Air France and KLM Open Refurbished Air&Rail Lounge In Brussels

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Summary

  • Air France and KLM again offer a check-in terminal at Brussels train station to boost convenience and reduce emissions for European travelers.
  • The Air&Rail program ensures smooth travel with free rebooking if flights or trains are delayed, with added perks for loyalty program members.
  • Other airline groups are also collaborating with train operators to create sustainable air-rail partnerships and reduce carbon emissions.

Passengers departing from Belgium for Air France and KLM flights can once again check in directly at the Air&Rail Terminal in Brussels-Midi/Zuid train station. The two SkyTeam Alliance carriers unveiled the refurbished space this week, allowing passengers to check in for flights and make ticket changes before reaching the airport.

Why a Brussels train station?

Air France and KLM have long encouraged European travelers to connect by rail to their respective hubs at Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) and Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS). Rail connections between the cities produce significantly fewer carbon emissions, and the integrated Air&Rail service has offered over 4,500,000 seats on 93,000 high-speed trains since its introduction in March 2001.

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The train station is the oldest in the Netherlands.

For convenience, the new check-in terminal is located at the train station and is open daily from 05:30 – 18:30. The opening precedes the arrival of the seventh daily high-speed connection between Brussels-Midi/Zuid train station and CDG, which will run from June 15th to August 22nd. Air France customers connecting in Paris-Charles de Gaulle can check their baggage from the Brussels-Midi/Zuid train station to the final destination of their journey. Marjan Rintel, CEO of KLM, highlighted the carrier’s continuing dedication to intermodal transport:

“We’re proud to continue investing in the Air&Rail product. We remain fully committed to ensuring a smooth customer journey, making the train an ever-better alternative to air on short-haul routes in Europe. We’re working closely with our partners to optimize the Air&Rail offer for our customers, who can connect to over 300 destinations worldwide via Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.”

In addition to a check-in area, the Air&Rail Terminal ​​​​​ also offers seating areas for waiting passengers, WiFi, and magazines.

Traveling in style

The train connections are each given a flight number, allowing members of Air France and KLM’s loyalty program, Flying Blue, to collect points on the train journeys. Members with frequent flyer status are afforded additional perks, including access to the SkyPriority check-in counters, an additional baggage allowance, free seat selection, and access to the Eurostar Lounge at Brussels-Midi/Zuid train station.

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The paid promotion allows members from 13 airline programs to match their status to an equivalent level in the Flying Blue program.

The last call for check-in at the lounge is 30 minutes before departure for those with checked baggage and 15 minutes for those traveling with just hand luggage. Passengers transiting through Amsterdam with KLM can check in online up to 30 hours before departure for the entire journey, including the train travel on Eurostar. If flying in first buisness class, KLM customers also travel in Premium on Eurostar trains. Air France customers, meanwhile, travel in 1st class on the high-speed TGV INOUI train service.

Brussels Train Station (Bruxelles-Midi)

Photo: Eurostar

The space in Brussels features dedicated customer service teams to assist in the event of an itinerary change without the hassle of waiting to speak to an agent on the phone or upon arrival. The Air&Rail program allows passengers to travel on a single booking for their entire journey and guarantees each traveler a seat on the next available flight or train, free of charge, should one of the included flights or trains be delayed.

Air France-KLM is far from the only airline group working in tandem with train operators to reduce emissions. In Germany, the Star Alliance inducted rail operator Deutsche Bahn as a partner. Individual carriers are also increasing intermodal partnerships. Air Canada announced air-rail transfers across four European countries at the end of last year, expanding even further on the existing Star Alliance relationship.

What are some of the best air-rail partnerships worldwide? Let us know in the comments below…



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