Now that restrictions have dropped and travel demand to Europe is at an all-time high, Delta is boosting service in the region. Just this week, it announced it will start offering one-ticket rail connections to as much as 20 new destinations across the continent, making it easier for Americans to explore lesser-known destinations they currently can’t fly nonstop to.
This year, Europe is hotter than ever, especially after lawmakers and health officials in Brussels decided it was time to move on from the health crisis and reinstate normality. Currently, all but one European country have lifted their anti-tourism measures, and U.S. citizens are again welcome in the vast majority of countries without any of the old stringent rules.
Now, Delta is helping them reach European gems further inland that would generally require at least two different bookings, on a single Delta ticket:
The Popularity Of Multi-Modal Travel Grows
As the so-called ‘multi-modal’ travel method sees a rise in popularity, Delta is quickly expanding routes into Europe via its Air+Rail program. The name is pretty self explanatory: it allows passengers to transfer smoothly from flights to trains in order to reach select destinations that either do not have an airport, or the company doesn’t fly to, without booking multiple tickets.
Although they are not nearly as popular in the U.S., trains are a vital park of Europe’s connectivity, so much that they are investing heavily on high tech sleeper trains set to launch next summer. Many bucket list destinations across the Old World are served almost exclusively by rail, and investment in this modality of transport is increasing.
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Moreover, it is a well-known fact a traveler’s journey doesn’t end at their point of landing. Arriving to countless cities in Europe, visitors normally need to book secondary train tickets, or even arrange a private transfer in order to get to the city center or their final destination. Delta is proposing to fully scrap the need for that.
Five Airports Will Serve As Connecting Hubs To 20 More Cities For Delta
As part of the Air+Rail program, Delta customers can easily add their onward journey to their flight booking. For those flying first class, or how Delta calls it, ‘Delta One’, they needn’t worry about a potential discontinuation in quality of the services provided, as they are automatically entitled to ‘First Class’ rail travel.
Once landing in Europe, those participating can retrieve their bags from the baggage collection area and simply proceed to the airport’s train station (numerous airports in Europe operate as hubs for numerous cities and have direct links to more than one destination). Arriving at the station, they can board their scheduled train presenting their Air+Rail code.
The airports where the program is available are the following:
- Brussels Airport
- Manchester Airport
- Rome Fiumicino Airport
- Zurich Airport
- Geneva Airport
Landing in Brussels, U.S. customers signing up to the Air+Travel program will have direct rail links to the nearby Dutch cities of Breda and Rotterdam, in the Netherlands, via operator SCNB. Manchester, on the other hand, will serve up to seven cities within the U.K. Those have not been specified, but we’re assuming they are located in Northern England, and perhaps Scotland.
As for Rome, routes have been added to four other Italian cities via Trenitalia. Among those, Bologna and Florence have been named as major destinations. Lastly, in either Geneva or Zurich, train operator SBB is supporting customers heading to seven other cities, including Bern and Lausanne, where year-round commercial flights are not routinely available.
How To Use Your Delta Air+Rail Ticket
Train tickets can be printed in advance or displayed on your Delta booking section, preferably with a QR code. Alternatively, they can be collected from the ticket office, though we would advise our TOP readers to have them in hand as long lines have begun to form in certain European airports due to the resumption of air travel.
In order to receive their train boarding pass before landing, Delta requests that customers access this platform up to 72 hours in advance. Should a flight be delayed, a genuine concern for tourists in Europe this year, the train segment of the journey will remain valid for up to 72 hours after the original scheduled time.
Delta advises those who miss a scheduled train to contact the Service Desk at the train station, irrespective of their final destination, so they can be assisted and obtain a new printed ticket. As the company puts it, customers should have ‘peace of mind’, seeing that, regardless of disruption, ‘they will be able to travel on the next available train or flight‘.
Alain Bellemaire, the President of Delta International, was quoted saying ‘building more air+rail connections into our schedule provides a greater choice of destinations for our customers‘. This includes cities not served by Delta or their European partners, such as the Switzerland’s de facto capital, Bern, the Dutch industrial port of Rotterdam, and England’s picturesque York.
You can read more about the program accessing this link.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com