Passenger services / distribution technology provider WorldTicket (W2) combines its Global Distribution System (GDS) W2 aggregation product with the intermodal interline and Rail & Fly sharing code of railway operator Deutsche Bahn.
Code-sharing also includes seat reservation options, making travel easier and more convenient for passengers connecting between air and rail services.
As a result, passengers will be able to easily book rail and air travel on the same route, adding train tickets for Deutsche Bahn to air routes with more than 50 global carriers with a full range of services such as Cathay Pacific, China Airlines, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, Lufthansa, LATAM, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways, Vietnam Airlines and others.
The solution was well received by customers as it provides improvements as well as benefits. For example, before the WorldTicket system, airlines had to process incoming invoices from Deutsche Bahn, which can be a cumbersome process. They are now integrated via WorldTicket, making higher processing volumes possible.
Expanding the scope of airlines with the help of rail transport
Deutsche Bahn’s Rail & Fly is a flexible train ticket to and from the airport. Passengers can combine international airline tickets with train travel to or from the airport via multimodal routes, which can be found at participating airlines or travel agencies such as Expedia, Opodo and Etraveli, and travel aggregators such as Skyscanner
A new check-in page has also been introduced, offering early check-in for passengers. Once the check-in is completed, the barcode can be downloaded to a smart phone and shown to the conductor on the train.
This gives passengers the flexibility and ability to send more information about when their journey will start if they are booked with the code.
Peer Winter, vice president of commercial development at WorldTicket, said: “Airlines are improving their physical network using Deutsche Bahn’s power line. For example, flying to Germany’s largest center, Frankfurt, they can expand their network to other major German cities such as Munich, Hamburg, Dusseldorf, Berlin and more.
“Rail & Fly benefits travel agencies because they use the QYG code (all over Germany), which reserves feeder services from every German train station to their point of departure.” Rail & Fly encourages travel from all German stations to all major airports in Germany and other European airports – Basel, Salzburg, Amsterdam, Brussels and Zurich. Passengers book feeder services from every German train station to the respective airport.
Reduction of emissions from domestic flights
High-speed rail services planned by interline and code-sharing products are an environmentally friendly alternative to routes that are normally covered by domestic flights, such as Stuttgart to Frankfurt Airport and Dusseldorf to Frankfurt Airport.
Winter says: “Many of our WorldTicket products are focused on helping airlines expand their global reach without adding complexity and risk.
“Local carriers and airlines can outsource part or all of GDS to WorldTicket. Local carriers can reinvest what they save in terms of distribution costs in marketing efforts. We also work with carriers that use our global ticketing solution to bring core processes to distant markets.
It is possible for travel agents to use GDS, such as Amadeus, Saber and Travelport, to offer multimodal routes, which are “W2 flight numbers” operated by Deutsche Bahn.
Winter added: “Due to climate change, the German government’s policy of subsidizing the railway sector and the imposition of high aviation taxes, flights on domestic routes in Germany are becoming more challenging for airlines.
“Our intermodal option makes a lot of sense, as airlines can remain competitive and contribute to an environmental strategy by helping to reduce the carbon footprint of their passengers.