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Global Premier Upgrades

Global Premier® Upgrades are one-way, one-cabin upgrades, confirmable as early as time of ticketing on all United-, United Express®- and Copa Airlines-operated flights systemwide.

Premier members will earn six Global Premier Upgrades upon meeting all qualification requirements of Premier 1K® status. An additional two Global Premier Upgrades will be awarded for each 50,000 Premier qualifying miles or 60 Premier qualifying segments earned thereafter during the same calendar year that Premier 1K was reached. Learn more about Premier status.

Global Premier Upgrades will be deposited at the time they are earned, and will be valid through the end of the following Premier program year.

Eligible flights

Global Premier Upgrades are available on all United-, United Express- and Copa Airlines-operated flights systemwide.

These upgrades can be used on paid, published fares for upgrades from United Economy®, United Business® or United BusinessFirst® to the next higher cabin. Fare classes Z, P, S, T, L, K, G and N may only be upgraded on flights to select regions. See the upgrade regions chart for full details on upgrade eligibility and fare restrictions.

How to request

Once the traveler’s ticket has been issued, members can redeem Global Premier Upgrades by viewing the reservation on united.com and selecting the Upgrade Reservation link. Global Premier Upgrades may also be redeemed by calling the United Customer Contact Center.

Confirmation priority

Global Premier Upgrades may be confirmed as early as time of ticketing or time of request. If upgrade space is not available at the time when the upgrade is requested, members will be placed on a waitlist. The waitlist will clear automatically by Premier status, then fare class*, then time of request. New waitlist requests for Global Premier Upgrades can be made until 24 hours prior to departure.

Learn more about upgrade confirmation priority

*Fare class structure for Global Premier Upgrades, in priority order, is: J, C, D, Z, P (for upgrades from United Business to United First® or United BusinessFirst to United Global FirstSM on three-cabin aircraft) and Y, B, M, E, U, H, Q, V, W, S, T, L, K, G, N (for upgrades from United Economy to the next higher class of service on all aircraft). Note that on some flights, Global Premier Upgrades are not available for fare classes Z, P, S, T, L, K, G and N.

Sponsoring another member

Premier members may request an upgrade for any other traveler using a Global Premier Upgrade, even if they are not traveling on the same reservation. In order to sponsor a Global Premier Upgrade for another traveler, the sponsoring member will need to sign in to united.com using their own account, then search for the reservation using the traveling member’s confirmation number and last name. The sponsoring member can then redeem the Global Premier Upgrade by selecting the Upgrade Reservation link. Waitlist confirmation priority is based on the Premier status of the redeeming account.

Terms of use on United-, United Express- and Copa Airlines-operated flights

  • Each Global Premier Upgrade is valid for a single one-way, one-cabin upgrade.
  • Global Premier Upgrades are earned based on flights taken between January 1 and December 31 of the same calendar year.
  • Members must fly at least four flights on United, United Express or Copa Airlines during a calendar year in order to be eligible to earn Global Premier Upgrades.
  • Global Premier Upgrades will be deposited at the time when they are earned, and will be valid for travel through the end of the following Program year. For example, a Global Premier Upgrade earned in June 2013 will be valid for travel through January 2015.
  • Global Premier Upgrades in certain types of sales accounts may have different expiration policies.
  • Global Premier Upgrades may be redeemed at united.com or by calling the United Customer Contact Center.
  • Global Premier Upgrades are valid on United-, United Express- or Copa Airlines-operated flights.
  • Stopovers require multiple upgrade products. A stopover for a single, one-way trip within the U.S. or between the U.S. and Canada is defined as longer than 4 hours in the connecting city. A stopover for a single, one-way trip to or from all other destinations is defined as longer than 24 hours in the connecting city.
  • New waitlist requests for Global Premier Upgrades will be accepted until 24 hours prior to departure.
  • Global Premier Upgrades are fully transferable and may be used for travel with or without the earning Premier member.
  • In the case of redeposit or cancellation, the Global Premier Upgrade will be returned to the account from which it was redeemed.
  • In most cases, the Global Premier Upgrade will be considered used if any segment of an itinerary is upgraded or flown. However, for travel which includes segments in United BusinessFirst or United Global First, the Global Premier Upgrade will be re-deposited if the United BusinessFirst or United Global First segment(s) could not be upgraded.
  • Global Premier Upgrades are subject to capacity controls, which may limit the number of seats available for upgrade.
  • Award tickets, flights that have already been upgraded, and certain fares such as industry discount, Hotwire and priceline.com fares, are not eligible for Global Premier Upgrades.
  • The number of MileagePlus award miles, Premier qualifying miles and Premier qualifying segments earned is based on the fare class of the ticket originally purchased, not the upgraded class.
  • Other restrictions may apply. Terms and other information are subject to change without notice.

Terms of use on Lufthansa-operated flights

Global Premier Upgrades may be used on Lufthansa-operated flights on a day-of-departure basis. A printed certificate is necessary for this type of upgrade, and MileagePlus members should call the MileagePlus Service Center at least two weeks before their Lufthansa flight to request a certificate, which will be mailed to the member. The certificate must be presented to a Lufthansa representative at the airport on the day of departure and surrendered upon upgrade confirmation. Each certificate is valid for a one-way, one-segment upgrade on any multi-cabin international flight operated by Lufthansa. Global Premier Upgrades will not be issued for use on Lufthansa-operated flights for travel to U.S. embargoed travel destinations within Cuba, North Korea and Syria. Upgrades are subject to availability.

