Seatfrog upgrade app promises to transform the future airline ancillaries

Victoria
By Victoria August 2, 2016 17:04

Seatfrog upgrade app promises to transform the future airline ancillaries

Seatfrog has partnered with Amadeus Next to offer a mobile application that allows travellers to upgrade their seat in the 48-hour window prior to take-off, and right up until the time of departure.

Using real-time data intelligence from Amadeus, Seatfrog’s mobile platform offers travellers the opportunity to bid on an upgrade on their upcoming flight.

Speaking to Aviation News Online, CEO and co-founder of Seatfrog, Iain Griffin explained that the technology has been trialled by one airline and the company is currently in discussions with several more around the world that have expressed interest.

The traveller input their booking reference into the app to bid on upgrades for each section of their flight against all of the other passengers in economy. The airline typically releases the available seats for sale 48 hours before take-off. Typically this would be after frequent fliers have been offered upgrades etc. Passengers can choose to bid on the seat right up to the gate or click on the ‘buy now’ price. Travellers transparently bid and pay for an upgrade in real time, and receive a new boarding pass directly to their mobile to scan at the gate in one smooth transaction. Because the app is powered using real-time information if there is a change of aircraft or the seat becomes unavailable, bids are denied and refunds issued automatically in real-time.

Griffin is unable to share real gains made by the airline using this service but he maintains that this app is set to capture a share of thousands of business class seats that fly empty every day. One airline has calculated that is has 600,000 empty business seats every year, Seatfrog intends to tap into that source of unclaimed ancillary revenue making big gains for the airline.

“Ultimately, our platform is bringing a new level of intelligence to market in delivering the right product, in the right channel at the right time,” said Griffin. “Mobile has spearheaded a dramatic shift in global passenger behaviour, with over 83 per cent using it as their primary travel tool, and airlines need to think like retailers if they are to take advantage of this evolution. Seatfrog will help Airlines to drive higher engagement and unlock significant revenue while delivering a superior mobile experience right up to the gate.”

“Seatfrog is incredibly smart, mobile, and will deliver an outstanding passenger experience.” said Simon Akeroyd, VP, Corporate Strategy and Business Development at Amadeus Asia Pacific. “Innovation is about doing things differently and finding real solutions to real problems, and that is exactly what Seatfrog has done. The team has aligned today’s always-connected mobile passengers, with the challenge faced by airlines around the globe — selling seats that would otherwise fly empty, at the exact time that passengers think about upgrades.”

Recent Amadeus research demonstrates that airlines should focus their efforts on mobile-first strategies within 48 hours of a flight, which is the peak of a passenger’s intent for ancillaries. With Seatfrog, airlines will have 24/7 control over rules and performance to personalise and target passengers at exactly the right time and drive revenue like never before.

Griffin said, “Research shows giving people the chance to upgrade on traditional channels isn’t enough. This is where Seatfrog comes in. We use behavioural design and real-time data to deliver a user experience that adapts to passenger behaviour and enables passengers to make better decisions at the perfect time.”

Victoria
By Victoria August 2, 2016 17:04