Skip navigation

Complimentary Premier Upgrades

Complimentary Premier® Upgrades are space-available, complimentary upgrades on select United- and United Express®-operated flights. They are available to all Premier members, as well as to a companion traveling on the same reservation as the Premier member. Learn more about Premier status.

Additionally, Premier members traveling on full-fare economy Y- and B-class fares may be eligible for instant upgrades as early as time of ticketing. Premier 1K® members are also eligible for instant upgrades when purchasing M-class fares. Please check the travel regions below to see if your flight may be eligible. Tickets containing Basic Economy fares are not eligible for Complimentary Premier Upgrades.

Eligible flights and regions

Complimentary Premier Upgrades are available on most United- and United Express-operated flights in the following regions:

  • Continental U.S.
  • Hawaii
  • Alaska
  • Canada
  • Mexico
  • Central America
  • Caribbean
  • Oceania

See the upgrade regions chart for full details on upgrade eligibility, plus exceptions to the regions listed above.

Complimentary Premier Upgrades are available on all paid, published fares.

Confirmation priority

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

Upgrade confirmation priority by Premier level
MileagePlus Premier levelFootnote Confirmation (as early as)
Premier 1K 96 hours / 4 days
Premier Platinum 72 hours / 3 days
Premier Gold 48 hours / 2 days
Premier Silver Day of departure

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. Learn more about upgrade confirmation priority.

Upgrade confirmation on the day of departure

If we haven’t confirmed your upgrade by the time you check in for your flight, you will be added to the Upgrades list at check-in, so there’s nothing that you need to do. Our upgrade systems process requests until three hours before flight departure, at which point our gate agents will handle all remaining upgrade requests.

Companion policy

One companion traveling on a paid ticket on the same reservation as a Premier member is eligible for Complimentary Premier Upgrades on select flights, and may be confirmed with the same priority as the Premier member, even on the day of departure. If the companion is a Premier member, the upgrade will be processed according to the highest Premier status level in the reservation.

If a reservation includes three or more travelers, and only one is not a Premier member, the Complimentary Premier Upgrades will be processed according to the lowest Premier status level in the reservation. If two or more travelers on the reservation are not Premier members, it will not be processed automatically. In these cases, Premier members should call the Premier Priority Desk to request a separate reservation for themselves and the eligible companion.

Upgrading award tickets

A Premier member who is also a primary Cardmember of any of the following Chase-issued MileagePlus credit cards is eligible for Complimentary Premier Upgrades when traveling on award tickets on United-operated flights in Complimentary Premier Upgrade-eligible regions:

  • United MileagePlus Explorer Card
  • United MileagePlus Explorer Business Card
  • United MileagePlus Club Card
  • United MileagePlus Club Business Card
  • United MileagePlus Presidential PlusSM Card
  • United MileagePlus Presidential Plus Business Card

Complimentary Premier Upgrades on award tickets will be prioritized after the lowest paid fare class within each Premier level. This benefit does not apply to companions traveling on award tickets. If a reservation includes passengers other than the Cardmember, the Complimentary Premier Upgrade will not be processed. In these cases, the Premier member who is also a primary Cardmember should call the Premier Priority Desk to request a separate reservation in order to be considered for a Complimentary Premier Upgrade.

Other terms

  • Complimentary Premier Upgrades are eligible for one-cabin upgrades on select flights from United Economy® to the next cabin of service, from United Business® to United First®, or from United PolarisSM business class to United Polaris first class on three-cabin aircraft.
  • Only select flights operated by United and United Express are eligible for Complimentary Premier Upgrades.
  • Upgrades are subject to capacity controls, which may limit the number of seats available.
  • Upgrades are not available on flights that have already been upgraded, or on tickets containing Basic Economy fares, certain fares such as industry discount, and tickets purchased on websites where you don’t know the exact flight itinerary or airline until after you’ve paid for the ticket.
  • The number of MileagePlus award miles, Premier qualifying miles and Premier qualifying segments earned are 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.


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