Getting on the right track (train pun intended): Before placing a bid, make sure you've added a trip and your payment details to Seatfrog.
How to place a bid (the exciting part)
To enter an auction for a bum-cushioning First Class seat, do this:
- 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 bid on. Remember, if you have a return trip or stopovers, you may have several trips available for upgrades within the app.
- Tap on 'Place a bid' and check the current price. Happy? Decide on a bid above this price and submit. We hope you win.
How to set a pre-bid
Once you've added your trip to the Seatfrog app, you can choose the number of upgrades you want to enter and set a pre-bid. Once you've placed your pre-bid, we'll automatically bid for you up to your maximum amount (time to put the kettle on).
Yes, we'll bid in gradual increments up to your official maximum amount for each auction. Or, if your bid qualifies, you could win an instant upgrade (hold onto your hat).
Bidding in the live auction
Once the auction officially opens (game on), you can place as many bids as you like (think of it as an all-you-can-eat bidding buffet). Placing a bid is free: we will only charge you if you win that sweet upgrade.
Tip: Enable push notifications, so the app can let you know if a fellow Seatfrogger has outbid you.
Remember: The Seatfrog app will automatically bid on your behalf in set increments up to your maximum bid price. Only you can see your maximum bid. You will remain the leader until someone outbids you.
For example: Luke is the first to bid on an auction with a £20 opening price. He decides to bid £30 and becomes the mighty auction leader at £20.
Lily joins the auction and decides to bid £25 (she's going for gold). 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'll see a timer that displays a countdown (not too dissimilar to the one on the game show!), so you know exactly how much time you have remaining in the auction.
Winning an Upgrade before the end of the auction
Auction participants bid across all available First Class seats to upgrade and because of this, Seatfrog has pre-determined price points (Milestones) within each auction.
So, a Milestone is where we award upgrades to the highest bidder that reaches, or passes, that special price point. So, if you put your best foot forward and go a little bigger right off the bat, you could hit a Milestone and snag that sweet, sweet First Class upgrade, pretty much immediately. Nice.
Why Milestones, exactly?
Well, usually, an auction is only for a single item. Price point (or Milestone) upgrades enable us to sell multiple upgrades within a single auction. So, you could snag an instant upgrade at an epic price by putting your best price forward.
Allow us to explain: James is travelling from Kings Cross to Edinburgh (a cracking route), and the current price in his auction is £19. But, James bids £25. Here, the instant upgrade price, or Milestone, could be £24, and James wins the instant upgrade instantly for £1 less than his highest bid (cash back!). The auction continues, and the next bid must start at £26 or over.
Bidding for multiple upgrades
To go for more than one First Class seat, you must select the number of upgrades you wish to bid on before you place your bid. ONE (1) is the default setting, so make sure you specify how many bum cushioning upgrades you're out to get before starting the bidding process.
If there aren't enough potential upgrades available (because some other cheeky Seatfroggers have hit a Milestone or clicked the 'buy now' button), we'll let you know from the start. In that case, you're welcome to bid for fewer seats (if you've requested to bid for four upgrades, for instance, you can try for three or two instead).
When bidding for more than one upgrade, we suggest you set your maximum price and let Seatfrog bid for you. Doing this will increase your chances of winning—plus you can have a lovely little snooze while we do all the work.
Note: Your bidding price is set 'per upgrade'. So, your bid amount is multiplied by the number of First Class you're looking to snag.
Example: Liam wants to upgrade with his girlfriend, so he chooses to bid for two ('2') upgrades.
Feeling lucky, he decides to bid £30, which means he's willing to pay £60 for two upgrades.
And here's the twist. Swiftly, Liam becomes the auction leader. As his bid is above the 'Milestone' amount of £25 per seat, he wins two upgrades at £25 per upgrade. So, he gets a pair of sweet, sweet First Class upgrades for just £50.
How many seats are available for an upgrade during each auction?
There are usually a minimum of two upgrades on all eligible services. As this often depends on availability, Seatfrog will update you throughout the auction with information on your chosen number of upgrades with push notifications and alerts.
You'll get the chance to win an early upgrade before the auction closes by bidding above specific price points or Milestones (you're familiar with these now, right?). So, get your best bids in early for a chance of leaping to the finish line.
If you have the highest bid when the auction closes or you've won a seat during the auction, we'll ping your shiny new ticket (or tickets) directly to your app after payment. Easy peasy.
How does pricing work?
If you choose to bid on more than one seat, your bid amount is multiplied by the number of upgrades you've picked.
Example: Nicola has chosen to bid on two upgrades for the amount of £15 each—so, this is a total of £30. To proceed, she taps 'place your bid', and the action begins.
Can I buy a First Class upgrade without participating in an auction?
In a word: yes!
Set a pre-bid in advance: Enter the highest amount you're willing to pay, and the Seatfrog app will place bids on your behalf up to this maximum amount.
'Upgrade Now': If your auction is eligible, we'll display the Upgrade Now price on the Seatfrog auction details screen, which will become available up to 3 days before your departure.
Why am I constantly being outbid?
Don't worry; it happens to all of us sometimes. You may be bidding against lots of other Seatfroggers who are raising their bids quickly.
To boost your chances of winning, we suggest either increasing your maximum bid or purchasing an 'Upgrade Now' upgrade, if available.
Can I set a maximum bid and let Seatfrog place incremental bids for me?
Oh yeah, you can indeed. If you set your maximum bid as a 'pre-bid' or during the auction, we'll bid on your behalf up to your spend limit.
Quick tip: Make sure your maximum bid is competitive (not too high or too low) for the best chances of snagging that sweet upgrade. Remember, fortune favours the bold.
Why did I pay less than my maximum bid?
We'll bid on your behalf up to your maximum bid (you're welcome). 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 of our Seatfroggers (including you), we never share personal data or information.
Can I make a bid without using the app?
No. You need to install the Seatfrog app on your phone to bid for an upgrade. That's the rule.
When will the auction close?
Seatfrog auctions will usually close 30 minutes before the train departs from its original station (choo choo). Auctions can close early due to operational or availability issues—or if all Seatfrog upgrades are sold out.
Download our app here:
Do I need the internet to enter an auction?
Yes, as the auction is live, you need Wi-Fi or a mobile data connection to get involved. It's always a good idea to have a strong internet connection while bidding to avoid disappointment.
Please note: Travellers who need assistance should contact the journey care team of the train operator. You can find out more in the Accessibility & Passenger Assistance article on our partner's page.