Delta Air Lines is going to allow passengers to fly to Europe and then connect to a train all at the same time.
Last week, the Atlanta-based carrier announced an expansion of its Air + Rail service, just over a year after launching it between Amsterdam and two rail destinations in Belgium. The air/rail program is being expanded by Delta. As airlines add rail partners for European travel, it comes as a big deal.
It is the first non-airline member of Star Alliance.
If you are planning to travel to Europe in the future, be sure to check and make sure you are getting the best deal on both the air and train portions of your trip, as linking your air and rail tickets could be something to consider for the sake of simplicity.
Sometimes it was cheaper to book the flight and train trip together. The air/rail combo was comparable to the price of booking each ticket individually, with some other cases where you could have been better off booking air and rail separately.
You will want to balance price, ease of travel, and any other booking preferences when purchasing your tickets.
Air + Rail was launched by Delta. Travelers have been able to book a flight to Amsterdam with a rail connection to the Belgian cities ofBrussels or Antwerp since then.
The airline is about to greatly expand the list of destinations it serves.
There are additional air and rail options.
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Booking your air and rail ticket with an airline can be helpful because it makes things simpler. You will have a single confirmation number for your flights and trains.
You will be re- booked on a later train or plane if you run into delays at the airport or rail station. When traveling on separate itineraries for the rail and air portions of your trip, it can be difficult to re-book.
When you arrive in Europe, you will go through customs, collect your luggage and head to the station. You take the train to your final destination.
Delta will sell you the train ticket, but you can manage the train specific parts of your reservation through AccesRail. You can check in for your train trip using your Delta confirmation number at this location.
Delta passengers will travel in coach on the train, but Delta One customers will travel in the premium carriage.
You can plug in a train station in one of the eligible cities when booking your trip.
I was able to use one of the cities that are part of Delta's Air + Rail partnership. When booking, you should look for the included train.
A round trip from New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport to the Belgian city of Antwerp is $1,243 on Delta. You won't get on another plane if there's a stop at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport.
You should have plenty of time to clear customs after you arrive at Schiphol at 6:30 a.m.
I decided to use a simple round-trip flight between New York and Amsterdam to see how much the train ride would add to my plane ticket. The price increased with no train trip included. Adding a train connection made things less expensive for me.
One of the new routes is Bologna, Italy, which can be reached by train after you fly to Rome.
You will have to change trains a couple of times between Rome's Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport and the rail station in Bologna.
The round-trip flights to Rome would have been less than a hundred dollars.
You may be able to find a more direct train route if you check the rail prices aboard Delta's partner carrier in Italy.
Can you earn more Delta SkyMiles by booking your flights and trains together? Delta doesn't say so as of now. You will only be able to earn miles for the air part of your journey.
The train segment should appear on your credit card statement as an airline purchase because it's included in the total price. If you have a credit card that earns you bonus points or miles on airline purchases or Delta purchases, you may be able to earn far more by buying train tickets through Delta.
If you want to book your train tickets at the time you book airfare, Delta's Air + Rail service may be worth a look. SkyMiles won't be earned directly from riding the train, but it could make your travel itinerary simpler.
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