Virgin Trains start bidding-for-upgrade scheme

Virgin East Coast trains, who serve Edinburgh, Newcastle, York and Leeds (and stops in between), from London Kings Cross are looking to offload some of their excess First Class seats. They are offering at least one seat on every service.

Using Seatfrog, an app available for Android and iOS, the offer applies to trains on Mondays to Fridays. (At weekends you can usually buy an upgrade for £10-£25).

To secure the offer you need to:

  • Book a ticket via the Virgin East Coast web site
  • Travel Monday to Friday
  • Enter the East Coast booking reference in to Seatfrog
  • Wait

Virgin say that about 2.5 hours before travel the app will let you know whether the upgrade is available and what you will pay. (Bidding closes 30 minutes before departure).

a train at a station

18th March 2016, Kingís Cross, London: Sir Richard Branson unveils the Virgin Azuma ñ the first of Virgin Trainsí new fleet of trains which is set to revolutionise travel on the East Coast from 2018.
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The auction is free to enter, and you only pay if you win. You present a barcode stored in the app to the train inspector with your standard class ticket.

Terms and Conditions

Terms and conditions (Seatfrog)

  1. This Seatfrog upgrade auction offer can only be used by recipients of relevant offer emails and accompanying customers travelling on the same booking reference.
  2. Seatfrog upgrade auctions are available on selected Virgin Trains East Coast services only, with at least 1 seat available on eligible services in operation.
  3. Each First Class upgrade is valid for a single person travelling on the booking reference number entered into the Seatfrog App, and is for the stipulated one-way journey only. Upgrades can only be used in conjunction with a Virgin Trains East Coast standard Advance ticket.
  4. Customers travelling in a group on the same booking reference may participate individually in Seatfrog upgrade auctions. Each member of the group must register with Seatfrog and bid independently. Due to the last minute nature of Seatfrog upgrade auctions we cannot guarantee every member of the group will win an upgrade auction or be sat together if an upgrade bid is successful.
  5. Upon payment of the upgrade fee, customers are issued with a First Class upgrade barcode within the Seatfrog app. The upgrade barcode, on your mobile phone, along with your original Standard Advance ticket must be presented to the Train Manager when travelling on board the train. Please also retain your original tickets to pass through the station ticket barriers. Without both the First Class upgrade barcode and the original Standard Advance ticket, the upgrade is not valid.
  6. Seatfrog upgrades are verified by the Train Manager on board the train. If the customer is unable to produce a valid barcode on their mobile device, they may be charged for a full price upgrade. It is the customers’ responsibility to ensure their mobile device is fully charged as verification can take place at any point during the train journey.
  7. First Class upgrades purchased via the Seatfrog app also include access to the Virgin Trains First Class Lounges located along the east coast route at Edinburgh Waverley, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Newcastle, Darlington, Doncaster, Leeds, Wakefield and London King’s Cross.
  8. Upgrades are available across the Virgin Trains East Coast network at a starting price from as little as £5.
  9. The upgrades are also eligible for Delay Repay compensation should the service you are travelling on be delayed by 30 minutes or more.
  1. First Class complimentary service varies according to date, time of day and the journey being made.
  1. Seatfrog First Class upgrades are not eligible for Virgin Trains West Coast services.