Virgin Trains East Coast launch world-first upgrades app

Virgin Trains brings innovative Seatfrog technology to customers on the East Coast Main Line, as a new app enables them to bid for First Class seats...

The partnership is a world first for rail passengers and will enable more people than ever to enjoy the perks of First Class, with customers now able to bid for last minute upgrades on east coast services.

Virgin Trains’ customers will be able to upgrade right up to 30 minutes before departure from the palm of their hand with just a few taps of their smartphone. The free app works by creating a live, dynamic bidding system for First Class seats that would otherwise travel empty - with no additional faces or printing of tickets required.

Virgin Trains East Coast Kings Cross

"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," commented Suzanne Donnelly, Commercial Director at Virgin Trains on the east coast.

"Our innovative partnership with Seatfrog means passengers can get last minute upgrades to First Class seats from as little as £5 and there are real deals to be had. Plus, the live bidding element means you can decide at the last minute if you fancy treating yourself and, if you do, bidding to bag a bargain is great way to go about it."

Each auction will open approximately 2.5 hours before a train departs from its originating station. Customer who successfully bid on a First Class ticket will be able to enjoy all the luxury benefits of Virgin Trains’ First Class experience, including complimentary food and drink from a menu curated by James Martin, reclining leather seats, additional legroom, mood lighting, free Wi-Fi and, in selected stations, First Class lounges with free Wi-Fi, relaxation areas and refreshments.

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"Launching this exciting world first with Virgin Trains today has been an absolute pleasure. Just seeing the looks on people’s faces when they find out they can get a First Class seat upgrade from only five pounds has been priceless," said Newcastle born actress, Donna Air, who was on hand to help the app.

"There are lots of smiling customers in the station today! I always love travelling with Virgin Trains back to Newcastle, and it’s great that this new app now makes travelling First Class in style so affordable."

To book your ticket, head over to the Virgin Trains website.

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