Rail and airline seat upgrade platform Seatfrog has announced a partnership with Capita Travel and Events in an industry first.

The agreement will offer business travellers who book standard advance tickets through Capita Travel and Events the opportunity to upgrade to first class by bidding for unsold seats when travelling on London North Eastern Railways (LNER) services. Seatfrog says users will never pay more than the value of the upgrade and there are no “hidden” fees.

Users will need to download the Seatfrog app – available for both iOS and Android devices – to bid for upgrades.

Seatfrog says the partnership continues its expansion into the business travel industry and is particularly significant as the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) predicts the sector to be worth US$1.7 trillion by 2022.

The platform uses technology to integrate customer bookings with complex internal systems to allow business travellers to bid for empty first class seats using live, accurate information.

Capita Travel and Events says it books more than 1.5 million rail tickets a year. Its partnership with Seatfrog follows an agreement with Delay Repay compensation specialist Railguard.

Joshua Collier, head of proposition, rail and ground transportation at Capita Travel and Events, said: “Our partnership with Seatfrog, supported by our relationship with LNER, will enable travellers to upgrade to first class, providing a much more relaxed and productive working environment. Organisations, meanwhile, will not have to alter their policy settings to open up first class travel to all travellers and can be flexible on whether they will allow the employee to claim this back through expense channels.”

Iain Griffin, co-founder and CEO of Seatfrog, commented: “As we see a continued increase in business trips, now is an important time for us to develop and invest more in business travel. The partnership with Capita Travel and Events is the first of many steps into the business sector for Seatfrog and represents another move forward in the fast evolution of our platform, and there’s plenty more to come.”

seatfrog.com; capitatravelevents.co.uk

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