AIRail Service is offered by Deutsche Bahn AG in cooperation with Lufthansa, American Airlines and Emirates. It is one example of several a dedicated air-rail alliances currently operating worldwide.
AIRail Service is currently offered between Stuttgart Hauptbahnhof (the main railroad station in Stuttgart) and Frankfurt (Main) Flughafen Fernbahnhof (the long-distance rail station at the Frankfurt International Airport), and between the latter and Köln Hauptbahnhof (the main railway station in Cologne).
It enables all passengers between Stuttgart/Cologne and Frankfurt to check in their baggage at the stations and use the ICE high-speed train service to Frankfurt (first class for passengers with Business and First tickets, 2nd Class for passengers with Economy tickets) without having to carry their baggage themselves. There is a snack/drink service for passengers in 1st Class - voucher at check in.
All passengers receive their boarding passes for connecting flights on Lufthansa and several other airlines from Frankfurt immediately at the check in counters in Cologne or Stuttgart.
AIRail Service uses the Cologne-Frankfurt high-speed rail line (maximum speed of 300 km/h) and between Stuttgart and Mannheim (maximum speed of 250 km/h), rendering the train service faster and more reliable than air transport on the same route.
AIRail Service was established some decades ago, when Deutsche Bundesbahn (now Deutsche Bahn AG) established a direct connection between Düsseldorf and Frankfurt Airport using the DB 403 "Donald Duck" EMU with tilting technology in Lufthansa livery. In the 1990s they established the Stuttgart-Frankfurt connection after the high-speed train line between Stuttgart and Mannheim was opened. Both services were closed due to high cost some years later. In 2000 they re-established the service between Stuttgart and Frankfurt, now using only some seats in regular cars in standard ICE service.