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 PolarisSM business class 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 are placed on a waitlist. If the request includes multiple travelers, then priority is based on the highest Premier status on the reservation. The waitlist is cleared automatically by Premier status of the traveler, then fare class, then time of request.Footnote New waitlist requests for Global Premier Upgrades can be made until 24 hours prior to departure.

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 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.

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 traveler. If the request includes multiple travelers, then priority is based on the highest Premier status on the reservation.

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 or United Express 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.
  • Waitlisting is permitted. Travelers placed on a waitlist are prioritized according to the Premier status of the traveler. If the request includes multiple travelers, then priority is based on the highest Premier status on the reservation. Waitlists are processed based on Premier status of the traveler, then fare class, then time of request. All waitlists expire 24 hours before trip 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 Polaris business class or United Polaris first class, the Global Premier Upgrade will be re-deposited if the United Polaris business class or United Polaris first class 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.

Upgrading on flights operated by ANA or Lufthansa

Global Premier Upgrades on ANA-operated flights are valid for one-segment, one-cabin upgrades on any multi-cabin international flight operated by ANA and marketed by ANA or United. Upgrades are subject to availability and valid for paid, published fares only. The following ANA fare classes are eligible for Global Premier Upgrades: C, D, J, Y, B, E and G. Please see the terms and conditions below for specific eligibility rules.

Global Premier Upgrades on Lufthansa-operated flights are valid for one-segment, one-cabin upgrades on any multi-cabin international flight operated by Lufthansa. You may request Global Premier Upgrades as early as time of ticketing in order to upgrade from Lufthansa Economy or Business Class to the next higher cabin. Upgrades are subject to availability and valid for paid, published fares only. The following Lufthansa fare classes are eligible for Global Premier Upgrades: B, C, D, E, G, H, J, M, Q, U and Y. U.S. government fares are also not eligible for electronic Global Premier Upgrades on Lufthansa-operated flights. Please see the terms and conditions below for specific eligibility rules.

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.

How to request

Once the ticket has been issued, requests can be made online through the Global Premier Upgrade on ANA or Lufthansa request page. You can make upgrade requests for ANA-operated flights beginning eight weeks before departure until up to 24 hours before departure. You can make upgrade requests for Lufthansa-operated flights beginning 331 days before departure until up to 10 hours before departure.

You may request Global Premier Upgrades for up to four people traveling on the same reservation. You will need one Global Premier Upgrade for each traveler. (If the reservation has more than four travelers, you will need to call ANA or Lufthansa.) You do not need to be traveling with the passengers to request the upgrades and you can request upgrades for travelers with a different last name than yours. While you can only request upgrades for one segment at a time, you may upgrade more than one eligible segment on the itinerary.

If upgrade space is available at the time of the request and the requester chooses to confirm the upgrade, United will automatically deduct Global Premier Upgrades from the requester's MileagePlus account.

How to request for codeshare flights

If you are traveling on an ANA- or Lufthansa-operated codeshare flight with a United flight number, upgrades may be available and can be requested by calling 1-800-UNITED-1 (1-800-864-8331) within the U.S. and Canada, elsewhere call your local United Customer Contact Center.

Waitlist for Lufthansa-operated flights

If upgrade space on Lufthansa is not available at the time of the request, travelers may have the option to be placed on the Lufthansa upgrade waitlist. United will automatically deduct Global Premier Upgrades from the requester's MileagePlus account when travelers are added to the waitlist. The waitlist will clear automatically as upgrade space becomes available on the flight.

If a waitlisted traveler is confirmed in the higher cabin, the Lufthansa reservation will reflect the upgraded class and United will send a notification to the email address provided at the time of the request. Unconfirmed upgrades will expire from the waitlist 10 hours prior to departure and United will send a notification email. United will also send a notification email if a confirmed upgrade is canceled. Global Premier Upgrades will be automatically re-deposited to the account from which they were withdrawn 24 to 48 hours after the expiration or cancellation. To make any changes to your upgrade or inquire about your reservation, call Lufthansa at 1-800-645-3880 within the U.S. or visit lufthansa.com for local contact information.

