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How To Upgrade to Business/First Class on United Airlines Flights

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Christine Krzyszton

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Christine ran her own business developing and managing insurance and financial services. This stoked a passion for points and miles and she now has over 2 dozen credit cards and creates in-depth, deta...
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The airline ticket upgrading process has become more complicated (and restrictive) on most airlines, but United’s upgrade process is often more convoluted than most others.

There are multiple types of upgrades, a confusing maze of fare classes, priority hierarchy, and assorted rules for different planes and routes to sort through. For those who don’t have elite status with the airline, it may seem more impossible than ever to secure a seat in the front of the plane.

While we can’t guarantee you an upgraded seat on United Airlines, we can help you understand the upgrade process and increase your chances of securing a premium seat.

Our guide explains United upgrade types, availability, how the upgrade waitlist works, and the role of elite status in the upgrade process.

We’ll also cover the benefits of having a United-branded credit card with some bottom-line ways to make that upgrade happen.

Types of Upgrades

United Airlines has several options for securing an upgrade, including options earned as a Premier elite member, using miles to upgrade, qualifying for complimentary upgrades, or purchasing a full-fare economy ticket that upgrades instantly.

  • MileagePlus Upgrade Awards: Upgrades using miles on any United or Copa Airlines-operated flights
  • Complimentary Upgrades: Upgrades for Premier elite members on a space-available basis on select United-operated domestic flights
  • PlusPoints Upgrades: Upgrades purchased with PlusPoints earned by Premier Platinum and Premier 1K members that can be used on United and specific United global partner airlines
  • Star Alliance Upgrade Awards: Upgrades using miles on select flights with Star Alliance network partners
  • Instant Upgrades: Upgrades granted at the time of ticketing on full fare Y economy and B fares for Premier members; Premier 1K members may receive instant upgrades when purchasing M fares (subject to availability)

We’ll cover more on how priority order works for these upgrades shortly, but first, let’s find out how to determine if there is upgrade space available.

How To Find Out if Upgrade Space Is Available

The best way to see if there are seats available for an upgrade is to search for tickets using United’s expert mode. To activate expert mode on your account, start at the United.com home page and sign in to your MileagePlus account.

Select the option to go to your Profile, then select Search Preferences. Under search preferences, you’ll find the expert mode option. Just click that you acknowledge the considerations, save, and it will be activated.

When searching for a flight in expert mode, you’ll be able to see the fare class you’re purchasing and the available fare classes for that flight by clicking on the Details tab.

Discounted United business class fare example
In expert mode, you’ll be able to see the fare classes listed under the Details tab. The fare class you purchase will determine the possible upgrade options. Image Credit: United

The fare classes available on this flight from highest to lowest are J, C, D, Z, P (business) and Y, B, M, E, U, H, Q, V, W, S, T, L, K, G (economy). In expert mode, you can see how many seats are available in each class to help determine your chances for an upgrade.

The number next to the fare class represents the number of seats available for purchase, mileage awards, or upgrades in that fare class bucket. The number 9 is the highest and represents that 9 or more seats are available.

Although United doesn’t publish a list of what each fare code represents, the availability for upgrades is generally found in these classes:

  • ON: First class upgrade from business class
  • PN: Business class instant upgrade from Y/B/M fare purchase by Premier 1K and Global Services members
  • R/PZ: Business class or first-class domestic upgrade from economy
  • RN: Business class instant upgrade for Y/B fare purchases by Premier Platinum, Gold, or Silver members

For a complete list of United Airlines’ revenue, award, and upgrade fare codes, CWSI’s project does a great job of deciphering these.

Hot Tip: Each flight will have different availability for upgrade potential, so check each flight individually. 

Upgrade Priority: Who Gets the Upgrade First?

The Importance of Elite Status

Getting upgraded from economy to a premium seat will depend on the level of elite status you have with the airline and whether you’re using earned PlusPoints, paying for upgrades, or using miles to upgrade.

United has several tiers of elite airline status with the following ranking order when it comes to upgrade determination:

  • Global Services: Top status given to United’s best clients at United’s discretion
  • United Premier 1K: 1K members earn 280 PlusPoints on qualification and additional points when exceeding qualification that can be used for upgrades; 1K members also receive complimentary upgrades when available
  • United Premier Platinum: Platinum members earn 40 PlusPoints on qualification which can be used for upgrades and also receive complimentary upgrades when available
  • United Premier Gold: Complimentary upgrades when available
  • United Premier Silver: Complimentary upgrades when available

Whether you have elite status or not, you’ll be placed on a waitlist with other travelers who have requested an upgrade if your upgrade cannot be confirmed immediately.

