Star Alliance Upgrade Awards

Use your MileagePlus miles for upgrade awards on Star Alliance™ carriers

As a valued MileagePlus member, you're able to use the miles you've earned for upgrade awards on many of our Star Alliance member airlines. Arrive at the airport relaxed and ready to enjoy all the benefits of your upgrade, from priority check-in and lounge access to a more personal level of service onboard. Upgrades are based on the availability of the operating carriers.

Star Alliance Upgrade Awards are available for one-cabin upgrades and are valid for one nonstop flight. The mileage amount required for your Star Alliance Upgrade Award is based on your origin and destination as well as your cabin of service.

Upgrades are not guaranteed and may not be available on all flights. Star Alliance Upgrade Award availability is dependent on each carrier's upgrade availability and may be unavailable even if all the below requirements are met.

Eligible flights

Star Alliance Upgrade Awards are valid on participating carriers only, and only on flights marketed and operated by the same airline.

  • Not eligible on
    • SAS – intra-Scandinavian flights and flights to and from Finland
    • ANA – intra-Japan flights and flights operated by Air Japan
    • Singapore Airlines – all A350, A380 and 777-300ER aircraft flights and D class
  • Upgradeable booking classes include Business class C and D and Economy class Y and B, as well as the additional fare classes listed below:
    • Air Canada – O class
    • Air China – J and G class
    • Air New Zealand – E, U and O class
    • ANA – J, Z, E, G, M and U class
    • Austrian – G, E, M and U class
    • Copa Airlines – M, H, Q, K, V, U, S, O, W, E, L, T and A class
    • Brussels Airlines – G and E class
    • Ethiopian Airlines – G and S class
    • EVA Airways – K class
    • Lufthansa – J, E, G, M and U class
    • SAS – S class
    • Shenzhen Airlines – M and H class
    • Singapore Airlines – S, Z, J and U class
    • South African Airways – M class (domestic only)
    • SWISS – J, M and U class
    • Turkish Airlines – M, A, H and S class
  • Upgrade service classes
    • Economy to Business (on carriers that offer only Economy and Business cabins on two-cabin aircraft)
    • Economy to First (on carriers that offer only Economy and First cabins on two-cabin aircraft)
    • Business to First (on carriers that have three-cabin aircraft)

List of participating carriers

  • Aegean
  • Air Canada
  • Air China
  • Air India
  • Air New Zealand
  • ANA (including waitlist functionality)
  • Asiana Airlines
  • Austrian
  • Avianca
  • Brussels Airlines
  • Copa Airlines
  • Croatia Airlines
  • EgyptAir
  • Ethiopian Airlines
  • EVA Airways
  • LOT
  • Lufthansa
  • SAS
  • Shenzhen Airlines
  • Singapore Airlines
  • South African Airways
  • THAI
  • TAP
  • Turkish Airlines

Requesting a Star Alliance Upgrade Award

Requests can be made after you have purchased your ticket, but must be made at least 24 hours prior to departure to allow for the partner carrier to respond to the upgrade request. Request a Star Alliance Upgrade Award.

Requests may be made beginning 331 days before departure on most carriers.

You may redeem miles to sponsor a Star Alliance Upgrade Award for up to four people who are traveling on the same itinerary. You do not need to be traveling with the passengers to request the Upgrade Awards and you can request upgrades for travelers with a different last name than yours.

If you plan to travel with a lap infant, please call the airline you are traveling with first. Some Star Alliance partners do not permit lap infants to travel in a premium cabin and if the infant is permitted, special ticketing may be required.

Star Alliance Upgrade Award waitlist on ANA flights

If an upgrade is not available at the time of request, MileagePlus members can choose to join the waitlist for a Star Alliance Upgrade Award on eligible ANA flights. If an upgrade seat becomes available up to 24 hours before the flight, waitlisted customers will be confirmed automatically and notified of their new cabin of service. Please note that when you add yourself to the ANA upgrade waitlist, the applicable number of miles will be automatically deducted from your account. If none of your flight segments are upgraded, we will automatically refund your miles after your travel.

Please note: Prior to making changes to an ANA reservation with a waitlisted Star Alliance Upgrade Award that was booked through a non-United ticketing channel, you will first need to cancel the waitlisted upgrade with United. You can then make any changes to your existing reservation. Once your reservation changes are confirmed, you may then relist for your Star Alliance Upgrade Award through

    • Requests for upgrades can be made after you have purchased your ticket. Upgrades may be requested until 24 hours prior to departure. Your MileagePlus account number and password are required to complete the request.
    • Upgrades are valid only on participating Star Alliance carriers. Codeshare flights not eligible.
    • Star Alliance Upgrade Awards may not be requested when you travel on industry discount, agency discount, deeply discounted promotional tickets, award tickets using miles, or tickets purchased on websites where you don’t know the exact flight itinerary or airline until after you’ve paid for the ticket.
    • Some carriers may impose blackout periods where upgrades are not permitted.
    • Star Alliance Upgrade Awards may only be requested for up to four passengers per reservation.
    • Miles are deducted from your MileagePlus account automatically at time of reservation.
    • Required mileage is per person.
    • Each individual segment requires a separate Star Alliance Upgrade Award. For example, if you are flying on an eligible fare from Madrid to Frankfurt to London, two awards are required.
    • Double upgrades from Economy to First are not permitted on three-cabin aircraft.
    • Standby is not permitted.
    • Waitlisting is not permitted, except on eligible ANA flights.
    • An upgrade may be confirmed as early as time of ticketing, if a seat is available.
    • Mileage accrual is based on the original ticketed booking class, not the upgraded class of service.
    • Requests for seat assignments, special meals and amenities should be made directly with the operating carrier.
    • The number of miles required to upgrade is based on when the request is submitted and is subject to change.
    • If you wish to make changes or cancel your Star Alliance Upgrade Award request, please contact the operating carrier.
    • If a segment of your Star Alliance itinerary is canceled, the upgrade request will also be automatically canceled. Miles will be automatically redeposited 24 to 48 hours after the cancellation.
    • Star Alliance Upgrade Awards are not available through general selling agents.