No, This Isn’t a Joke: Deutsche Bahn (DB German Rail) To Become The Next Star Alliance Member


Sometimes I wonder if the news of the day is straight out of a satire magazine and so it happened yesterday evening when it was announced that Deutsche Bahn, Germany’s national railway operator will become a Star Alliance member.

This was reported by all mainstream German news outlets so it must be firm now, though there are no details yet what this partnership will entail.

According to some news reports, coming Monday will be the day that more details about the depth of the membership and how an airline alliance will be tied to a national rail carrier, let alone Star Alliance frequent flyer status and associated benefits.

According to the Tagesschau the membership has been in the works for some time and the invitation to join has now been formalized.

Deutsche Bahn is the first company outside the aviation industry to join the Star Alliance. In the alliance, air and rail travel should be better networked in the future.

Deutsche Bahn is the first company outside the aviation industry to become a partner in an international airline alliance.

According to several news agencies, an invitation was extended today, according to which Deutsche Bahn and Star Alliance want to seal their membership next Monday. A “new intermodal partnership” is to be presented in Frankfurt. This should set “a strong signal for the mobility turnaround”. The combined use of flight and train should be improved by joining the alliance.

Deutsche Lufthansa and Deutsche Bahn are already working together on the German transport market and are offering joint tickets.

This service could also be opened up to the customers of the other Alliance members. Star Alliance boss Jeffrey Goh indicated a few weeks ago that a company from outside the industry would join the alliance. Goh, DB board member Michael Peterson and Lufthansa board member Harry Hohmeister want to announce details of the cooperation on Monday.

DB Deutsche Bahn does indeed have a loyalty program called BahnBonus and I’m extremely interested if members of this program will be assigned Star Alliance Gold Status.

This would be the first time “frequent riders” could earn a frequent flyer top tier membership aside from the Lufthansa AirRail which is a codeshare between LH / Deutsche Bahn that awards Lufthansa status miles with Miles&More. In the past it was even possible to make Lufthansa Senator with train rides at very affordable rates but that loophole has been closed for many years now.


Germany’s national railway service Deutsche Bahn has been formally invited into Star Alliance and according to several press reports coming Monday is the day that the partnership will be made official.

This appears to be a push to get more people to use train services for connections in Germany rather than flights. I don’t mind taking the train in Germany at all, in fact, I do it quite often. However, routes such as Berlin-Munich, Hamburg-Frankfurt, Hamburg-Munich, etc are just too long and Deutsche Bahn too unreliable and cumbersome to consider it for regular long-distance trips.

Let’s see what Monday brings!

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