Deutsche Bahn joins Star Alliance 

DB joins Star Alliance. Wonderful news.

Just like Air France-KLM is already offering Thalys tickets for some of its flights from Brussels: instead of departing from BRU airport to AMS or CDG; just take a train from Brussels South.

It looks like Lufthansa, and soon all of Star Alliance, will offer more comprehensive (long-haul) tickets including a train ride to or from your final destination.

Can only applaud this: planes are here to stay; but I’d 100% prefer to take the train (at least a high-speed one like Thalys, Eurostar or the Shinkansen) over a small CRJ9, A220 or other sardine cans for my layover flight (BRU doesn’t have a lot of decent direct connections to Asia). These inter-city flights (short distance, frequent take-off and landing) heavily contributing to noise and environmental pollution.

Europe will also impose additional tax on short flights, so hopefully this may make the entire journey a bit cheaper (and more relaxing).

Oh, and if I get miles for this, it’s even better (and I’m going to guess a lot of people think the same: earning miles on train rides, yay).

Deutsche Bahn is the first company outside the aviation industry to become a partner in an international airline alliance.

Deutsche Lufthansa and Deutsche Bahn are already working together on the German transport market and are offering joint tickets. This service could also be opened up to the customers of the other Alliance members.

Source: Aviation24
Misc Travel

If you ever wondered how fast the Eurostar goes

Bar some tunnels (Lille, Channel) this gives a quite good overview using GPS.


Brussels Midi to London St Pancras.

Errors www sitemap links to spam site…

The (cached copy) sitemap links to an odd directory: (which was part of a viral campaign in 2006, Google tells me), which in turn redirects to a spam site… 🙁

Screen Shot 2012-12-29 at 23.11.32


Visiting that links redirect to a spammy website about real estate… Please clean up your shit -.-)

HTTP headers when getting

HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently
Content-Length: 245
Date: Sat, 29 Dec 2012 22:14:39 GMT
Server: Apache
Vary: Accept-Encoding
Connection: close
Content-Type: text/html; charset=iso-8859-1
<title>301 Moved Permanently</title>
<h1>Moved Permanently</h1>
<p>The document has moved <a href="">here</a>.</p>

Eurostar cheatness

Did a comparison with a browser set to UK and one to Belgium on

If you live in Belgium, you get free NMBS tickets (from and to Brussels South).

However, when you choose UK, you get an option to either choose Brussels South or “Any Belgian Station”:

If we compare the prices for 2nd of June (Friday) we see a £6 difference between Brussels and “Any Belgian City”.

The first images shows “Brussels South” as end stop:

The second image shows any stations:

But now for the interesting part… What if we compare Euro versus Pounds?

Here are the two screenshots, one in Euro and one in Pounds (to Brussels South, NOT to “Any Belgian Station”):

So let’s compare the ride at 06:50 in non flex (98,45 EUR or £89,50): 89,50 pounds equals to about 111,70 EUR… Interesting. That’s a 13 EUR difference.

Let’s take the last one in non flex (19h04, 169,50 EUR or £154,50): 154,50 pounds equals to about 192,80 EUR. That’s a 23 EUR difference…

Now, I do know the Eurostar Plus programme rewards points after either 300 euro or 300 pounds (~€ 374) spent on the site. The reward is a 20 euro or 20 pound (~€ 25) voucher respectively. But I guess it’s already quite clear that, when paying on with pounds, you lose. Big time.

I so far also haven’t been able to find a way on the site to pick another country as origin except by deleting cookies or using another browser altogether.

I also didn’t compare Paris/France with London or Brussels with Lille/France, as I never actually use that route.

Now, there’s one last thing I had to check (something I already noticed last year but didn’t really pay too much attention to): the price difference between adult and youth.

Both browsers are set to Belgium/English:

The result? No difference in price whatsoever.


Click on the images for a bigger picture.

Seniors? Same thing. No difference.

What about children (<4y)? Well, as it’s impossible for them to travel alone, I tested it with 2 adults versus 1 adult and 1 child. Here I finally noticed a difference, between 30 to 40 euro.

As a return ticket usually is around 190 euro, and a plane ticket by Brussels Airlines around 210-250 euro, I’m quite tempted to fly when the price difference is minor.

The only thing that’s holding me back (except for the price difference on that particular date of June 1st) is the security check at Heathrow and Brussels Airlines (Miles & More) being somewhat less flexible (as in, no flight every hour). But they do seem to fly Friday evening to London, and come back to Brussels on Sunday evening (that’s the route I’m looking for).

And there is still British Airlines as well (One World) which I didn’t check out in details yet; but as far as I know they tend to be somewhat more expensive.