Requests to convert a Global Premier Upgrade to a certificate for upgrade on Lufthansa will require an existing itinerary.**

When contacting the MileagePlus Service Center, the following information is required in order to process your upgrade request:

  • Confirmation number of the itinerary for the Lufthansa-operated flight segment on which you wish to upgrade
  • Lufthansa-operated flight segment details, including:
    • Departure city/airport
    • Arrival city/airport
    • Flight number
    • Flight date
  • First and last name of the traveler who will present the certificate to the Lufthansa representative at the airport. The traveler’s name must match the name on the eligible ticket associated with the above Lufthansa-operated flight segment information.

The traveler name, confirmation number, flight segment departure and arrival cities, and flight number will be printed on your upgrade certificate.**

Fare class eligibility is determined by the operating carrier. The following Lufthansa fares are not eligible for Global Premier Upgrades: L, T, X, I, R, N, E, S, W, Z, P, K, O, ID, AD and IP. Please reference the terms and conditions below for specific eligibility rules.

**Outstanding certificates issued before March 1, 2013, will be honored in their original form. In order to use any re-issued certificates, you must follow the details outlined above.

General conditions on Lufthansa-operated flights
  1. Valid carrier: This upgrade certificate may be used only on Lufthansa flights (only on multi-cabin aircraft) and not on flights operated by other airlines. Upgrade requests for flights marketed by other airlines but operated by Lufthansa (“LH”) are also allowed on a standby basis on the day of departure, subject to availability.
  2. Valid routing: This certificate is valid for international Lufthansa-operated flights for standby upgrade on day of travel only. Stopovers are not permitted. The specific Lufthansa flight segment must be printed on the certificate.
  3. Upgradeable booking classes: This upgrade may be used on standby basis, subject to upgrade availability, on the day of travel on any eligible Lufthansa flight in accordance with the terms and conditions of this certificate except when booked in LH booking classes L, T, X, I, R, N, E, S, W, Z, P, K, O, ID, AD and IP. Lufthansa reserves the right to change the eligible fare classes at any time without notice.
  4. Non-upgradeable tickets: The upgrade may not be used with any MileagePlus award ticket, Miles & More award ticket, or any other frequent flyer award ticket as well as industry discount tickets (ID, AD and IP fares). Some Internet sites, such as Priceline.com and Hotwire.com, issue tickets that are not upgradeable.
  5. MileagePlus accrual: The MileagePlus miles earned will be based upon the class of service purchased, not the upgraded class of service.
  6. Ticketing: Tickets must be issued in the eligible purchased Lufthansa Economy or Lufthansa Business class fare. Ticket will not be reissued using this upgrade certificate. When traveling on Lufthansa, this upgrade certificate must be presented at the airport on the day of departure and surrendered to a Lufthansa agent upon upgrade confirmation.
  7. Lufthansa upgrade request: When traveling on Lufthansa, a standby upgrade may be requested at the time of check-in. Prior to traveling on Lufthansa, request an exchange of a global premier e-upgrade for a paper certificate to use on Lufthansa. The upgrade class will be confirmed at check-in, if available, and a seat assignment may be requested. The upgraded First/Business booking class may not always be available on all flights or on all days of the week while traveling. Lufthansa check-in deadlines apply.
  8. Upgrade processing: This upgrade may be requested at time of check-in on Lufthansa and will be processed based on the availability of capacity-controlled seating and meals. Upgrades are subject to availability.
  9. Upgrade rules: Multiple certificates may not be combined to obtain a two-cabin upgrade. For flights that stop en route, the upgrade is only permitted when the upgraded seating is available on all portions of the flight. The named Traveler bearing this certificate must match the name of the ticket holder requesting the upgrade. This certificate must be used on the requested Flight Segment, Flight Number and Confirmation Number. If Lufthansa is unable to locate the Confirmation Number, the certificate will remain valid so long as the Traveler Name and Flight Segment match that of the ticket holder. Changes to the itinerary, including schedule changes, that modify the Flight Number but retain the same Traveler Name and Flight Segment will also remain valid. In the event of irregular operations or schedule changes, the Lufthansa agent has discretion to accept a certificate that does not match the specified Flight Segment.
  10. Changes/Refunds: The rules of the fare purchased determine the changes or refunds that are allowed. Check with Lufthansa or a travel professional.
  11. Other important notes: The upgrade certificate may only be used to upgrade one person. Certificate has no cash value and may not be altered or duplicated. Lost, stolen, expired or destroyed certificates will not be replaced. Expiration will not be extended. The sale or barter of this certificate is strictly prohibited. The certificate is null and void if sold or bartered. Other restrictions may apply. Terms and conditions may change without notice.
  12. Validity period: This upgrade certificate is valid for travel on the Flight Segment, Flight Number and Confirmation Number specified. Adjustments to the itinerary after the certificate was requested that modify the flight number but retain the same Traveler Name and Flight Segment are acceptable. Irregular operations or schedule changes may impact the Flight Segment and/or Flight Number, in which case the Lufthansa agent has discretion to make a determination of the certificate’s validity. If the certificate is not redeemed on the travel for which the certificate was originally issued, the certificate must be mailed back to the MileagePlus Service Center for redeposit or reissuance on future travel.
  13. Unused certificates: An unused upgrade certificate may be re-deposited in the member’s MileagePlus account prior to the original expiration date of the original upgrade. The upgrade certificate must be mailed to the MileagePlus Service Center. The re-deposited upgrade will have the expiration date of the original upgrade.
  14. The terms and conditions are subject to change without notice.
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