Plane – Train union, new defenders of intermodality

Concerned about the experience of their travelers, from the first to the last mile, airlines and railways now want to act hand in hand. Thus, with the emergence of the need for intermodality expressed by transport users, Deutsche Bahn wishes to get in tune and announced at the end of May the beginning of a partnership with Vueling. This famous Spanish airline will allow the implementation of an intermodal platform. At the same time, France is not left behind. Knowing that more and more airlines are offering a “train + plane” ticket system to their French users, SNCF Voyageurs is renewing its partnership with SITA…

DB signs intermodality agreement with Vueling

We can say that the partnership is not limited to Vueling, since it uses a platform called Dohop. It is an intelligent travel search engine to plan flights, hotels, and rental cars. Dohop through Vueling will allow users to book intermodal trips, combining air and rail, and thus linking them to the main German cities. And all this with just 1 ticket.

This agreement in favor of intermodality is a way for these two travel leaders to take another step towards eco-friendly tourism, from the first to the last mile. Vueling joins a growing list of transportation companies that are turning to intermodal travel solutions, known as “Air+Train tickets”. In Europe alone, we find Lufthansa, which offers Frankfurt – Cologne connections with DB; KLM, which is partnering with Thalys and will connect Brussels to Schiphol as of July 2022; or SNCF, which is partnering with Air France and offers the “Air&Rail” program serving more than 14 major cities.

On the other side of the Atlantic, we notice an increase in the number of American Airlines that finally recognize the value and interest of rail travel in Europe. It is Delta Air Lines that dared to take the first step, by instituting a beginning of a collaboration with Thalys.

SNCF Voyageurs reconnects with its partners thanks to SITA

On the French side, knowing that more and more airlines are offering a “train + plane” ticketing system to their users, SNCF Voyageurs announced the renewal of its partnership with SITA, to provide its airline partners, such as Air France, with more support and intermodal solutions. A technology provider of air transport information and communications, SITA innovates every day to make intermodal travel safer, easier, and more sustainable.

This collaboration allows SITA’s back-office technologies to be integrated with those of SNCF’s airline partners, with greater security and transparency. Unlike Dohop, which offers direct booking and scheduling, SITA provides optimization solutions for these operators’ platforms. The only change is that the SITA solution will now take the form of an API, in order to considerably improve the reservation process of the “Train+Air” service available in more than 20 major French stations.

More concretely, the SNCF will have access to :

  • First and foremost, a more intuitive flight reservation process;
  • Facilitating the collection and transmission of passenger data, always in compliance with data protection laws;
  • The training time for SNCF agents has been considerably reduced, thus saving time
  • Finally, the elimination of certain internal pre-configurations of the systems, considered too complex.

In short…

We see that these collaborations for smoother, more seamless, intermodal travel are just beginning, and the best is yet to come. As we have seen, the U.S. is also starting to take a close interest in our intermodal solutions in Europe. Perhaps new alliances like the MoU IATA and UIC will emerge across the mobility world, beyond Europe. If you don’t know what we’re talking about, here’s an article that will enlighten you:

“IATA and UIC join forces to develop a multimodal air-rail ticketing system”