Bid £5 for First Class Upgrades with Virgin East Coast and SeatFrog

Some links to products and partners on this website will earn an affiliate commission.

Want to experience First Class when you travel on Virgin East Coast Trains without paying mega-bucks? Well you are in luck as Virgin East Coast has just launched a new option to bid on First Class upgrades, in association with ‘SeatFrog‘.

Whether you’re travelling for business, a weekend city break or just visiting friends and family, use Seatfrog to bid to upgrade your Standard Advance ticket from as little as £5 and you could be treating yourself to a First Class ticket at a bargain price.

Who’s eligible?

Seatfrog is only available to Virgin Trains East Coast website customers, with the service due to expand in the months ahead.

To be eligible:

  • You need to go to the Virgin Trains East Coast website and book a Standard Advance ticket.
  • Travel on a Virgin Trains East Coast service on a week day between Monday and Friday.
  • At the moment the auction is only available to individual ticket holders. Virgin says this will hopefully be altered in the near future.

If you book tickets on an eligible service, Virgin East Coast will contact you by email.

There is no guarantee that your service will offer a First Class upgrade as it is dependent on First Class availability shortly before travel as to whether there will be any auction.

How does the Seatfrog auction app work?

Enter your booking reference
Once you’ve booked a standard Advance ticket, download the Seatfrog app, register, enter your booking reference and any possible upgrades should appear.

Bidding usually starts within a few hours of your Virgin East Coast service – Seatfrog will let you know when the auction is about to begin.  You only pay if you win an auction.

The moment you win, you will receive confirmation straight to your phone. It’s as easy as that.


This is a brand new service, so hopefully InsideFlyer readers can share their experience of how it works in practice. If £5 upgrades are genuinely available, that’s a seriously good deal!


  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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *