Congress Approves Durbin Provision to Encourage Partnerships Between Air and Rail Travel

Codeshare agreements could increase connectivity of smaller towns to major hubs

WASHINGTON, D.C.–(ENEWSPF)–February 6, 2012.  A provision, authored by U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), requiring the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to study ways to increase coordination between air and passenger rail travel is included in the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Air Transportation Modernization and Safety Improvement Act which was approved today by the U.S. Senate.  The provision specifically identifies codeshare agreements as one way that airlines and passenger rail providers can better coordinate travel.  The legislation was passed by the House of Representatives last week and will now go to the President for his signature.  

“Today, code sharing is very common among airlines looking to sell travel to cities that it may not otherwise serve,” said Durbin.  “Expanding this service to include passenger rail providers would increase the options available to take travelers to their destinations.  These types of connections between air and rail service would also bring smaller towns and cities closer to major hub airports where they can travel to almost any destination in the world.” 

A codeshare agreement between two airlines allows customers access to both airline networks which directly benefits the consumer through a streamlined ticket purchasing process, combined frequent flyer programs and increased destinations and flight choices. 

Currently, there is only one codeshare agreement between an airline and a passenger rail provider.  Amtrak has service directly to Newark Airport, a key hub of Continental Airlines.  The arrangement between Amtrak and Continental provides air travelers with connecting rail service on Regional and Keystone trains to Philadelphia, Wilmington, Stamford and New Haven.  Conversely, Amtrak travelers on these trains can travel Amtrak directly to Newark Airport and then travel anywhere Continental Airlines flies. 

Source: durbin.senate.gov