Virgin Trains to auction empty First Class train seats through new app


UK-based Virgin Trains has introduced a new service on its East Coast operations to auction unsold First Class tickets to its passengers through the new Seatfrog smartphone app.

The new service will enable them to upgrade their tickets up to 30min before the departure of the respective train from its source.

Under the initiative, passengers can bid against each other through an open and transparent auction process.

First Class upgrades will cost from £5 and do not need additional paperwork or printed tickets.

Every seat under the auction system will work through a dynamic bidding system that will open around 2.5h before a train departs from its source.

“Modern travel is full of rules and regulations that can make getting to our final destination a frustrating experience."

Virgin Trains East Coast commercial director Suzanne Donnelly said: “We have a strong record of innovating for the benefit of our customers and we are really excited to be partnering with Seatfrog to offer customers more opportunities to experience First Class.”

Auction winners will be entitled to receive all benefits and services of First Class, including complimentary food and drink, reclining leather seats, additional legroom and Wi-Fi services. They can also relax in the First Class lounges in selected stations.

Seatfrog founder and CEO Iain Griffin said: “Modern travel is full of rules and regulations that can make getting to our final destination a frustrating experience.

“Everyone loves an upgrade, but the excitement of it and the ability to just change your mind at the last minute is suffering because of the many complicated processes that exist today.”

The new last-minute upgrade service will be available on selected Virgin Trains’ East Coast services on weekdays for business and leisure travellers.


Image: Virgin Trains East Coast HST at Leeds. Photo: courtesy of Stephen Craven via Wikipedia.