Sometimes our trains are quieter than we’d like during the week. So, we’ve got together with the team at Seatfrog to give you the chance to bid on a First Class seat - seamlessly from your mobile phone.
Think of it as paying for an advance ticket, but at the last minute. All you need is a Standard Class ticket, bought direct from us at GWR.
Sit back and relax
We’ll whisk you away in style.
- lounges at Paddington, Cardiff Central, Penzance and Truro
- complimentary drinks and snacks
- spacious reclining seats and free Wi-Fi
- tables and power sockets at every seat
Here's what you need to know What is Seatfrog?
Seatfrog is an app that enables customers to bid for an upgrade to First Class, when they have purchased an eligible Standard Class ticket and are travelling on an eligible service which has availability in First Class.
Eligible Ticket Types
Seatfrog currently supports Standard Advance, Anytime, Off-Peak, Super Off-Peak and season tickets, booked on selected services operating 7 days a week.
- London Paddington to/from Bristol Temple Meads, Weston-super-Mare, Taunton, Exeter, Plymouth and Penzance via Swindon
- London Paddington to/from Oxford and Worcester, Great Malvern, Hereford via Oxford
- London Paddington to/from Cheltenham Spa, Worcester via Swindon
- London Paddington to/from Cardiff, Swansea, Carmarthen and Pembroke Dock
- London Paddington to/from Newbury, Bedwyn, Westbury, Taunton, Exeter, Plymouth and Penzance via Newbury and/or Castle Cary
How does it work?
- just enter your trip details or booking reference to get started and we’ll show you what upgrades are available on your train
- Seatfrog will let you know 24hrs before departure if there is an upgrade available and an auction starts
- place as many bids as you like in each auction you join before the time ends
- if you win the auction, Seatfrog will take your payment and generate a First Class upgrade barcode straight to your phone so you can take your seat and relax
Can I pay for the upgrade without the auction? Yes, you can, there is an “Upgrade Now” price in Seatfrog. You can “Upgrade Now” anytime from adding your trip to 30 mins before departure. Who can participate?
- users who book online through the GWR website or any 3rd Party booking channel authorised to sell GWR tickets
- users who are 18 years or older
When do auctions run?
Auctions start approximately 24 hours before and end 30 mins before the train’s departure from its origin station.
How to claim your upgrade?
- Seatfrog will issue you a First Class upgrade barcode straight to your phone. You’ll also receive this in a confirmation email with your upgrade receipt
- present your new First Class upgrade barcode alongside the existing Standard class ticket to the train guard
- both tickets will then be scanned by the guard
Number of seats available Upgrade availability depends on how busy the service is. Seatfrog won’t allow you to bid for more seats than are available in an auction and also doesn’t run on trains that are expected to be busy. Does it cost me anything? It is free to bid for an upgrade. You only pay if you win How do I know when an auction starts? Auctions start approximately 24 hours before departure. Just make sure you turn notifications on and Seatfrog will do the rest, notifying you as soon as an upgrade is available, and an auction has started. Can I bid for multiple upgrades?
- yes. Just choose how many upgrades you want and start bidding
- the app won’t let you select more upgrades than are available on the service
- everyone you are bidding for must hold their eligible ticket to travel
- Seatfrog will try to accommodate your group as best as possible. However, due to seating being allocated in advance, it can’t be guaranteed that you will be sitting together with your travelling companion(s)
- if on the rare occasion you’re not seated with your travel companion, you may move to another unreserved seat in the First Class carriage
How many bids can I place in an auction? You can bid as many times as you like. For bids to be accepted they must be higher than the reserve or current price in the auction. To win make sure you have the highest bid when time’s up. Can I see other people’s bids? We make sure your bid is hidden from other bidders, so you can’t see theirs either. How do I pay for my ticket? Simple. As soon as you want to place a bid, Seatfrog will ask you to register your preferred payment card and this will be charged if you win the upgrade. Do I get a receipt? Yes. Seatfrog generates a tax receipt with your First Class upgrade barcode and emails you a copy, so you don’t need to do anything. Can I pick my seat?
- Seatfrog will place you in the best seat available as soon as you win the upgrade
- if you are travelling with someone Seatfrog will do its best to seat you with your travel companion(s), but it can’t always be guaranteed
Can I use my upgrade at the ticket gates? Customers should only pass through gates at Stations with their original ticket. How do I show the guard my new ticket? Just show the guard your new First Class upgrade barcode in the Seatfrog app along with your current Standard Class ticket. The guard will check both tickets. What happens if my train is delayed or cancelled?
- if you win an upgrade and your trip is delayed, you may still be able to use your upgrade. Please contact your travel provider for more information
- if your trip is cancelled, you will need to contact your travel provider directly. Contact information can be found in https://www.gwr.com/help-and-support/refunds-and-compensation/delay-repay
What happens if there is a disruption? Seatfrog will stop auctions if there is any expected disruption. Further upgrades will not be available for affected services. What happens if I miss my train? You can only use your Seatfrog upgrade on the selected service, so if you miss your train, unfortunately, you won’t be able to use your upgrade on a later service. What happens if my phone dies? Please be aware that if you can't produce your Seatfrog upgrade and your original ticket to the train manager you may be asked to pay the full cost of a First Class ticket. You’ll also receive your upgrade via email so make sure your phone is charged! What if I need assistance?
- you can access the ‘Help’ section in the Seatfrog app or the website https://help.seatfrog.com/hc/en-gb or email Seatfrog on email@example.com
- auction winners/participants that require assisted travel should call 0800 197 1329 or use the Next Generation Text (NGT) service on 18001 0800 197 1329
What do I get with up upgrade?
- Seatfrog upgrades come with the same benefits of a normal First Class ticket. For the latest list of First Class features, please visit the GWR website
- as a First Class passenger, you’ll be eligible for complimentary drinks and snacks. Menus change seasonally and are subject to availability so refer to the GWR website for the latest information on food and beverages
- if you win a Seatfrog upgrade, you’ll also be eligible for First Class lounge access (London Paddington and Cardiff Central). Simply show your original ticket along with your upgrade barcode displayed on the Seatfrog app to lounge staff when you enter.
- Upgrades are available at a starting price of £15, which includes a platform fee.
- This Seatfrog upgrade auction offer can only be used by customers and accompanying travellers on the same booking reference, with a Standard Advance, Standard Off-Peak, Standard Super Off-Peak, Standard Anytime or Season ticket, travelling on eligible Great Western Railway (GWR) services. There are no restrictions on which Standard Class tickets can engage in the auction.
- Each Seatfrog upgrade is valid for a single person and is for the one-way journey on the stipulated date and time only. Upgrades are not transferable even if the original ticket allows travel in Standard Class on other GWR trains.
- Customers travelling in a group on the same booking reference may participate in a Seatfrog auction to upgrade together. Any member of the group can register with Seatfrog and bid on a number of seats which they specify. Should the member win an auction, the specified number of upgrades will be issued to their device.
- Due to the last-minute nature of Seatfrog auctions we can't guarantee everyone in a group will sit together.
- Upon payment of the upgrade fee, customers are issued with First Class upgrade barcodes for the specified number of upgrades within the Seatfrog app. Each upgrade barcode issued to the customer’s mobile phone must be presented, along with a valid Standard Class ticket, to the Train Manager. Customers must also retain their original Standard Class tickets to pass through station gates. The First Class upgrade barcode is not valid unless accompanied by a valid Standard Class ticket.
- Seatfrog upgrades are verified by the Train Manager. If the customer can't produce a valid barcode on their mobile device, they will be charged the difference between the appropriate First Class fare and their current ticket fare. It is the customer's responsibility to make sure their mobile device is fully charged, as verification can take place at any point during the journey.
- Seatfrog upgrades bought through the Seatfrog app also include access to the GWR Lounges at London Paddington and Cardiff Central, if time permits.
- Seatfrog upgrades are also eligible for Delay Repay compensation if a service is delayed by 15 minutes or more. Customers will need to include their Seatfrog receipt when they submit a delay repay form online.
- The Seatfrog upgrade is non-refundable except where the customer can't travel because of GWR delays or train cancellation, or where First Class accommodation is unavailable. Special arrangements will be made to accommodate customers on the next available GWR train (although a seat can't be guaranteed), or to refund the upgrade fee paid, provided the journey has not yet commenced.
- The GWR First Class complimentary service varies according to date, time of day and the journey being made.
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