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Article from BTNews 25 SEPTEMBER 2017

Virgin's First Class auction

Last-minute upgrades for First Class tickets are being offered at auction on Virgin Trains’ east coast services via a new upgrade app called Seatfrog. Virgin says the partnership is a first to enable more passengers to experience premium service.

Customers will be able to upgrade from 2.5hr to 30min before departure with just a few taps of their smartphones to access what is said to be a seamless and easy-to-use system without the hassle of extra paperwork, printing tickets or additional fees.

Virgin Trains says it is the first travel company to bring the technology to passengers, which allows them to compete for upgrades that can cost from as little as £5 for First Class seats that would otherwise travel empty.

Features of the company’s premium service include free food and drink from a menu curated by James Martin, reclining leather seats, extra legroom, mood lighting, free wi-fi and lounges at certain stations.

Virgin says the programme is part of its campaign to tackle fare complexity and ensure a better deal for customers, with the partnering with Seatfrog part of a commitment to making train travel accessible and affordable. The operator is also participating in a government trial which will consider alternative ways to guarantee simpler fares.

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