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As airlines continue trying to maximize their revenues, new flight-related tools and apps are popping up every day. One thing the airlines have started doing is auctioning off their empty premium-class seats. It’s obviously bad news for frequent flyers but great news for travelers who want to fly in style without breaking the bank or becoming a frequent flyer.

Some airlines have bidding programs in place that let travelers bid on premium seats days before a flight. I experienced this first-hand when I was successful in getting upgraded to/from Newark-Stockholm on SAS in June (here’s that story).

Now, thanks to a free app called (free on  and ), there’s a new way to bid. With SeatBoost, you just enter your flight number, select the type of upgrade you want, and start bidding. It’s free to use, and you only pay when you win. The kicker is that the auction begins just 90 minutes before departure, and ends right before boarding begins. SeatBoost is currently only live on select Virgin America flights and routes, but more may be on the way.

There’s a leaderboard that lets you see where you stand throughout the auction, putting you in control of your upgrade. In the last 30 seconds, only the top five participants can “play,” and although I haven’t played, I can understand when they say that it really can transform your wait time into game time.

Have you tried SeatBoost? What do you think about it?


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