Hipmunk adds Amtrak trains to flight search

Flight search site Hipmunk has claimed to become the first in the US to offer US train journeys.

The popular startup, which created a splash when it launched a year ago by ranking flights by 'pain' rather than price, announced this week that customers will now see Amtrak trains displayed as an option for travel in the US.

Users can then select whether a train or a plane better fits with their travel plans, although bookings must be made separately for each leg of the journey.

Although the partners claim the deal is a first, travel technology site Tnooz points out that Denmark-based Hipmunk competitor Momondo has been displaying Amtrak schedules for some time now.

Nevertheless, Hipmunk's move signals an environmentally-friendly shift towards offering train travel as an alternative to flights on meta-search sites, likely to be welcomed by many passengers (although Amtrak's service is by no means uniform in its quality across the US).

TripAdvisor announced a similar service back in July, claiming to be the first to offer the option of high-speed rail or plane journeys, sorted by price, in Europe.

The functionality is available on TripAdvisor sites in the US, the UK, Canada, Ireland, France, Italy, Germany and Spain.