First Class upgrades with Seatfrog

Whether you’re travelling for business or for leisure, we want to give you more opportunities to experience First Class service on our trains. We’ve teamed up with Seatfrog and you can get a First Class upgrade from as little as £13 using their app.

Download the Seatfrog app

Download the app

How to upgrade

Seatfrog upgrade steps

Step 1 - Download and add your journey

Simply download the Seatfrog app. Enter your booking reference or use Seatfrog’s handy train search feature to get started. We’ll show you what upgrades are available for your journey.

Step 2 -Start bidding

Select the number of upgrades you’d like to bid for and set your price for each upgrade. It’s free to take part and you only pay if you win.

Step 3 - Upgrade in seconds

If your bid wins, Seatfrog will notify you and send your upgrade straight to your phone. Show this on-board alongside your original ticket to enjoy your First Class experience.

Want an instant upgrade without bidding?

You don’t have to bid for an upgrade. You can secure an upgrade early with the ‘Upgrade Now’ price in Seatfrog and upgrade instantly. The 'Upgrade Now' feature is available to purchase three days before travel and while you are onboard the train.

The First Class experience

Our First Class experience offers a relaxed environment with more space to stretch out and is available on all our intercity services to and from London St Pancras. Here’s some of the reasons why First Class offers a more luxurious experience:

  • Spacious, comfortable seats, each with a table
  • Quieter carriages
  • Plug sockets for laptops and mobile devices
  • Light food and refreshments served at your table, Monday to Saturday

Find out more about First Class

Seatfrog is a free app that lets our customers bid for an upgrade to First Class, when they have purchased a Standard Class ticket and are travelling on an eligible service with availability in First Class.

All valid Standard Class tickets are eligible for Seatfrog upgrades.

As Seatfrog is a last minute upgrades service, the availability of upgrades on your service are confirmed closer to your date of departure.

Seatfrog upgrades are available on selected peak and off-peak services on our intercity route between London and key East Midlands destinations including Leicester, Derby, Nottingham, Sheffield and East Midlands Parkway. The availability will be dictated by expected passenger volumes in First and Standard Class carriages.

There are two ways you can purchase an eligible ticket for Seatfrog upgrades:

  • Book directly through our website or app
  • Book through third party providers authorised to sell EMR tickets

You will also need to ensure:

  • You must be over 18 years of age
  • Book a service operated by EMR
  • Book a Standard Class ticket

Once you have booked an eligible ticket, you can add your trip to the Seatfrog app by using the Train Search feature on the Seatfrog app.

Enter your booking reference or use Seatfrog’s handy train search feature and Seatfrog will show you any upgrades available on your journey.

Auctions start 24 hours before departure and end 30 minutes before the train is due to depart. Seatfrog will notify you as soon as the auction starts.

Select the number of upgrades you’d like to bid for and set your price for each upgrade. You can place as many bids as you like in each auction you join before the auction ends.

If you win, Seatfrog will notify you and take your payment. You will receive a First Class upgrade barcode straight to your phone.

Auctions start approximately 24 hours before and end 30 minutes before your train departs from its origin station.

Yes, there is an ‘Upgrade Now’ price in Seatfrog. The 'Upgrade Now' feature is available to purchase three days before travel and while you are onboard the train.

Yes, you can upgrade on board the train, with the 'Upgrade Now' feature in Seatfrog.

If you win, Seatfrog will send you a First Class upgrade barcode straight to your phone. You’ll also receive this in a confirmation email with your upgrade receipt. Once you’re onboard, take your seat in First Class where the Train Manager will check your First Class barcode on the Seatfrog app, along with your original Standard Class ticket.

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 doesn’t run on trains that are expected to be busy.

It’s free to bid for an upgrade. You only pay if you win.

Auctions start 24 hours before departure and end 30 minutes before the train is due to depart. Seatfrog will notify you as soon as the auction starts.

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 the auction ends.

Your bid is hidden from other bidders, and you can’t see theirs either.

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.

Yes, Seatfrog generates a tax receipt with your First Class upgrade barcode and emails you a copy.

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.

Customers should only pass-through gates at stations with their original Standard Class ticket.

Show the Train Manager your new First Class upgrade barcode in the Seatfrog app along with your original Standard Class ticket. The Train Manager will check both tickets.

If you win an upgrade and your journey is delayed, you may still be able to use your upgrade. Please contact your travel provider for more information. Upgrades are also eligible for Delay Repay compensation if you arrive at your final destination delayed by 15 minutes or more.

If your trip is cancelled, you will need to contact your travel provider directly.

Seatfrog will stop auctions if there is any expected disruption and further upgrades will not be available for affected services.

You can only use your Seatfrog update on the selected service. If you miss your train, unfortunately, you won’t be able to use your upgrade on a later service.

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 please make sure your phone is charged.

You can access the ‘Help’ section in the Seatfrog app or website or email Seatfrog at [email protected]

When travelling with East Midlands Railway you can book assistance up to 2 hours before travel, we recommend booking in advance if you can, but if you are not able to, we will always be there on the day to help you.

  • Call 08000 11 33 23
  • Call our customer service centre on 03457125678, we are open 24/7, 7 days a week.
  • Message us on WhatsApp on +447501330988.
  • Book online

You can also request assistance via Passenger Assistance by Transreport – a new smartphone app. Passenger Assistance by Transreport allows you to:
- Request assistance for your rail journey
- Manage your customer profile
- View your travel history
- Browse rail journeys via the online journey planner
To download the app, follow the link below most suitable for your device:
Download the Android App
Download the IOS App

Seatfrog upgrades come with the same benefits as a normal EMR First Class ticket. Visit our First Class page for more information.

  1. By downloading and using the Seatfrog application customers will have the opportunity to enter an online auction to upgrade from Standard Class train travel to First Class train travel subject to these terms and conditions together with the Seatfrog terms and conditions .
  2. The Seatfrog upgrade auction offer can only be used by customers and accompanying travellers, each with a valid Standard Class ticket, travelling on eligible East Midlands Railway services. To find out which services are eligible for the chance to upgrade via the Seatfrog auction, customers will need to enter their booking reference or use the Seatfrog 'Train Search' once they have downloaded the Seatfrog application.
  3. 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 East Midlands Railway trains.
  4. Customers travelling in a group 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.
  5. Due to the last-minute nature of Seatfrog auctions we can't guarantee everyone in a group will sit together.
  6. Upon payment of the upgrade fee via the Seatfrog application, customers are issued with First Class upgrade barcodes for the specified number of upgrades within the Seatfrog application. Each upgrade barcode issued to the customer’s Seatfrog application 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.
  7. Seatfrog upgrades are verified by the Train Manager. If the customer cannot produce a valid barcode on their mobile device, they will be charged as if they are travelling without a valid ticket, for further information please see National Rail Conditions of Travel . 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.
  8. 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, along with their original train tickets. Please note for the avoidance of doubt, any Delay Repay compensation due to customers will be calculated based on the price paid for their original Standard Class train ticket and any additional costs paid via the Seatfrog auction upgrade application.
  9. The Seatfrog upgrade is non-refundable except where the customer can't travel because of East Midlands Railway delays or train cancellation, or where First Class accommodation is unavailable. Special arrangements will be made to accommodate customers on the next available East Midlands Railway train (although a seat can't be guaranteed), or to refund the upgrade fee paid, provided the journey has not yet commenced.
  10. The East Midlands Railway First Class complimentary service varies according to date, time of day and the journey being made. All items and offers listed are subject to availability, may change or may be withdrawn at any time.
  11. The Seatfrog upgrade purchase price will also include an additional £3 booking fee.