All about upgrades

Added comfort especially for MileagePlus members

MileagePlus® upgrades are a valuable feature of your membership that can make your flight experience that much more comfortable and luxurious. Here, you’ll find everything you need to know about upgrading your flight.

MileagePlus Upgrade Awards

On most paid tickets for flights operated by United and United Express, you can use your miles to upgrade your seat. Request an upgrade as you purchase your ticket or after. Find more information on how to request an upgrade.

  • Upgrade prices

    The miles required for a MileagePlus Upgrade Award are based on where you’re traveling, seat type, fare class and your Premier status. If you’ve booked a ticket in O, Y, or B class, you won’t be charged a co-pay, but most other fare classes will require a co-pay.

    Premier members and others who are traveling on a Premier sponsor’s miles are exempt from any co-pay when traveling the following routes:

    Compare benefits at each level when you are at the airport
    If you’re traveling betweenandExceptions
    Mainland U.S., Alaska and CanadaMainland U.S., Alaska and CanadaCo-pay still required on Premium Transcontinental routes
    Mainland U.S., Alaska and CanadaHawaiiCo-pay still required when travel includes a nonstop segment between Hawaii and Chicago O'Hare, Denver, Houston Intercontinental, New York/Newark or Washington Dulles
    Mainland U.S., Alaska and CanadaMexicoNone
    Mainland U.S., Alaska and CanadaCentral AmericaNone
    Mainland U.S., Alaska and CanadaCaribbeanNone
    OceaniaOceaniaCo-pay still required between Hawaii and Guam

    *Premium transcontinental routes include flights between New York (Newark or John F. Kennedy) and Los Angeles or New York (Newark or John F. Kennedy) and San Francisco.

    Miles and co-pay are due at time of request, even if you’re waitlisted, but you’ll be automatically refunded if none of your flights are upgraded. If some segments of your trip were upgraded, but not all, you can review the refund policy in our FAQs

Complimentary Premier Upgrades

Complimentary Premier Upgrades are free, space-available upgrades on select United- and United Express-operated flights. For information on where these upgrades are available, see our eligible upgrade destinations.

  • Complimentary Premier Upgrade availability:

    • ✓ Available to All Premiers
    • ✓ Available to Companions traveling on the same reservation as the Premier
    • ✖ Unavailable to Basic economy fares

    If you’ve booked a full-fare Economy ticket in these fare classes, you may be eligible for an upgrade as soon as your flight is ticketed:

    Compare benefits at each level for Star Alliance partners
    Fare typeSilverGoldPlatinum1K
    Y- and B-class farescheckmarkAvailablecheckmarkAvailablecheckmarkAvailablecheckmarkAvailable
    M-class faresNot availableNot availableNot availablecheckmarkAvailable

    Upgrading award tickets

    You may be able to receive a Complimentary Premier Upgrade for your award travel if you’re a MileagePlus member with Premier status and a primary Cardmember of any of the following Chase-issued MileagePlus credit cards:

    • United℠ Explorer Card
    • United℠ Business Card
    • United Club℠ Card
    • United Club℠ Business Card
    • United℠ Presidential Plus℠ Card
    • United Presidential Plus Business Card
    • United Quest℠ Card

    The confirmation windows for Complimentary Premier Upgrades, by published Premier level, are:

    Compare benefits at MileagePlus Premier level
    MileagePlus Premier levelConfirmation (as early as)
    1K96 hours / 4 days
    Platinum72 hours / 3 days
    Gold48 hours / 2 days
    SilverDay of departure

    *Upgrade processing may begin earlier for some customers with an unpublished Premier level.

    Instant upgrades are confirmable at time of ticketing, if space is available. If a seat is not available at time of ticketing, these upgrades will be processed automatically starting at the five-day window. Instant upgrades are subject to capacity controls.

    Things to remember:

    • Your waitlist priority for Complimentary Premier Upgrades on award tickets will stay within your Premier level, after customers traveling with paid tickets.
    • This benefit only extends to one companion traveling on an award ticket. The companion must be traveling on the same PNR as the primary Cardmember.
    • If you’re a Premier member who is also a primary Cardmember and would like to request a separate reservation in order to be considered for a Complimentary Premier Upgrade, call the Premier Priority Desk.

PlanPlus Logo


PlusPoints are a flexible upgrade benefit for Platinum and 1K members that can be used anywhere United flies. Learn more

Star Alliance Upgrade Awards

You can use the miles you’ve earned for upgrade awards on many of our Star Alliance™ member airlines and enjoy benefits like priority check-in, lounge access and more personal service onboard. Learn more about Star Alliance upgrade awards

  • Business class C and D fares and Economy class Y and B can be upgraded, and other fare types may also be eligible depending on the airline.

    • Aegean
    • Air Canada
    • Air China
    • Air India
    • Air New Zealand
    • ANA
    • 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
    • SWISS
    • THAI
    • TAP
    • Turkish Airlines