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I am a graduate Ph.D student. I am traveling to Germany for the first time. My travel itinerary is (booked through Lufthansa)

Delhi to Frankfurt (Flight)

1 Change at Airport Terminal to Airport Train Station

Frankfurt to Cologne Hbf Rail Station (QKL) (Train)

I am confused regarding the baggage reclaim. Do I need take my bags at Frankfurt Airport and then board the train? or I have to pick the bags at the Cologne Hbf Rail Station (QKL).

Thank you.

Edited to add a image.

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2 Answers 2

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To supplement @deceze's answer,

I fly with similar connections in Frankfurt frequently. The baggage is inconsistently routed to the air terminal baggage claim or the rail terminal baggage claim. I have learned the trick to find out where it is routed is to look at the baggage receipt that is provided when you check your baggage. If the receipt says FRA it will be at the air terminal baggage claim. If the receipt has the code for the final train station of your trip (for Cologne it would be QKL), it will be at the rail terminal baggage claim.

The rail terminal baggage claim is a 5-10 minute walk from the air terminal baggage claim. If you find yourself waiting an inordinately long time for your baggage, check with the staff that your claim receipt is for the claim you are currently standing at. There is a way to reenter the air baggage claim if you find that you made a mistake.

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There are two possible offers here: Express Rail and Rail&Fly.

Rail&Fly is merely a cooperation between Lufthansa and Deutsche Bahn, in which you can get a train ticket to/from the airport as a cheaper bundle with your flight ticket. Your baggage will not be checked through to/from the train.

Additionally, Express Rail takes care to time the trains to align well with your flight, and it allows you to check in your luggage and/or receive it at the AiRail Terminal at the Frankfurt airport, which is at the airport train station:

As a Lufthansa Express Rail passenger, you are responsible for your baggage during the train journey until you drop it off at the AIRail terminal at Frankfurt Airport. On your return journey, you can collect your baggage after landing in Frankfurt from the carousel in the AIRail Terminal and take it straight to your train.

Do note that with both bundles, your train/flight connection appears to be guaranteed, i.e. you'll get a free replacement if a delay on either leg of the journey causes you to miss your connection.

To be clear: under no circumstances will your luggage be loaded onto the train for you. You receive your luggage at Frankfurt airport and take it onto the train yourself. You'll probably be told where exactly at Frankfurt airport you'll receive your luggage at check in time; and it's probably going to be the regular airport luggage carousel, if I'd had to guess.

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  • +1, but OP is flying into Germany from outside Schengen, can you do EU customs clearance at AiRail Terminal? Sep 28, 2023 at 5:02
  • How do I know whether it is Express Rail or RailFly? On the ticket nothing regarding that is written. It says "Reference number LH 3608 operated by DEUTSCHE BAHN HIGH SPEED TRAIN". Does that mean it is Express Rail service Sep 28, 2023 at 5:03
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    @a25bed I'd think unless it explicitly says Express Rail, it's not Express Rail, and you're just getting a flight + train bundle deal. It may not be possible for you to get Express Rail due to customs concerns, as mentioned by lambs above.
    – deceze
    Sep 28, 2023 at 5:04
  • @deceze Please check the edited post. Is it Express Rail or RailFly? Thank you for your patience. Sep 28, 2023 at 5:10
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    @a25bed I don't know. It doesn't make a whole lot of difference though; you'll get your baggage at Frankfurt airport either way. With Express Rail, you'll just get it a few hundred meters later. I'm sure you'll be told the details and/or should inquire about it at check in time. If you need to know right now, it's probably best to contact Lufthansa directly, and they'll tell you specifically for your booking.
    – deceze
    Sep 28, 2023 at 5:16

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