First-class train seats for less: how Seatfrog is making luxury train travel affordable

As I get a bit older, I like to relax and spread out a little bit more and was excited to hear about Seatfrog which allows you to bid on first-class train tickets, rather like some airlines allow you to bid on business and first-class tickets.

While train travel is often associated with delays, rising costs and complex, inflexible booking systems, the nifty train ticket app, Seatfrog, doesn’t just allow you to save money, but it gives you back control over your own travel plans. 

What is Seatfrog all about? 

Seatfrog isn’t just your average train ticket app – it’s a game-changer for travellers across the UK who are looking for cheaper, more affordable and accessible train tickets. With access to over 3,400 destinations, Seatfrog has already helped 1.5 million users save £62 million since its launch in 2018.

It first began when co-founders Iain Griffin and Dirk Stewart, who, at a combined height of 13ft, found they had to constantly book first-class seats to get the extra legroom they required. They had a lightbulb moment when they realised the sheer number of empty first-class seats on trains.  

Seatfrog allows passengers to buy tickets, upgrade to first class, swap their trains and save up to 50% if they can be flexible with their travel times – all within one app. 

So what can you do and how does it work?

Bid on empty first-class seats and snag them for a bargain price 

With the ability to bid on empty first-class seats and snag them for a bargain price, travellers can make their journeys extra special and enjoy the comfort and luxury of first-class without breaking the bank. 

From just £8, Seatfrog allows you to upgrade any standard ticket to first class. There are two ways you can do this – either by paying a flat one-off fee or by joining Seatfrog’s daily auctions where you can bid on first-class seats that are otherwise empty. 

An insider tip for Mrs Bargain Hunter readers is that the best travel times for securing a cheaper upgrade on the Seatfrog app is after 7pm, or between 9am to midday. 

Switch inflexible fixed-price tickets 

Life can be unpredictable and plans often change. So when that happens,  instead of stressing over a ticket you can no longer use or forking out for a new one at full price, Seatfrog’s Train Swap feature can help save the day.

With Seatfrog you can switch your train times on the go for as little as £2.50 up to 10 minutes before your scheduled departure. And when you consider that Brits reportedly waste £700m a year on cancelling and rebooking inflexible ‘advance’ train tickets, it’s a handy feature to know. 

This service is available on Seatfrog for Northern, Cross Country, TransPennine Express and selected LNER routes with a nationwide rollout planned. 

Save up to 50% on train tickets if you can be flexible with the times you travel

One of Seatfrog’s latest features is its Secret Fare option which unlocks savings of up to 50% off standard ticket prices.  For travellers who can be more flexible with time, Secret Fare allows you to specify a preferred time window for travel (morning, afternoon or evening) and Seatfrog’s technology then selects the train you will travel on before issuing your ticket 24 hours before departure. 

The offer is available on TransPennine Express journeys including between Manchester to Newcastle from £10, Liverpool to York from £7 and Newcastle to Leeds from £6 to name a few, with this due to launch on more train operators soon.

The service is also available on Avanti and is called Superfare. It works in exactly the same way and gives journey savings of up to 89% cheaper than the standard ticket price. With tickets from London to Glasgow for only £30 and London to Manchester from £20, you can grab yourself a bargain. 

What are customers saying? 

Don’t just take our word for it – hear what Seatfrog user and dad, Simon Harris, has to say. Simon calculated that he saved just over £450 on a first-class train ticket from King’s Cross to Edinburgh for him and his family by using a rail card and Seatfrog. 

I figured out that the journey we took in first class would have come to around £600 if I purchased the tickets through conventional methods. With our ‘family and friends’ railcard, we ended up paying £146 including the original standard class tickets and the Seatfrog upgrades (these were £26 each).’

Ready to start saving on train travel? 

The Seatfrog app can be downloaded here.

Image by Birte from Pixabay

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