Leap onto a flight upgrade with Aussie start-up Seatfrog

Tuesday, 31 May, 2016

Leap onto a flight upgrade with Aussie start-up Seatfrog

While you’re waiting for your next flight to be called, you may soon be able to upgrade your seat moments before boarding with the Seatfrog live bidding app that will launch globally later this year.

Seatfrog is the latest Australian tech start-up touted to be a ‘disrupter’, transforming the way passengers access flight upgrade offers. Airlines will also be able to unlock revenue by auctioning premium seats — right up until departure.

“Every year, millions of premium-class seats fly empty across the globe, representing billions of dollars in unrealised revenue opportunity,” said Iain Griffin, CEO and co-founder of Seatfrog.

“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.”

While most carriers offer loyalty programs that give members the chance to use points to move up a class (Virgin Australia and Air New Zealand are two examples of airlines currently using technology from Plusgrade that allows for cash bids to be made around a week before the flight), Seatfrog said it is the only mobile platform enabling airlines to extend upgrades this close to take-off, at the same time as ensuring a seamless customer experience.

The Seatfrog platform is already integrated with airline booking systems, and it will offer in-app payments and new boarding passes issued direct to your mobile for scanning at the departure gate in one transaction.

The company has just secured $1.2 million in seed funding, led by venture capital firm HOWZAT Partners, which is the investment team behind hotel metasearch business Trivago, which sold to Expedia Inc in 2013 in a US$1billion deal.

“Without question, Seatfrog is the platform that the industry has been waiting for to improve the upgrade experience. Airline ancillary revenue strategies are fragmented and there is a lot of untapped potential, particularly in relation to the same-day upgrade process,” said David Soskin, co-founder and partner at HOWZAT.

“The industry is positively ripe for disruption, and this represents a significant opportunity.”

Qantas International Chief Executive Simon Hickey and leading aviation lawyer Richard David are among the members of Seatfrog’s advisory board.

For more information about Seatfrog and to be notified when it goes live, visit www.seatfrog.com.

Image courtesy Seatfrog.

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