United Airlines Upgrade Seat


United Airlines Upgrade Seat

United provides a variety of upgrades across various fare classes. Getting a front seat might feel like a challenge if you don’t have elite status, but it’s actually more attainable than you might think. Take a look at this comprehensive guide that covers everything you need to know about United Airlines upgrades. It includes information on upgrade types, availability, how the upgrade waitlist functions, and the significance of elite status in the upgrade process.

What Are the Types of Seat Upgrades Offered by United Airlines?

United Airlines offers multiple choices for obtaining a seat upgrade. As a Premier elite member, you have the option to upgrade your ticket using miles, qualify for a complimentary upgrade, or purchase a full-fare economy ticket that can be upgraded instantly. Just a reminder, upgrades are subject to space availability.

  • Complimentary Premier Upgrades: Upgrade to Premier elite status is available for eligible members on certain United-operated domestic flights.
  • Upgrade with Miles: Miles can be used to upgrade on flights operated by United or Copa Airlines.
  • Upgrade with PlusPoints for a seamless experience. Members with Premier status (Platinum and 1K) have the option to use PlusPoints to buy upgrades on United Airlines and select partner airline flights.
  • Upgrade on Star Alliance Flights. It is possible to upgrade using miles on certain flights with Star Alliance network partners.
  • Instant Upgrades are available at the time of ticketing for Premier members on full-fare economy Y and B fares, and for Premier 1K members by purchasing a M fare, depending on availability.

Prior to familiarizing yourself with the upgrade priority, it is essential to understand the process of determining the availability of upgrade space on your flight.

How Can I Determine the Availability of Upgrade Space?

One way to easily check seat availability for an upgrade is by using United Airlines Expert Mode when searching for tickets. To enable United’s expert mode on your account:

  • Visit United.com.
  • Sign in to your MileagePlus account.
  • Select the option to navigate to your Profile.
  • Access Search Preferences (where Expert Mode is located).
  • Click to confirm and save. Now, the expert mode will be activated.

Read Also: Qatar Airways Upgrade to Business Class: Full Guide

What is the Priority for the United Upgrade Waitlist?

The priority of your upgrade will be determined by your elite status with United and the method you use to upgrade, whether it’s with miles, PlusPoints, or cash/card, if you’re upgrading from Economy to Premium. United Airlines offers multiple elite status tiers, and the following ranking order determines the priority for upgrades.

  • United Global Services is a special level of service offered exclusively to United Airlines’ most valued customers, as determined by the airline.
  • United Premier 1K members can earn 280 PlusPoints upon qualifying, and they can also earn additional points if they exceed the qualification requirements. These points can be used to upgrade their flights. Complimentary upgrades are available for 1K members, depending on availability.
  • Members at the United Premier Platinum level can utilize their earned PlusPoints to upgrade their flights. Additionally, they may have the opportunity to receive complimentary upgrades, depending on availability.
  • Complimentary upgrades are available for United Premier Gold level members, depending on availability.
  • Complimentary upgrades are provided to United Premier Silver level members whenever they are available.

When Does the United Upgrade List Get Cleared?

If your upgrade cannot be confirmed right away, you will be added to United’s upgrade waitlist along with other passengers, regardless of your elite status. The United Airlines computer system will prioritize clearing the passenger at the top of the list for an upgrade up to 3 hours before departure. Following this, the gate agents will assume responsibility for managing the upgrade list in a prioritized order.

  • Passengers with Premier 1K status (Y, B, M fares) who were unable to be cleared in advance.
  • Passengers using PlusPoints receive priority based on their status, fare class, and the time of their request.
  • The order of priority for remaining Premier level members is determined by their status, fare class, and whether they are flying on award tickets.
  • Cardholders who are Premier members can also receive upgrades on award tickets for the following cards:
    • United℠ Business Card
    • United Club℠ Business Card
    • United Club℠ Infinite Card
    • United Quest℠ Card
    • United Explorer Card
    • United℠ Presidential Plus℠ Card and Business Card (closed for new applicants)

How Can I Get Upgraded on United Airlines?

United Airlines offers multiple options for upgrading your flight. You can use your frequent flyer miles, buy an upgrade with cash or credit card points, or be eligible for a complimentary upgrade based on your elite status or fare class.

If you happen to be a MileagePlus member, you have the option to utilize your miles for a seat upgrade to a higher class. You also have the option to buy an upgrade ahead of time using cash or credit card points. In addition, if you have elite status with United Airlines or book a higher fare class, you might qualify for a free upgrade. It’s worth mentioning that upgrades are subject to availability and not guaranteed. Therefore, it’s advisable to plan ahead and consider all possibilities when seeking to upgrade your United Airlines flight.

