United Airlines Seat Upgrade Eligibility & Upgrade Types

United Airlines Seat Upgrade

United Airlines offers a variety of tempting options for increasing your in-flight experience, including the ability to upgrade your seat or reserve a premium cabin. With a wide range of options, an explanation of related costs, and a spotlight on the enticing benefits awaiting your indulgence, our in-depth guide will help you negotiate the complexities of United Airlines seat upgrades.

What are the options for a United seat upgrade?

For our distinguished passengers, United Airlines provides a wide selection of upgrade choices, including:

  • Exchange your miles for upgrades on flights serviced by United or Copa Airlines using MileagePlus Upgrade Awards.
  • If you’re a Premier Elite member, you can take advantage of complimentary ticket upgrades on a number of domestic flights provided by United.
  • Premier Platinum and Premier 1K members can buy upgrades with their earned PlusPoints.
  • With the broad Star Alliance network, you can use your points to upgrade on certain flights.
  • Premier members and Premier 1K members can take advantage of immediate upgrades at the time of ticketing for specified fare classes, improving their trip.

 How does the United Airlines upgrade chart work?

 How does the United Airlines upgrade chart work?

When flying with United Airlines, customers have access to a helpful feature that helps them choose a more comfortable seat. This tool shows the different seats available on the aircraft in a manner that resembles a sizable, brightly illustrated United seat map. Usually, seats higher on the chart provide more room for your legs and are more comfortable all around.

By using this tool, you can determine your chances of getting an upgrade from United Airlines, enabling you to choose your seat with confidence.

How United Airlines seat upgrade priority is determined?

A tiered ranking system is used to determine the priority for authorising upgrades on United Airlines from Economy to Business or higher classes. The importance is as follows:

  • Members of Global Services are given top consideration.
  • Travellers that used MileagePlus miles or PlusPoints to pay for their flights.
    • United Premier 1K.
    • Premier Platinum by United.
    • Premier Gold by United.
    • Premier Silver by United.
  • Chase holders of the Presidential Plus and United MileagePlus Club cards.
  • Members of Corporate Preferred.
  • United holders of Chase cards who spend at least $25,000 annually.
  • Priority is given to customers who booked flights in Premium Economy or Economy Plus.

Please be aware that you will be added to the upgrade list if your upgrade has yet to be confirmed by the time you finish the United Airlines check-in.

Priorities for the United Premium Plus Upgrade include:

  • United Business and United Polaris business class waitlists are processed first.
  • United Economy passengers receive second-place treatment.

The following critical deadlines apply to new waitlist requests:

  • Up to 24 hours before departure or the day of the flight for MileagePlus Upgrade Awards.
  • Prior to the deadline for flight check-in or at any time before check-in.

Can you upgrade using miles on United Airlines?

Can you upgrade using miles on United Airlines?

United Airlines gives customers the choice to use United MileagePlus Frequent Flyer miles to upgrade their trips. When making a reservation or for an existing one, you can choose to ask United Airlines for a seat upgrade.

Here is a step-by-step tutorial on how to use miles and cash to upgrade your flight while making your reservation:

  • Go to the official United Airlines website and choose the ‘Advanced Search’ option to get started. You can use this function to determine whether tickets qualify for United upgrades when paid with miles or cash.
  • Go to the ‘Upgrades, Certificates, and Promotion Codes’ area after entering your travel dates, departure city, and destination. Then, choose “MileagePlus Upgrade Awards” from the drop-down selection.
  • Investigate the upgrading possibilities based on their accessibility. If you are not a Premier Elite member, you may have options to upgrade only using miles or to mix points and cash. From Economy to Business and Business to First Class, these upgrade options are available for all classes.
  • For instance, a Business Class upgrade would require 25,000 miles in addition to a USD 125 United seat upgrade fee for each person for each leg of the trip, assuming an Economy seat costs USD 1,217.

Passengers will find it easier to upgrade their flights as a result of this.

How to Upgrade an Existing Reservation with Miles?

Consider taking the following actions if you have already made your flight reservation and want to upgrade your seat:

Online Upgrade:

  • To access your MileagePlus account, log in.
  • Access the reservation you already have.
  • To learn more about your upgrade possibilities, click “Redeem.”
  • This interface gives you the option to:
    • Purchase a premium cabin upgrade.
    • Use the PlusPoints that are available for the promotion.
    • Use a mix of miles and money to make the upgrade possible.
  • Contact United: As an alternative, you can call United Airlines and ask for an upgrade for your current reservation.
  • Airport Upgrade: If you’d like, you can also ask at the airport whether you can upgrade your ticket to a premium cabin.

With regard to improving their in-flight experience, these techniques give passengers flexibility.

