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Customers on Virgin Trains can now bid for last-minute First Class upgrades with Seatfrog app

Press release   •   May 08, 2019 08:00 BST

  • Seatfrog app allows customers to bid for upgrades
  • Those bidding can get a First-Class seat for as little as a £10
  • The free app will be available on routes across the Virgin Trains UK network

Virgin Trains customers can now secure a last-minute upgrade thanks to a collaboration with Seatfrog, an app which lets users take part in an auction for seats in First Class.

The train operator has partnered with Seatfrog on its routes across the UK, to enable more people than ever to enjoy the perks of upgrading.

From today, (May 8), customers will be able to bid from 24 hours right up to 30 minutes before departure with just a few taps of their smartphone where upgrades to First Class can cost from as little as £10. Completely seamless and easy-to-use, there’s no hassle of extra paperwork, printing tickets or additional fees when bidding on a Virgin Trains journey with Seatfrog.

The Seatfrog app works by creating a live auction system for unfilled First Class seats, allowing passengers to bid against other travellers to upgrade as solo travellers or as a group. Those not wanting to wait can upgrade immediately through Seatfrog’s ‘buy it now’ option, even if they’ve booked through a third party.

Customers who successfully bid on a First Class ticket will be able to enjoy all the benefits of Virgin Trains’ First Class experience, including complimentary food and drink, additional legroom and the First Class lounge.

Sarah Copley, Executive Director, Commercial, at Virgin Trains, said: “This is a great opportunity for our customers who fancy treating themselves at the last minute.

“This new partnership with Seatfrog is another example of our strong record in innovation – giving customers a unique chance to enjoy our First Class experience, which includes complimentary food and drink served by our amazing on board teams from our award winning menu.”

Iain Griffin, Co-Founder and CEO of Seatfrog, said: “At Seatfrog we're all about taking people's journey beyond the ordinary and making it something special.

“Our partnership with Virgin Trains is just the latest stop as we rapidly expand across the UK and Europe, giving more travellers the opportunity to upgrade their trip."

Last minute upgrades will be available on selected Virgin Trains’ west coast services for business and leisure travellers.

For more information see

About Virgin Trains

Stagecoach and Virgin are working in partnership to operate the West Coast inter-city route under the Virgin Trains brand, revolutionising travel on one of the UK’s key rail arteries.

The network connects some of the nation’s most iconic destinations including Glasgow, Liverpool, Birmingham, Manchester and London.

Virgin Trains is committed to delivering a high speed, high frequency service, offering shorter journey times, more comfortable travel and excellent customer service. Customers consistently rate Virgin Trains ahead of other long-distance rail franchise operators in the National Rail Passenger Survey (NRPS) commissioned by industry watchdog, Transport Focus.

Virgin Trains has a proud record of challenging the status quo - from introducing tilting Pendolino trains, to a pioneering automated delay repay scheme, introducing the industry-leading onboard entertainment streaming service, BEAM, and becoming the first franchised rail operator to offer m-Tickets for all ticket types.

Virgin Trains operated the East Coast route between March 1, 2015 and June 24, 2018. In that time, we invested £75m to create a more personalised travel experience, including over £40m in the existing fleet. Customers have benefitted from 48 additional services between Edinburgh and London every week, and an extra 22 Saturday services between Leeds and London – a total of 1.74 million additional seats since May 2015.

Working together, the partnership railway of the public and private sectors has published a long-term plan, called In Partnership for Britain’s Prosperity, to change and improve Britain’s railway. The plan will secure almost £85bn of additional economic benefits to the country whilst enabling further investment and improvement, and contains four commitments which will see rail companies: strengthen our economic contribution to the country; improve customers’ satisfaction; boost the communities we serve; and, create more and better jobs in rail. For more information go to Britain Runs on Rail.

Visit the Virgin Trains Media Room - - for the latest news, images and videos. Subscribe here for regular news from Virgin Trains.

Press Office: 0845 000 3333.

About Seatfrog

Seatfrog is a travel technology company, helping rail providers across the globe unlock new ancillary revenue opportunities through the use of its world-leading mobile upgrade platform. Seatfrog’s platform allows passengers to transparently bid for an upgrade in real time, as well as pay and receive a new boarding pass directly to their mobile right up until departure. Fully automated, Seatfrog’s platform can be integrated into any system in weeks. Enabling rail providers to quickly deliver a more enhanced experience to their customers, resulting in their passengers having access to a smoother, more comfortable experience. With Seatfrog, no-one need settle for ordinary.

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