Seatfrog is a smartphone app that allows you to bid for first class upgrades on Virgin Trains & LNER. (Virgin Trains has recently been added.) The auction starts up to 24 hours before departure and closes at the latest 30 minutes before departure.
What tickets can I upgrade?
At the moment only standard Advance ticket types are eligible for upgrade using Seatfrog. You can use a railcard on your ticket however you won’t be able to use the discount on your upgrade cost. Further info here.
How do I add my booking to Seatfrog?
The easiest way is to book directly with Virgin or LNER however Seatfrog has a list of 3rd party booking channels supported by themselves.
If you’ve booked directly with them you can click add trip, then under Booking Ref enter your details. Alternatively if you’ve booked through another site or if you prefer, you can search by route/date/time. Your final option is to forward your booking confirmation email to email@example.com from the email account registered with your Seatfrog account.
Anything else I should know?
On Virgin Trains…
Upgrades are available every day of the week (however on a weekend first class is a heavily reduced product)
Upgrades start from just £10
You can bid from 24 hours to 30 minutes before departure
You can look what first class on Virgin Trains gets you here
You can’t upgrade on a weekend
Upgrades start at just £5
The auction opens from 2.5 hours until 30 minutes before departure
You can look what first class on LNER gets you here
How do I bid for first class upgrades on Virgin Trains & LNER?
Once you’ve added your trip you’ll see it under your trips and depending on how early you are you maybe able to start bidding!
When you place a bid you can choose how many people you want to bid on behalf of, even if you didn’t book tickets together, as long as you both have valid tickets for the service you are bidding on. So you needn’t worry about leaving your partner behind in standard class!
At any point you can change your maximum bid to a higher amount if you get outbid or if you’re nervous you might be!
If you win your auction you will receive a notification on your app, from that moment on you have the full benefits of being a first class passenger… including lounge access! I didn’t receive any competition on my bidding and won 2 upgrades for £10.
Your ticket is a QR code which will be scanned by the train manager. Make sure you keep your original standard class ticket as without it your new first class ticket isn’t valid!
At the moment there doesn’t seem to be a great day of competition on Seatfrog, at least not for Virgin Trains on the different routes and times I’ve travelled. So at the moment you can download Seatfrog and potentially pick up a huge bargain!