[PDF] ACRP REPORT 4. Ground Access to Major Airports by Public Transportation AIRPORT COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM

Integrated Baggage and Ticketing Strategies

PHOTO: M. A. Coogan.

Figure 5-10. This off-site terminal in Cologne is one of only two locations in the world to offer full airline baggage claim service and inbound customs clearance.

flights. In their place, Air France sells tickets from the Brussels high-speed rail station to the traveler’s final airport destination, substituting a fast train to Charles de Gaulle Airport in place of the deleted Brussels–Paris flight segment. Baggage check-in is allowed until 20 minutes prior to the train departure time. Bags are handed over to the airline in Brussels but are then reclaimed on the rail platform at the airport; the traveler must then re-check them at Charles de Gaulle Airport. (Perhaps importantly, an attempt to provide the reverse of this service, encouraging French travelers to access international flights through direct rail service to Brussels Airport, was not a success.) What Is Happening in Cologne and Stuttgart? The Lufthansa terminals in both the Cologne and Stuttgart train stations have been given full-fledged IATA three-letter codes: tickets are sold to and from these terminals, and baggage is both checked in and delivered to these terminals. A single air + rail ticket is sold, in which the rail segment appears in the booking/reservation systems as a “flight.” The actual number of travelers who choose to take the train to access Frankfurt Airport from Cologne is reported to be quite high. However, the portion of those who select a joint air + rail ticket is quite low, as most travelers choose to buy a rail ticket separately form the air ticket. Similarly, the number of travelers who choose to part with their bags at either Cologne or Stuttgart stations is quite low (Figure 5-11). Some analysts believe the baggage service will be phased out. The managers of the combined systems must contend with the fact that no one airline has a monopoly for the many origin–destination pairs. By way of example, Air France ended all flights between Brussels and Paris, and offered high-quality rail trips between Brussels and Charles de Gaulle Airport for a trip from, say, Brussels to New York. However, the free market offers alternatives; the traveler can purchase a ticket from Brussels to New York via Frankfurt or London without having to experience the rail segment.

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