Read Also: Air France Upgrade to Upper Class

How Does United Airlines Upgrade With Miles Work?

Upgrading your United Airlines flight is a breeze. You have the option to use your United MileagePlus frequent flyer miles to upgrade your ticket when you make your purchase or even on an existing booking. Although it may not always offer the highest value, the key benefit is the ability to upgrade all fares using miles or miles plus a co-pay.


In order to determine the cost of an upgrade using miles and assess the value of using miles along with a co-pay option, it is necessary to first log into your MileagePlus account before searching for flights.

How Many Miles Need to Upgrade on United?

United no longer uses an award chart, meaning you’ll need to search for your flight on United.com or the United MileagePlus X app to determine the number of miles required. In order to determine the number of miles needed for an upgrade, several factors come into play.

These include your specific route, fare class, and the availability of upgrades. Upgrade costs can vary depending on the distance of the flight. For shorter domestic flights, upgrades can start as low as 5,000 miles, while for longer international flights in premium cabins, they can go up to over 100,000 miles.

United PlusPoints Upgrade

United Airlines also provides the option to utilize PlusPoints for upgrading your booking. PlusPoints are a fresh form of currency that takes the place of Regional Premier Upgrades (RPUs) and Global Premier Upgrades (GPUs). They can be utilized to enhance flights or access various other perks. If you want to find out the number of miles or PlusPoints required to upgrade your flight on United Airlines, it’s recommended to contact the airline directly.

How Do United Pluspoints Upgrades Works?

United Plus Points upgrades make your travel experience even better by giving you access to premium cabin seating and all its perks. They can be utilized to enhance eligible fares to Business or First Class on flights operated by United Airlines and United Express. The points needed for an upgrade depend on factors such as the flight duration and the desired cabin upgrade.

In order to utilize your PlusPoints, it is necessary to have a confirmed reservation and an ample amount of points in your account. After you’ve chosen the flight you want to upgrade, simply use PlusPoints via the United app or website to request an upgrade. If there are any available seats in the upgraded cabin, your request will be approved and you will receive a confirmation email containing the updated booking information.

How Can I Upgrade United Flight With Points?

To upgrade a United flight with PlusPoints, it’s important to ensure that your reservation meets the eligibility criteria for an upgrade using PlusPoints. To access the upgrade options, simply log into your MileagePlus account and navigate to the My Reservations page. To request an upgrade, simply click on “Upgrade with PlusPoints” and follow the prompts. If your reservation meets the requirements, you’ll be good to go!

Make sure you have sufficient PlusPoints in your account to pay for the upgrade. Keep in mind that the availability of upgrades can differ depending on the flight and time of day. After your upgrade request is confirmed, we will send you a confirmation email and update your seat assignment in your reservation.

United Star Alliance Upgrade

If you are a MileagePlus member, you have the option to request an upgrade on United’s extensive network of Star Alliance partner airlines. This allows you to move from Economy to Business or First Class on two-class planes, and from Business Class to First Class, depending on seat availability with the partner airline.

Most participating partner airlines allow you to request an upgrade up to 331 days before your departure. This applies to a maximum of 4 passengers on the same booking. To request an upgrade on a Star Alliance partner airline using miles, you’ll need to follow a few simple steps. First, book your ticket as you normally would. Then, access your booking on United.com. Finally, navigate to the Redeem Upgrade section and request the upgrade. It’s as easy as that! For information on upgrade conditions for partner airlines, please visit the Star Alliance Upgrade Awards page.

Read Also: Can I Upgrade Seats With Delta Airlines?

How to Get on United Upgrade List?

If you want to improve your chances of getting on the United Airlines upgrade list, there are a few steps you can take. First and foremost, ensure that you are a member of United’s MileagePlus program.

This will provide you with access to a variety of benefits, such as the option to earn and use miles for upgrades. Furthermore, it may be beneficial to schedule your flight during less busy periods, as this could increase the likelihood of obtaining upgrades.

If you’re looking for an upgrade, it might be worth asking at check-in or the gate. Occasionally, upgrades become available at the last minute due to flight cancellations and other factors.

Lastly, you may want to think about upgrading by paying with cash or using your miles if the price is affordable for you. Implementing these strategies can improve your likelihood of being added to the United Airlines upgrade list, leading to a more pleasant and indulgent travel experience.