Terms and conditions for ANA-operated flights

  1. Upgrades are valid only on ANA.
  2. Requests for upgrades can be made after you have purchased your ticket. Upgrades can be requested until 24 hours prior to departure. Your MileagePlus account number and password are required to complete the request.
  3. Global Premier Upgrades may not be requested when you travel on industry discount, agency discount, deeply discounted promotional tickets, award tickets using miles, or tickets purchased through sites like Priceline and Hotwire where the airline is not disclosed until after payment.
  4. ANA may impose blackout periods where upgrades are not permitted.
  5. Global Premier Upgrades may only be requested for up to four passengers per reservation.
  6. Global Premier Upgrades are deducted from your MileagePlus account automatically at time of reservation.
  7. One Global Premier Upgrade is required per person.
  8. Each individual segment requires a separate Global Premier Upgrade. For example, if you are flying on an eligible fare from Tokyo to Frankfurt to Rome, two Global Premier Upgrades are required.
  9. Double upgrades from Economy to First are not permitted on three-cabin aircraft.
  10. Standby and waitlisting is not permitted.
  11. An upgrade may be confirmed within eight weeks of departure, if a seat is available.
  12. Mileage accrual is based on the original ticketed booking class, not the upgraded class of service.
  13. Requests for seat assignments, special meals and amenities should be made directly with the operating carrier.
  14. If you wish to make changes or cancel your Global Premier Upgrade request, please contact ANA.
  15. If an ANA segment of your itinerary is canceled, the upgrade request for that segment will also be automatically canceled. The Global Premier Upgrade will be automatically redeposited 24 to 48 hours after the cancellation.
  16. Global Premier Upgrade awards are not available through general selling agents.

General conditions on Lufthansa-operated flights

  1. Valid carrier: This upgrade may only be used on multi-cabin international Lufthansa flights and is subject to availability. This upgrade is not valid on flights operated by other airlines. Upgrades for codeshare flightsFootnote 2 marketed by United but operated by Lufthansa ("LH") may be available and can only be requested by calling 1-800-UNITED1 within the U.S. and Canada, elsewhere call your local United Customer Contact Center.
  2. Valid routing: This upgrade is valid for international Lufthansa-operated flights. Stopovers are not permitted. United will not issue upgrades for Lufthansa-operated flights to U.S. embargoed travel destinations.
  3. Upgradeable fare classes: This upgrade is subject to availability. The following Lufthansa fare classes are not eligible for upgrade: Z, P, V, W, S, T, N, L, K, R, X, I, 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 on any MileagePlus award ticket, Miles & More award ticket or any other frequent flyer award ticket or industry discount ticket (ID, AD and IP fares). Some Internet sites, such as Priceline.com and Hotwire.com, issue tickets that are not upgradeable. Please also note that U.S. government fares are not eligible for electronic Global Premier Upgrades on Lufthansa-operated flights.
  5. MileagePlus mileage accrual: Travelers will earn MileagePlus miles based on the fare class purchased, not the upgraded fare class.
  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.
  7. Lufthansa upgrade request: When traveling on Lufthansa, an upgrade request may be made on united.com or through the United Customer Contact Center once the ticket with an upgrade-eligible Lufthansa flight segment is issued. Requests may be made from 331 days to 10 hours prior to departure. Standby upgrades on the day of departure are not allowed for electronic upgrade requests. When space is not available at the time of the request, an option to add the travelers to Lufthansa's waitlist may exist. United will automatically deduct Global Premier Upgrades from the requester's MileagePlus account at the time of upgrade confirmation or when travelers are added to the waitlist.
  8. Upgrade processing: Upgrades are subject to availability and Lufthansa will process upgrade requests and waitlists based on the availability of capacity-controlled seating. Confirmed upgrades will reflect the higher cabin on the Lufthansa reservation. Unconfirmed upgrades will expire from the waitlist 10 hours prior to flight departure. Global Premier Upgrades will be automatically re-deposited to the account from which they were withdrawn 24 to 48 hours after the cancellation or expiration.
  9. Upgrade rules: Multiple Global Premier Upgrades may not be combined to obtain a two-cabin upgrade. For flights that stop en route, upgrades are only permitted when the upgraded seating is available on all portions of the flight. Each Global Premier Upgrade may be used for one traveler and one eligible flight segment. Multi-traveler reservations require all travelers be upgraded; partial upgrades are not permitted.
  10. Changes/Refunds: The rules of the fare purchased determine the changes or refunds that are allowed. Check with Lufthansa or a travel professional. Changes to a segment that is on the waitlist will result in a waitlist cancellation and re-deposit of the Global Premier Upgrade to the account from which it was withdrawn. If the date of a flight segment with a confirmed upgrade is changed, the upgrade may be re-confirmed in the higher cabin only if space is available. If space is not available, the Global Premier Upgrade will be re-deposited. All other changes to the upgraded segment will result in a re-deposit and a new request may be submitted. If your reservation contains multiple flight segments, changes to or cancellations of other flight segments will not affect the confirmed upgrade or waitlist status.
  11. The terms and conditions are subject to change without notice.

Footnotes

**Codeshare flights are marketed and sold by one airline, under their own airline code and flight number, but operated by another airline. The operating airline is specified on your reservation. If the airline code listed before the flight number on your reservation is different than the operating airline, then you are traveling on a codeshare flight (for example, Flight UA8826 operated by Lufthansa). Return to reference


Footnotes

*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 First℠ 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. Return to reference