Flying to Germany: Free Train Connections with Rail&Fly
Flying to Germany: Free Train Connections with Rail&Fly

Rail&Fly is a great perk of departing or arriving in Germany on an international flight. If you’re flying to Germany, you may be entitled to a free or discounted train trip between the airport and anywhere in Germany. You can even use the high-speed ICE trains.

The Rail&Fly benefit varies depending on the airline you’ve booked your ticket with. Some airlines give away complimentary train transfers, while others offer them at a reduced price. In some cases, the benefit is only offered for bookings originating in Germany or residents of Germany – but this is not always so.

Rail&Fly tickets can be used to travel between any German Deutsche Bahn railway station and any German international airport, as well as the airports in Salzburg or Basel. However, inner-city transport on services not operated by Deutsche Bahn (such as U-Bahn and bus services) are excluded. When arriving in Germany, the Rail&Fly transfer can be used on either the date of the flight’s arrival or the following day. When departing, it can be used either on the day of departure or the previous day.

How to book a Rail&Fly ticket

To use this deal, most airlines require you to add the Rail&Fly option to your flights at the time of booking. Some airlines also let you add it later using the airline’s “Manage Booking” portal. If you’re booking with a travel agent, they should know what to do.

Once you’ve booked the Rail&Fly add-on with your airline, you can search for train connections and print your tickets directly with Deutsche Bahn (the German railway operator).

To book a Rail&Fly ticket on the airline’s website, most airlines give you the option to select Rail&Fly/German Railway as the origin or destination. There is actually a designated airport code – “QYG” – for Rail&Fly. As an example, searching for flights from “QYG” on the Qantas website brings up many options.

How to book a Rail&Fly ticket on the Qantas website

 

An example of a Rail&Fly connection available on the Qantas website
An example of a Rail&Fly connection available on the Qantas website

The train times shown are fictitious and you’ll be able to select a suitable train connection later.

Which airlines offer Rail&Fly?

Some airlines only offer Rail&Fly to German residents or passengers with bookings originating in Germany. This is the case for Qantas, Emirates, American Airlines and Singapore Airlines, among others.

Other airlines, including Japan Airlines, Korean Air, China Airlines and Etihad, offer this service to overseas passengers travelling to Germany as well.

Most airlines do not offer this if you’ve booked your flight using frequent flyer points. Some also exclude discounted fare classes. In the case of Emirates, the service is only free for passengers with Flex fares – but it is still available for a reduced price of €19 to other passengers.

German airline Lufthansa offers this to anyone with an international flight, however the service is not free. With Lufthansa, second class train tickets are available for €34 each way. The price is doubled for First Class. This can still be a reasonable deal if you’re travelling a long distance.

Rail&Fly is also offered by selected airlines when travelling to or from airports in Switzerland or the Netherlands. If you wish to use this offer, we recommend you check with your airline before booking your flights.

Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: Rail Fly Germany Assistance please

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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

You can contact Matt at [email protected]