The computer system will automatically clear the person who is at the top of the list for their upgrade up until 3 hours before departure when the gate agents take over and manage the upgrade list. The priority list for upgrades is as follows:

  • Premier 1K travelers on Y/B/M-class fares that weren’t cleared before
  • Travelers using PlusPoints: Prioritized first by status, then fare class, then the time of request
  • Remaining Premier members: Prioritized first by status, then fare class, and then those traveling on award tickets

MileagePlus Premier members are eligible for complimentary Premier Upgrades when traveling on a United-operated flight. Primary cardholders of the following cards, who are also Premier members, qualify for this type of upgrade on award tickets:

If you have a United-branded credit card, you’ll want to sign in to your MileagePlus account before searching for flights, as elite members and cardholders receive expanded search access.

Bottom Line: Although Premier members holding United-branded credit cards qualify for complimentary upgrades on award tickets, these travelers will be prioritized after the lowest paid fare class.

The Value of a United-Branded Credit Card

United Boeing 787 Dreamliner Polaris Business Class Seats
Having a United MileagePlus credit card increases your chances of an upgrade. Image Credit: Chris Hassan

Premier members who have a qualifying United-branded credit card from Chase qualify for complimentary upgrades on United award flights, while those who hold the United Club Infinite card can extend this benefit to their companions. That’s not the only flight benefit of having one of these cards, however.

LIMITED-TIME OFFER
United℠ Explorer Card
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

With priority boarding privileges, no foreign transaction fees and more, MileagePlus members will definitely enjoy their partnered card.

Learn More(at Chase's secure site)
With priority boarding privileges, no foreign transaction fees and more, MileagePlus members will definitely enjoy their partnered card.
Limited-time offer: Earn 60,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
60,000 bonus miles
$720
$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95
21.99% - 28.99% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

You travel United all the time, but you have heard that there could be ways to make your travel experiences even better, including priority boarding, free bags, and more miles.

You should consider the United℠ Explorer Card, because this card does all that and more!

Pros
  • 2x miles per $1 on United purchases, dining purchases (including delivery services), and hotel stays
  • 1x mile per $1 on all other purchases
  • First checked bag free for you and up to 1 traveling companion
Cons
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95 annual fee
  • Does not earn transferable rewards
  • Limited-time offer: Earn 60,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on dining, hotel stays, and United® purchases
  • Up to $100 Global Entry, TSA PreCheck® or NEXUS fee credit
  • 25% back as a statement credit on purchases of food, beverages and Wi-Fi on board United-operated flights and on Club premium drinks when you pay with your Explorer Card
  • Free first checked bag - a savings of up to $160 per roundtrip. Terms Apply.
  • Enjoy priority boarding privileges and visit the United Club℠ with 2 one-time passes each year for your anniversary
  • Member FDIC
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 21.99% - 28.99% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
Rewards Center

United MileagePlus Frequent Flyer Program

LIMITED-TIME OFFER
United Club℠ Infinite Card
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

Perfect for frequent United flyers who want premium perks like United Club access and free baggage benefits.

Learn More(at Chase's secure site)
Perfect for frequent United flyers who want premium perks like United Club access and free baggage benefits.
Limited-time offer: Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
Earn 90,000 bonus miles
$1,080
$525
21.99% - 28.99% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Excellent (740-850)

The United Club℠ Infinite Card is a premium card designed for the most dedicated of United frequent flyers who are looking for a card that provides the opportunity to earn extra United MileagePlus miles and receive lounge access via a yearly United Club membership.

United frequent flyers will find that the United Club Infinite card provides an enhanced experience on their United flights thanks to the money saved on each flight and the conveniences it provides.

Pros
  • 4x miles per $1 on United purchases
  • 2x miles per $1 on travel and dining purchases
  • Complimentary United Club membership
Cons
  • $525 annual fee
  • Does not earn transferable rewards
  • Limited-time offer: Earn 90,000 bonus miles after qualifying purchases
  • Earn 4 miles per $1 spent on United® purchases
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on all other travel and dining
  • Earn 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Free first and second checked bags - a savings of up to $360 per roundtrip (terms apply) - and Premier Access® travel services
  • 10% United Economy Saver Award discount within the continental U.S. and Canada
  • Earn up to 10,000 Premier qualifying points per calendar year (25 PQP for every $500 you spend on purchases)
  • Member FDIC
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 21.99% - 28.99% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
LIMITED-TIME OFFER
United Quest℠ Card
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

The United Quest card is a fantastic option for United flyers looking to earn more miles and enhance their flights.

