Lufthansa Now Offers A Train For All Domestic Frankfurt Feeder Flights

German flag carrier Lufthansa now offers a rail option of all domestic feeder flights bound for its main Frankfurt hub. The move makes it easier for environmentally-conscious travelers to cut their emissions when traveling from somewhere other than a significant Lufthansa hub.

Lufthansa, Train Service, Feeder Services
Lufthansa now offers a train connection on all of its domestic feeder routes. Photo: Getty Images

Sustainability has become a hot topic within the aviation industry, with many avenues to cut the sector’s emissions being explored. Some argue that a train should replace a plane on flights where feasible, and while this doesn’t suit everybody, the option does seem to be growing in popularity. easyJet, for example, avoids routes where a train takes three hours or less.

Deutsche Bahn for domestic trips?

Lufthansa revealed that it is now possible to book a connecting itinerary for each of its domestic feeder flights where the domestic portion is on a Deutsche Bahn train. These train journeys complement the domestic flights rather than replacing them, meaning passengers still choose how they wish to travel.

Train vs. Plane: Which option wins?

While looking at a specific example, Hamburg to London on January 3rd, booking a one-stop itinerary with a train portion for €280 is possible. As it is a single booking, the airline will accommodate a missed connection due to a delayed train. The itinerary takes eight hours and 21 minutes as follows,

  • LH 3725 – Hamburg Train Station (ZMB) 13:24 – Frankfurt Airport (FRA) 17:18 – 03h54m
  • LH 920 – Frankfurt Airport (FRA) 20:00 – London Heathrow (LHR) 20:45 – 01h45m
Lufthansa, Train Service, Feeder Services
The train service departs from Hamburg Hauptbahnhof. Photo:

There is also a flight option to connect with LH 920. At the time of writing, this was listed from €206.23. The total itinerary takes three and three-quarter hours as follows,

  • LH 029 – Hamburg Airport (HAM) 18:00 – Frankfurt Airport (FRA) 19:10 – 01h10m
  • LH 920 – Frankfurt Airport (FRA) 20:00 – London Heathrow (LHR) 20:45 – 01h45m
Lufthansa, Train Service, Feeder Services
The feeder flight is cheaper and faster than the train. Photo:

It is also worth noting that a direct Eurowings flight from Hamburg to London operates at 07:20 with ticket prices starting from €125, while cheaper flight connections in Munich are also possible.

Given this specific example, it seems that the plane would be preferable for all except those looking to cut their emissions. The flight is cheaper and faster, and connecting passengers arrive in Frankfurt airside. Those who arrive by train still need to check their luggage and clear security.

Read more: Why Lufthansa Isn’t Worried About Germany’s Green Party

Time-focused travelers are unlikely to choose the train given the option, but money-focused travelers may be swayed if the train itinerary worked out cheaper.

Will the train ever replace the plane?

France is taking steps to block domestic flights that could easily be undertaken by train. It seems unlikely at this point in time that the same would become true in Germany.

Lufthansa, Train Service, Feeder Services
Lufthansa isn’t worried about trains replacing planes any time soon. Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying

Commenting on the matter earlier this year, Lufthansa’s CEO, Carsten Spohr, revealed,

“For those of you who have been following the decision of this French Government, if that same ruling would have been adapted to Germany, which means no domestic flight unless there are connecting passengers onboard, and unless it takes more than two and a half hours to replace that flights by train, only one domestic route in Germany would’ve been stopped, which is Dusseldorf – Stuttgart”

Would you opt to take a train instead of a plane? Let us know what you think and why in the comments!