Greenpeace study: rail vs. short-haul air

Help Support Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum:

slasher-fun

Train Attendant
Joined
Jan 17, 2016
Messages
70
Location
Paris, France
Airlines argue that some short-haul flights are necessary because they are essential connections for longer-distance trips.
How are they "essential"? Major airports such as Paris-CDG, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Copenhagen, Stockholm-Arlanda, etc., already have a long-distance train station on their premises. And rail+air tickets are already sold... by airlines themselves.
 

jis

Chief Dispatcher
AU Lifetime Supporter
Gathering Team Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2003
Messages
29,601
Location
Space Coast, Florida, Area code 3-2-1
I think if checked baggage were handled seamlessly between air legs and rail legs in an itinerary then the airline's argument becomes weak enough to be almost non-existent. But until the rail operators step upto that the argument is much better balanced in terms of quality of service.

This coming from a strong believer in rail but who has on occasions used short air legs in itinerary since there was no way he was going to cart around his checked baggage from the air itinerary to drag it onto a train for the short leg.

OTOH There were also a couple of occasions where the airline provided alternatives for checked baggage via a courier service to final destination making it easier to use a short haul rail leg with no checked baggage service. Maybe that is the solution, considering that possibly a significant majority of travelers don;t have checked baggage, though that is possibly a dubious assumption for those off on longish vacations.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ziv

Nick Farr

OBS Chief
AU Supporter
Joined
Dec 25, 2019
Messages
519
Location
Michigan
Because they think American tourists can't figure it out.
Basically, this. American tourists don't want to have to carry their bags any further than from the baggage belt to the taxi. Especially as they age.

Handling checked baggage beyond the airport (which creates more headaches for the airline) is a critical step in making this leap.
 

cirdan

Engineer
Joined
Mar 30, 2011
Messages
2,715
I think if checked baggage were handled seamlessly between air legs and rail legs in an itinerary then the airline's argument becomes weak enough to be almost non-existent. But until the rail operators step upto that the argument is much better balanced in terms of quality of service.
Checked baggage is not handled seamlessly between flights either.

For example when flying to a foreign country you typically retrieve your baggage at the first airport you change at and then re-check it.

So at that point it shouldn't really matter whether you check it in on a train or on a short-haul flight.
 

jis

Chief Dispatcher
AU Lifetime Supporter
Gathering Team Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2003
Messages
29,601
Location
Space Coast, Florida, Area code 3-2-1
Checked baggage is not handled seamlessly between flights either.

For example when flying to a foreign country you typically retrieve your baggage at the first airport you change at and then re-check it.

So at that point it shouldn't really matter whether you check it in on a train or on a short-haul flight.
Yes, but most people in the US or EU or India for that matter are not flying internationally. It is a minority of passengers that arrive from or depart to an international origin/destination. And trains providing checked checked baggage service is rather an exception than a rule.

The bottom line is much has to change before plane to train transfers become actually convenient on significant itineraries.
 

sttom

OBS Chief
Joined
Jan 23, 2019
Messages
814
I've had to carry my luggage a mile on foot from my house to the nearest Amtrak station to get to the airport a couple of years ago. And this was a duffle bag, not a rolling suitcase. If people can't be bothered to roll a suitcase a few hundred feet to a train, they were never going to take the train in the first place. Hell it could be farther to go from baggage claim to the parking lot in some cases, but people still do it. I'm surprised people like that would even fly to begin with if carry a bag a few hundred feet is a deal breaker. I'm not saying you need to lug a 50 pound bag a mile because your ride came down with a case of jury duty, by with how much walking and carrying there is when you fly, how is that your excuse to not take any form of transportation to an airport? That being said, they could put a baggage carousel near the train platform. But the people unwilling to roll a bag 200 feet would still complain about that.
 
Top