How Can I Improve My Chances of Getting an Upgrade on United?

If you want to improve your chances of getting an upgrade on United Airlines, there are a couple of actions you can take.

For Elite Status Member

  • EarnPlusPoints once you achieve Platinum or Premier 1K status and utilize them to enhance your experience.
  • To receive an instant upgrade on certain flights, simply purchase a Y fare class or a full-fare discounted Economy Class B fare. If you’re a Premier 1K member, you can easily secure an instant upgrade by booking a M fare, subject to availability.
  • Consider checking for discounted Business Class fares before using your miles to upgrade from an Economy Class ticket.
  • Use United’s advanced search tool and select the MUA option (MileagePlus upgrade award) to easily find flights that can be upgraded using miles.
  • If you want a better chance of getting an upgrade over other Premier members with the same status, consider purchasing a higher fare ticket when you redeem your upgrade.
  • Redeem your MileagePlus miles for a Business or First Class ticket.
  • Please request an early upgrade as the timing of the request is important.

For Non- Elite Status Member

  • Make sure to check and compare fares for all service classes, as Business and First Class fares may sometimes be more affordable than Economy Class fares.
  • To secure a higher-class ticket, you can book a flight ticket that is upgradable and use your frequent flyer miles and co-pay, if seats are available. Choose the MileagePlus upgrade award option (MUA) on the advanced search page.
  • Redeem your MileagePlus miles for a luxurious First or Business Class ticket.
  • To increase your chances of getting an upgrade, consider booking flights during off-peak times or on less-popular routes.
  • It’s important to remain adaptable when making travel arrangements. If you’re open to adjusting your travel plans, such as taking a later flight or considering a different airport for your connection, there might be a higher chance of finding available upgrade seats.
  • Maximize your rewards by using your United MileagePlus credit card for purchases and enjoy the benefits of earning miles that can be redeemed for upgrades.

United Upgrade to First Class

If you want to enhance your travel experience with United Airlines, there are several options to consider for upgrading to First Class. One option is to utilize your frequent flyer miles or travel points to directly book a First Class seat. Another option is to inquire about the availability of First Class seats at check-in or the gate in order to potentially secure an upgrade.

Remember that upgrades are usually given out based on your status level and the availability of seats. To improve your chances of getting an upgrade, make sure you have elite status with the airline or try to travel during a less busy period. If nothing else works, you might want to think about buying a First Class ticket directly.

How to United Upgrade to First Class on for Free?

Here are some helpful tips and tricks for upgrading to First Class on United Airlines without any cost. You have the option to utilize your frequent flyer miles or PlusPoints to enhance your ticket. Another option is to reach elite status and get a free upgrade on a domestic route.

Another option is to check in early and inquire with the agent at the counter or gate about the possibility of any upgrades. Just remember that upgrades aren’t guaranteed and depend on availability. Lastly, you might want to consider signing up for a United credit card. They frequently provide benefits like complimentary upgrades and priority boarding.

United Upgrade to Business Class

If you’re interested in upgrading to Business Class on United Airlines, there are several options for you to consider. One option is to utilize your MileagePlus miles to enhance your ticket. To upgrade your flight, all you need to do is log into your United Airlines account on their website and choose the upgrade option if you have enough miles or PlusPoints.

Another option you can consider is United’s complimentary Premier Upgrades. These upgrades are awarded based on your status in the airline’s frequent flyer program and the availability on your flight. You also have the option to pay for an upgrade using cash or a credit card at check-in or the gate.

However, it’s important to note that the availability of these upgrades can vary and may not be guaranteed for every flight. For the most accurate information on upgrading your seat and enjoying the perks of Business Class travel, it’s recommended to reach out to United Airlines directly or consult with a travel agent.

How to United Upgrade to Business Class on for Free?

Securing a complimentary upgrade on United Airlines may require some strategic maneuvering, but there are several methods to enhance your likelihood of success. Consider enrolling in United’s MileagePlus loyalty program.

This program provides members with the chance to earn elite status and potentially enjoy complimentary upgrades. One approach is to get to the airport ahead of time and inquire with the gate agent about potential upgrades. Politeness and respect are crucial when making this request, as gate agents have the authority to approve or decline upgrades based on various factors.

Lastly, you might want to think about utilizing your frequent flyer miles or credit card rewards points to buy an upgrade directly. Although it may not be entirely free, it can be a budget-friendly option to experience the luxuries of flying in business or first class.

Read Also: KLM Airlines Upgrade Seat Class

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