How to use PlusPoints for an upgrade on United Airlines?

How to use PlusPoints for an upgrade on United Airlines?

When a passenger reaches Premier Platinum or Premier 1K level, they are eligible to request United Airlines PlusPoint upgrades. Specific limitations and conditions apply, and PlusPoints are only usable for upgrading to premium cabins:

How to get PlusPoints:

  • Based on flights taken within the calendar year (from January 1 to December 31), PlusPoints are earned.
  • A minimum of 4 flights with United or United Express must be taken within a calendar year to qualify for PlusPoint accumulation.
  • When earned, PlusPoints are credited to your account and are suitable for travel through the end of the subsequent programme year.
  • PlusPoints can be redeemed on united.com, using the United mobile app, or by getting in touch with the United Customer Contact Centre.
  • For flights offered by United and United Express, PlusPoints are valid.
  • Each PlusPoint entitles the holder to one premium seat upgrade.
  • Additional PlusPoints might be needed for stops that last a certain amount of time.

Earning PlusPoints: Travellers can accumulate PlusPoints in the following ways to take full use of their Premier status:

  • Passengers gain 40 PlusPoints right away after reaching the Premier Platinum rank.
  • The incentive for achieving Premier 1K status is an even bigger bonus of 280 more PlusPoints.
  • For every 3,000 Premier Qualifying Points (PQP) accumulated over 18,000, an additional 20 PlusPoints are rewarded.

Getting a United PlusPoint Upgrade:

Follow these procedures to ask for a PlusPoint upgrade:

  • Enter your trip information first, then, when requested, choose “PlusPoints” as your upgrade option selected.
  • You can filter your search results to see just the flights that have available upgrades.
  • You will see both the ticket price and the PlusPoints upgrade price on the checkout page.
  • You can request a PlusPoints upgrade for an existing reservation through the “My Trips” area of the United Airlines website or app. Choose the “Upgrade” option after finding the individual flight that needs to be changed.

The amount of PlusPoints needed for an upgrade varies according to the location, ticket class, and preferred seat.:

  • Upgrade from United Premium Plus to United Business (short-haul flights) for 10 PlusPoints
  • Upgrade from United Economy to United First/Business for 20 PlusPoints (short-haul flights)
  • Upgrade from United Economy to United Premium Plus for 20 PlusPoints (short-haul flights)
  • Upgrade from United Economy to United Premium Plus (20 PlusPoints) (Long-haul Flights)
  • Upgrade from United Premium Plus to United Polaris Business Class (30 PlusPoints) (for lengthy flights)
  • Upgrade (long-haul flights) from United Economy to United Polaris Business Class for 40 PlusPoints
  • Upgrade (all flights) from United Polaris Business Class to Discounted Economy for 80 PlusPoints.

How to upgrade from Basic Economy to Economy?

The following important considerations must be kept in mind when deciding whether to upgrade from Basic Economy to Economy on United Airlines:

  • Once a ticket has been issued, United Airlines often does not permit upgrades from Basic Economy.
  • When searching for your desired flights on the United website, pay particular attention to the ‘Basic Economy’ drop-down option. This tool offers helpful information on how much it would cost to travel in standard Economy for a roundtrip.
  • Through pop-ups or reminders, United Airlines frequently provides in-flight upgrade choices. These notifications may be a practical approach to learning more about the upgrade price and its benefits.
  • It’s important to remember that occasionally, it can be less expensive to upgrade to Economy or Economy Plus than to buy a separate checked luggage. You can choose wisely by evaluating the checked luggage costs charged by United Airlines.

Passengers can more successfully upgrade from Basic Economy to Economy by keeping these items in mind.


Q1 How to upgrade on United Airlines?

You have the advantageous choice as a Premier member to use PlusPoints for upgrades when flying with United Airlines. Simply choose “PlusPoints” as your preferred upgrade type when making your flight reservations to take advantage of this perk.
PlusPoints provides a versatile and practical method to improve your travel experience by enabling you to upgrade your seating class. It implies that by using your earned PlusPoints, you can upgrade your trip to a more luxurious cabin that is consistent with your elite level.

Q2 Can I upgrade my seat on United Airlines?

If you are a Premier member, you can upgrade your seat on United Airlines using PlusPoints.

Q3 Can you bid for an upgrade on United Airlines?

As a result of United Airlines’ decision to end its bid for upgrades programme, travellers will no longer be able to request upgrades to their seats or cabins on United Airlines flights. This modification denotes a change in the airline’s upgrade guidelines and practices. The airline has adopted new upgrading procedures, so passengers will either need to look at other upgrade choices or follow them.

Related Article: United Airlines Seat Selection Policy

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