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MileagePlus Upgrade Awards

Use your miles to upgrade.

 

About

MileagePlus Upgrade Awards let members use miles to request an upgrade on most paid tickets on United-operated flights, as well as request upgrades on Copa-operated flights. Requesting a MileagePlus Upgrade Award for some discounted booking codes requires both miles and a co-pay. MileagePlus Upgrade Awards are not available on tickets containing Basic Economy fares or Economy (first bag charge/no changes allowed) fares.

Some of the benefits of using your miles to upgrade are:

  • Free standard checked bag allowance*
  • Extra comfortable, extra spacious seats
  • Priority check-in, security line access, boarding and baggage handling*
  • Complimentary alcoholic beverages

You can request an upgrade when purchasing a ticket or after you’ve purchased your ticket. To request an upgrade when purchasing a ticket, either call the United Customer Contact Center or select the "MileagePlus Upgrade Award" option on the Advanced Search page on united.com. After you’ve purchased your ticket, you can request a MileagePlus Upgrade Award by calling the United Customer Contact Center, going to the Manage Reservations page, or talking to a United check-in counter representative or gate agent at the airport within 24 hours of departure.

The price of an upgrade is based on region of travel, fare class and the Premier® status of the redeeming account at the time when the upgrade is requested.

United® Premium Plus

Starting December 3, 2018, we'll begin selling United® Premium Plus — our premium economy experience on select long-haul international flights.

For aircraft with United® Premium Plus:

  • System-wide, all MileagePlus members seated in United Economy can use a single MileagePlus Upgrade Award request to move to a United® Premium Plus seat or upgrade to the United Polaris business class cabin.
  • If you'd like to be considered for a move to a United® Premium Plus seat or for an upgrade to the United Polaris business class cabin, we’ll move you to the first available seat. If the first available seat is a United® Premium Plus seat, we’ll continue to look for space in the United Polaris business class cabin.
  • If you requested an upgrade to the United Polaris business class cabin, and we moved you to a United® Premium Plus seat, we’ll refund the difference in co-pay and miles after departure.
  • Members requesting a MileagePlus Upgrade Award to a United® Premium Plus seat only will not be waitlisted for United First on portions of their itinerary that do not contain United® Premium Plus.
  • Members who have purchased United® Premium Plus upgrade-eligible fares will also be able to request an upgrade to the United Polaris business class cabin using a MileagePlus Upgrade Award.
  • United Polaris business class cabin upgrade requests for members who have purchased United® Premium Plus seats will be processed in priority order first, followed by upgrade requests for members who have purchased United Economy seats. Learn more about upgrade priority order.

Learn more about United® Premium Plus

Award availability

You may receive confirmation of your MileagePlus Upgrade Award as early as the time of your request. However, these awards are subject to capacity control and may not always be immediately available.

Upgrade availability can change as conditions change, so we encourage you to request an upgrade even if one is not currently available. Mileage payment and any applicable co-pay will be due at the time of your request, and if an upgrade is not immediately available, you will be placed on a waitlist. If upgrade seats open up, we will make them available to customers on the upgrade waitlist. If none of your flights are upgraded, then we will automatically refund the miles, co-pay and any taxes you paid.

Learn more about the details of our refunds policy in the Pricing tab on this page.

Confirmation priority

The upgrade waitlist clears as upgrade space becomes available. Requests are processed automatically based on the Premier status of the traveler first, followed by fare class, Chase United MileagePlus Club cardholders, United Corporate Preferred participants, and lastly by the date and time of request. If the request includes multiple travelers, then priority is based on the highest Premier status on the reservation. New waitlist requests for MileagePlus Upgrade Awards can be made until 24 hours prior to departure. For more details on upgrade priority, refer to the "Upgrade Confirmation Priority" section on the Upgrades Overview page.

Later in 2018: We will include upgrade priority for primary Chase United MileagePlus Cardmembers who have met the $25K annual spend Premier Qualifying Dollar (PQD) waiver on a Chase MileagePlus co-brand card. Priority order for these Cardmembers will fall after United Corporate Preferred participants and before time of request.

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 after submitting your original request. Our upgrade systems process requests until three hours before flight departure, at which point our gate agents will handle all remaining upgrade requests.


* Select benefits are only available if your upgrade is confirmed prior to check-in.

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