A new website said to be the first in the UK to truly integrate rail and air travel is to laucnh tomorrow (Thursday) serving travellers from the southwest of the country.
Rail-fly.com is a through-ticketing collaboration between Singapore Airlines, Heathrow Express and First Great Western.
It claims to be the first in the UK to enable customers to make a single booking combining air and rail in one place.
The website raises the prospect of travel from Bristol to Brisbane without having to use multiple suppliers or make multiple transactions.
Travellers from 11 southwest destinations, including Bath, Bristol and Cardiff, can arrange their international flights and rail fares under one booking.
Rail-fly said the partnership will save customers time and money.
As an example it cited an economy SaverExpress fare from Bristol to Brisbane will save customers £140 or 13% and those travelling BusinessExpress will save nearly £190 or 5%.
Customers can travel on any train they choose but the rail-fly.com website shows the best train times to connect with their flight.
Wilson Yong, general manager UK and Ireland for Singapore Airlines, said: “Singapore Airlines is excited to initiate the first ever rail and fly partnership in the UK.
“In conjunction with First Great Western and Heathrow Express, we are simplifying long-haul travel by enabling customers to exclusively and conveniently book their trains and flights in one transaction.
“Together we are proud to launch another industry first, helping to bring the southwest to Asia and the rest of the world – and the world to southwest England in return. The UK is a market of great importance to us, as is increasing connectivity with the nation’s hub airport, London Heathrow.”
Keith Greenfield, managing director of Heathrow Express, added: “Now people can book a journey between Bath and Singapore with just one transaction rather than three. This is the smarter way to travel.
“The main beneficiary of this rail-fly deal will be customers – not just Heathrow Express customers but also Singapore Airlines and First Great Western customers.”
And Mark Hopwood, First Great Western managing director, said: “Whether you are a businessman travelling to a meeting or a family going on holiday, many people would like to take advantage of booking a single ticket from their nearest station to a host of destinations across the world.
“Rail-Fly provides that perfect travel solution, where you will be looked after by First Great Western’s helpful and friendly staff before boarding your Singapore Airlines flight, or as you return home. The first of its kind in the UK, the partnership works for our customers, for Heathrow Express’ customers and for Singapore Airlines’ customers. This is a ground breaking deal and we look forward to making it a great success.”