Before you can place a bid, make sure you have added a trip and your payment details to Seatfrog.
How to place a bid
- Open the Seatfrog app and tap on ‘Your Trips’ or the luggage/suitcase icon in the menu bar.
- Tap on the trip you want to place a bid on - remember, if you have a return trip or stopovers you may have a number of trips available for upgrades within the app.
- Tap on ‘Place a bid’ and check the current price, decide on a bid above this price and submit.
How to set a pre-bid
As soon as you have added your trip into the Seatfrog app you may select your number of upgrades you wish to bid on and set a pre-bid. This is a bid we will automatically place on your behalf when the auction opens.
Seatfrog will bid in increments only up to your confirmed maximum amount for each upgrade. Or, if your bid qualifies you may win an instant upgrade.
Bidding in the live auction
Once the auction opens you may place as many bids as you like. Placing a bid is free, and you will only be charged if you win your upgrade. Make sure to enable push notifications, so the app can notify if you have been outbid.
Seatfrog uses an eBay-style auction model. The Seatfrog app will automatically bid on your behalf in set increments up to your maximum bid price. Or, if your bid qualifies you may win an instant upgrade. Only you can see your maximum bid, and you remain the leader until you are outbid.
For example: Luke is the first to bid on an auction with a £20 opening price. He decides to bid £30 and so becomes the auction leader at £20.
Lily joins the auction and decides to bid £25. Luke's maximum bid of £30 means that Seatfrog will automatically bid on his behalf, placing him back in the lead at £26. All participants will see the current price as £26, no matter their position in the auction.
Luke's bid will only increase if someone else places a bid or if he changes his mind and increases his maximum bid price.
On the auction screen, you will see a timer that displays a countdown, so you know exactly how much time you have remaining in the auction.
Win an Upgrade before the end of the auction.
Auction participants are bidding across all available seats to upgrade. Because of this, Seatfrog has pre-determined price points (Milestones) within the auction, where upgrades are awarded to the highest bidder to reach (or pass) that price. This can be a bonus to participants who put their best price forward straight away, and also allows for more seats to be upgraded.
Usually, an auction is only for a single item. Price point upgrades enable us to sell multiple upgrades within a single auction. By putting your best price forward, you could be upgraded instantly and end up with a great deal!
For example: James is travelling from Kings Cross to Edinburgh and the current price in his auction is £19, but James bids £25. An instant upgrade price could be at £24 and James wins an upgrade instantly for less than his highest bid. The auction will continue and the next bid will need to be £26 or over.
Bidding for multiple upgrades
You will need to make sure you select the number of upgrades you wish to bid on before you place your bid. The default is set at ONE (1) upgrade, so you will need to select your number and confirm your quantity to bid for more than one upgrade in the auction.
Seatfrog will notify you if your quantity is no-longer available during the auction. This means you have been outbid and a upgrade has been taken either by other participants using the Upgrade Now feature or a Milestone price point has been won.
You can choose to update your quantity if you wish to bid for a lower number, Seatfrog will not allow you to change your quantity to a number that isn’t available.
We do suggest when you are bidding for more than one upgrade that you put your maximum price forward and let Seatfrog bid on your behalf. You will have a better chance of coming away with the upgrade number you are after.
The bidding price is set ‘per upgrade’ so your bid amount will be multiplied by the number of First Class seats you wish to secure.
For example: Liam wishes to upgrade with his girlfriend, so he selects the quantity of ‘2’ upgrades to bid for.
He then decides to bid £30 per upgrade, so that means he is prepared to pay a total of £60 for two upgrades. He becomes the auction leader, and hits a price point and so wins two upgrades at the price point amount of £25 per upgrade. This upgrades him and his girlfriend for a total of £50.
How many seats are available for an upgrade?
There are a minimum of two upgrades on all eligible services. As this is dependent on availability, Seatfrog will keep you updated throughout the auction with information on your chosen quantity of upgrades via push notifications and alerts.
You will get the chance to win an early upgrade before the auction closes by bidding above certain price points. So get your best bids in early.
If you have the highest bid when the auction closes or you have won a seat during the auction you will receive your ‘Upgrade’ ticket in the Seatfrog app once your payment has been processed.
How does pricing work?
When you select to bid on more than one upgrade, your bid amount will be multiplied by the number of upgrades you’ve chosen to bid on.
For example: Nicola has chosen to bid on 2 upgrades to the amount of £15 each, this is a total of £30. To progress in the auction she must tap ‘place your bid.
Is it possible to purchase an upgrade to First Class without having to participate in an auction?
- Set a pre-bid in advance - set this at the highest amount you're willing to pay, and the Seatfrog app will bid on your behalf up until this maximum amount.
- ‘Upgrade Now’ - if your auction is eligible, the Upgrade Now price will be displayed on the Seatfrog auction details screen and will become available up to 3 days prior to your departure.
Why am I constantly being outbid?
You may be bidding against a lot of people who are raising their bids quickly. We suggest you either increase your maximum bid or purchase an ‘Upgrade Now’ upgrade if available.
Can I set a maximum bid and let Seatfrog place incremental bids for me?
Yes, if you place your maximum bid as a pre-bid or during the auction, Seatfrog will bid on your behalf up to that maximum amount. You should make sure your pre-bid is competitive if you want to win, as there is still a chance you will be outbid if competition is high.
Why did I pay less than my maximum bid?
Seatfrog will bid on your behalf up to your maximum bid. So you may pay less if other bidders do not bid as high as you have.
Can I find out who is bidding in the auction?
No, to protect the privacy of all participants using the Seatfrog app we do not share this personal information.
Can I make a bid without using the app?
No, you must have the Seatfrog app installed on your phone to bid for an upgrade.
When will the auction close?
Seatfrog auctions will usually close 30 minutes before the train departs from it’s original station. Auctions may close early due to operational or availability issues or if all Seatfrog upgrades are sold out.
Download our app here:
Do I need internet to participate in an auction?
Yes, as the auction is live you will need a Wi-Fi or mobile data connection to participate. Make sure you have strong internet connection while bidding to avoid any disappointment.
Please note: Travellers who require assistance should contact the journey care team of the company they are travelling with. You can find details of this the Accessibility & Passenger Assistance article on our partners page, please click here.