SeatBoost Launches Live-bidding for Virgin America Seat Upgrades with Connectivity Powered by Farelogix
LOS ANGELES – July 20, 2016— – SeatBoost has successfully launched real-time bidding for flight upgrades via its mobile app, enabling passengers to participate and bid against one another in a live auction environment.
90 minutes before departure, ticketed passengers on available routes can enter their flight number into the SeatBoost app. If premium seats are available, they can join the auction and start bidding for an upgrade. This turns the boring and monotonous pre-flight gate time into an exciting game-like auction, where passengers compete for the top spot on the leaderboard. Winners are notified via the app and are issued new boarding passes in their upgraded class.
The SeatBoost app gains access to premium or upgraded seat inventory using the Farelogix API and direct connect to airlines. SeatBoost can seamlessly integrate with any Farelogix airline customer to host auctions that create demand and drive purchases of premium upgrades right before boarding.
“The fact that our auction is live and takes place at the gate is key, because that’s how you can really drum up excitement and get people competing to purchase seats that would otherwise go unsold,” says Kevin Stamler, CEO of SeatBoost. “By opening those seats up to a live auction, we are enabling airlines to bring in additional ancillary revenue, while at the same time, creating positive brand interactions. Our experience reinforces that travelers are more inclined to purchase an upgraded seat when they feel like they’ve won something, especially when they get to choose how much they’re willing to spend.”
By partnering with Farelogix, SeatBoost is able to offer airlines a top-notch integration solution backed by a company that has been at the forefront of technology in the airline industry for nearly 20 years. “The SeatBoost app is a great example of how the NDC standard is being used to drive innovation in the airline industry,” says Jim Davidson, CEO of Farelogix. “And of course, it’s incredibly rewarding to see our technology being used by SeatBoost to not only help the airlines generate ancillary revenues right up to the point of departure, but also reward customers with a last minute upgrade at a price point they are comfortable with.”
SeatBoost is currently being offered by Alaska Air, which recently introduced the platform on select leisure routes and in a way that maintains the benefits of its Elevate frequent flyer members. At present, SeatBoost is offered on all of the airline’s departures from Las Vegas McCarran International Airport (LAS), as well as LAS services from San Francisco International Airport (SFO). Early feedback from bidders has been positive, with travelers in LAS in particular enjoying the process.
Kara Duenas, a SeatBoost in-airport representative, comments on how travelers have reacted to SeatBoost auctions to date: “At the airport, people often seem stressed from traveling, so the reactions from our auction winners stand out quite a bit. I remember one couple that was having such a good time trying to outbid the competition – they were laughing and joking around the entire time. They were both excited to learn that they had won upgrades, but I think they were just as excited about playing. I also get a lot of requests from winners to take their pictures as they receive their new boarding pass, which is always fun for me to capture.”
John MacLeod, Virgin America Senior Vice President of Planning and Sales, comments on what led the airline to partner with SeatBoost: “As the only airline based in Silicon Valley, we are always experimenting with new products and services that our tech-forward guests can use to make their travel experience even better and that drive ancillary revenue. With SeatBoost and the partnership with Farelogix, we can open up the opportunity for new guests to experience our First Class and Main Cabin Select and importantly – the platform also allows us to hold back seat inventory to ensure that we protect the perks of our most loyal guests.”
From the travelers’ perspective, SeatBoost makes premium seats both accessible and attainable, and gives them a sense of control. Participants can see where they stand in the leaderboard throughout the auction, and they decide what they are willing to bid.
According to Stamler, “Customer satisfaction becomes increasingly more important as airlines continue to explore and vet new avenues to drive revenue. SeatBoost is uniquely positioned in the market to provide a product that not only maximizes ancillary revenue but also strengthens airlines’ relationships with their customers through positive brand experiences.”
SeatBoost is an app that hosts live auctions for premium flight upgrades right before boarding to help airlines generate ancillary revenue. For additional information, visit seatboost.com.
Farelogix is a recognized leader and innovator in the travel industry. Its groundbreaking technology is modernizing the airline commerce and distribution landscape and is used by several of the world’s leading airlines. The company’s flagship Airline Commerce Gateway is a technology platform comprised of fully integrated and optimized components for airline-controlled distribution, shopping, pricing, merchandising, and retailing across channels. Recognized for its pioneering role in creating the distribution innovation known today as NDC, Farelogix now provides NDC (Level 4 certified) distribution for more than 17 airlines with connectivity to all major PSS systems. Farelogix is headquartered in Miami, Florida with an office in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. For additional information, visit www.farelogix.com.