a minimal investment. The only real advantage left then is that you have a confirmed connection when using AiRail in case of train delays (and you get miles).
flyingalex From Germany, joined Jul 2010, 1013 posts, RR: 0 Reply 9, posted (7 months 3 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 2592 times:
Quoting vfw614 (Reply 7): The only real advantage left then is that you have a confirmed connection when using AiRail in case of train delays
I agree, this is pretty much the only advantage left, but it is an important one. Especially on the high-speed track from Cologne. That line sees a higher than average number of delays due to Unfälle mit Personenschaden ("accidents with damage to persons") which is DB-speak for "suicides". People assume that jumping in front of a train travelling at 300+kph will kill more reliably than jumping in front of a train travelling at 120kph (it makes no difference).
I have twice been on trains involved in such an incident, and had I been travelling to FRA for a flight, I would definitely have missed it.
Also, collecting your checked luggage at the rail terminal rather than at the main baggage claim can be very handy. If you arrive at Hall C, for example, it is a very long walk to the station. Doing it without bags is much easier, especially if you've just arrived at stupid o'clock on an overnight longhaul.
Public service announcement: "It's" = "it is". To indicate posession, write "its." Looks wrong, but it's correct grammar
vfw614 From Germany, joined Dec 2001, 3772 posts, RR: 5 Reply 10, posted (7 months 3 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 2506 times:
AiRail comes in handy when departing via FRA as it gives added security in case of train delays. When arriving, however, it is a different story. The disadvantage then is that you have to wait for your booked AiRail train, whereas with Rail&Fly you can simply hop on the next of the frequent trains from FRA to Cologne/Duesseldorf. If your flight arrives early - like many long-haul flights - this can result in quite a lenghty wait at the rail station, with quite a few trains going on your destination's direction passing by which you are not allowed to use.
PanHAM From Germany, joined May 2005, 8341 posts, RR: 26 Reply 11, posted (7 months 3 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 2126 times:
7 trains with LH flight number per day will not make flights obsolete. It is a complimentary service helping to make flights between DUS and FRA more economical. Using the trains that do not call at CGN cenztraöl station give it a faster total transit time.
looking at the flights, the seat capacity is drastically reduced from üprevious yearswith 737 and A319 the largest aircraft. Switching low yield to trains does make sense. But giving up flights totally would be a competetive dis-advantage against the main competition.
vfw614 From Germany, joined Dec 2001, 3772 posts, RR: 5 Reply 12, posted (7 months 3 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 2051 times:
I guess the difference between DUS and CGN is that CGN lacks decent competition for star alliance when it comes to hub feed. There are only 240 seats a day by KLM to AMS if someone really wants to avoid trains via FRA (the daily AF flight to CDG is pretty useless). The rest is feed to MUC, ZRH and VIE by Star Alliance. No oneworld service to LHR or MAD and no longhaul flights either. So it is either the train to FRA to a Star Alliance feeder flight to other hubs than FRA.