An Australian startup is helping you to upgrade your flights right up until you board. Seatfrog is a new app to auction seats that would otherwise fly empty. You can pay right there in the app and a boarding pass will be issued direct to your phone.
Airlines can close off sales and award frequent flyer upgrades first, before any remaining premium seats are opened up for passenger bidding right up to the gate.
Seatfrog launches globally this year, and has attracted the likes of former Qantas International CEO and aviation industry veteran, Simon Hickey, as an advisor.
"Seatfrog is undeniably ahead of the curve," Hickey says. "It not only delivers an exceptional mobile passenger experience, but it is a smart solution to the challenges of merchandising facing airlines and is already fully integrated across their systems, enabling real-time upgrades of ticket bookings right up to the departure gate."
"Seatfrog brings a level of intelligence and capability we haven’t seen before and I’m excited to see them drive innovation with airlines."
A $1.2 million seed funding round was announced today, led by the investment team behind Trivago.
"Every year, millions of premium class seats fly empty across the globe, representing billions of dollars in unrealised revenue opportunity," Iain Griffin, CEO and co-founder of Seatfrog said.
"For airlines, ancillaries are currently estimated to be worth around US$60 billion. Seatfrog's technology dramatically broadens the scope of this market opportunity by making upgrades seamless for passengers and maximising efficiency and profit for airlines."
"Our technology brings a mobile solution to market designed for the passengers of today. It keeps in mind the airlines' continual need to evolve their ancillary strategies through intelligent use of data, and the passengers' need for an intuitive, mobile-first platform that fits with their busy lives and takes the pain and confusion out of upgrading."
The app is currently in private beta, with it hitting app stores later in the year.