Lufthansa’s latest online app, Journey Planner, gives travelers a turn-key resource when it comes to planning the routing on a given trip. It is currently in its BETA version but available to use by the public.  Expect more features and updates soon!

With Journey Planner, all that you need to do is to enter your origin and destination and the app will calculate various routing options based on your location, including all the Star Alliance flights that are available to you as well as ground transportation information such as bus and rail options.

What I really like about this app are the routing options that it suggests.

Sometimes when I work with readers who are planning their Lufthansa flights, we look at a very narrow choice of options. For example a reader recently needed help routing on LH from Chicago to Frankfurt but could not find award seat availbility. It took an email or 2 to have it dawn that why not position to an LH flight out of a different gateway (Washington DC in this case) and be able to book the desired First Class Seat.  Journey Planner now helps you do this. It brings in a bit of ‘outside the box’ thinking when it comes to route options and helps you potentially plan a better trip!

 

I’ll use my upcoming trip to Munich and Salzburg next week to demonstrate Journey Planner’s abilities:

First, Here is The Journey Planner Home Screen where you enter your origin and destination:

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After entering Grand Rapids to Salzburg, the following screen comes up.  I chose the multi-hop option so that I can pick a specific gateway:

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You’ll notice the itinerary recommendations in the box to the left of the map.   Journey Planner does a very good and exhaustive job of providing a variety of options.  For example, it actually gave me recommendations to depart from other airports instead of Grand Rapids (for example Detroit and Chicago) along with options via Amtrak and even bus to Washington DC….Shudder that thought! 🙁     But Journey Planner delivers on its promise to provide options that are sometimes overlooked.

Next, I clicked on the Washington DC part of the itinerary and the following screen came up:

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You’ll see the options that I now have from Washington DC to Salzburg, Austria.   I can A: Fly to Salzburg using United, Lufthansa, Austrian or Brussels.  B:  I can fly to Munich and take a train  C:  Fly to Zurich and take a train or D: Fly to Frankfurt and take a train.  I choose the fastest path, and select A:  Flying to Salzburg:

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You’ll see at this point that I am provide a myriad of options for flights from Washington DC that will ultimately get me to Salzburg.   I cut off a bit of the box, but in the lower right hand corner, there is a link to search for fares, making the booking process easy from here.

Had I chosen option B, flying to Munich and taking a train to Salzburg, I would have the following suggested itinerary:

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 You’ll notice Journey Planner this time suggested United, Lufthansa, Brussels or SAS as airline options to get to MUC, then from Munich it tells me which specific train to take to Munich’s main train station so that you can transfer to the train to Salzburg.

When I click on the Munchen Ost link from above, it will give me specific train information from Munich to Salzburg, including which train services serve Salzburg, along with a convenient link to look at timetables and to actually book your train pass.   I love the one-stop concept of this!

So from Munich to Salzburg:

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And that’s it!  In a few short minutes and several clicks, I’ve been able to build an itinerary that had given me every reasonable option to consider as part of my planning.

As you can see, Journey Planner turns out to be very powerful tool due to it’s intelligence when it comes to creating routing options.   But what makes Journey Planner really valuable, is how easy it is to use and the creative, outside-the-box logic that it demonstrates.

I think this tool can be great for someone who travels a similar route frequently may want to try something different but was never aware of the options or for the first time traveler who has no idea what their options are and can use Journey Planner to build their entire trip.

I suggest playing with this app to become familiar with its ability.  It will definitely introduce you to new ways of getting from point A to Z and perhaps let you discover something new along your journey!

If you have any questions, issues or feedback on Journey Planner, please forward them to me (or leave a comment) so that I can forward them to the Lufthansa team that is responsible for this concept.