Learn More(at Chase's secure site)
The United Quest card is a fantastic option for United flyers looking to earn more miles and enhance their flights.
Limited-time offer: Earn 70,000 bonus miles and 500 Premier qualifying points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
70,000 miles
$840
$250
21.99% - 28.99% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

The newest addition to United’s lineup of cards is the United Quest℠ Card. With it, you can bolster your United MileagePlus miles, thanks to the bonus categories, while enjoying the card’s many perks designed to help save you money on each United flight.

With an annual fee that falls between the United℠ Explorer Card and United Club℠ Infinite Card, the United Quest card makes for a fantastic card option for United frequent flyers.

Pros
  • 3x miles per $1 on United purchases
  • 2x miles per $1 spent on travel, dining, and select streaming services
  • $125 annual United credit
Cons
  • Does not earn transferable rewards
  • Does not offer airport lounge access
  • Limited-time offer: Earn 70,000 bonus miles and 500 PQP after qualifying purchases
  • Earn 3 miles per $1 spent on United® purchases
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on all other travel, dining and select streaming services
  • Earn 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Free first and second checked bags - a savings of up to $360 per roundtrip (terms apply) - and priority boarding
  • Up to a $125 United® purchase credit and up to 10,000 miles in award flight credits each year (terms apply)
  • Earn up to 6,000 Premier qualifying points per calendar year (25 PQP for every $500 you spend on purchases)
  • Member FDIC
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 21.99% - 28.99% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
LIMITED-TIME OFFER
United Gateway℠ Card
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

The United Gateway card is a great option for those looking to earn more United miles without paying an annual fee.

Learn More(at Chase's secure site)
The United Gateway card is a great option for those looking to earn more United miles without paying an annual fee.
Limited-time offer: Earn 30,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Plus, 0% intro APR for 12 months from account opening on purchases. Learn more.
30,000 miles
$360
$0
0% Intro APR on Purchases for 12 months; after that, 21.99% - 28.99% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

The United Gateway℠ Card is a great option for those looking to earn more United miles without wanting to pay a credit card annual fee. Plus, the card offers other solid benefits like a 25% back on United inflight purchases, purchase protection, and rental car insurance.

Pros
  • 2x miles per $1 on United purchases
  • 2x miles per $1 at gas stations and on local transit and commuting, including rideshare services, taxicabs, train tickets, tolls, and mass transit
  • 1x mile per $1 on all other purchases
Cons
  • If you are a frequent United flyer, other cards offer more perks
  • It does not earn transferable rewards
  • Limited-time offer: Earn 30,000 bonus miles
  • No annual fee
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on United® purchases, at gas stations and on local transit and commuting
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on United® purchases
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent at gas stations, on local transit and commuting
  • Earn 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • 25% back as a statement credit on purchases of food, beverages and Wi-Fi on board United-operated flights and on Club premium drinks when you pay with your Gateway Card
  • Member FDIC
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 0% Intro APR on Purchases for 12 months; after that, 21.99% - 28.99% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
United Club℠ Business Card
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

The United Club Business card is a great option for frequent United flyers looking for United Club access.

The United Club Business card is a great option for frequent United flyers looking for United Club access.
Earn 50,000 bonus miles + 1,000 Premier qualifying points (PQP) after $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
50,000 miles
$900
$450
21.99%–28.99% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

The United Club℠ Business Card is a premium card option for dedicated United loyalists seeking a card that offers complimentary United Club access, helps them earn and retain status, and doesn’t skip on the benefits.

From free checked bags to upgrades on award tickets and the ability to earn Premier qualifying points, there is plenty to the United Club Business card that United flyers are sure to love.

Pros
  • 2x miles per $1 spent on United purchases
  • 1.5x miles per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Complimentary United Club membership
Cons
  • $450 annual fee
  • Earning rate for United purchases is poor compared to other United cards
  • Earn 50,000 bonus miles + 1,000 Premier qualifying points (PQP) after $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open
  • Earn 2x miles on United purchases
  • Earn 1.5x miles on all other purchases
  • Employee cards at no additional cost
  • United Club membership — up to a $650 value per year. Relax in comfort while waiting for your flight with complimentary beverages, snacks, high-speed Wi-Fi, and more
  • Free first and second checked bags for you and a companion, save up to $320 per round-trip
  • 25% back on United inflight purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 21.99%–28.99% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: $0

If securing an upgrade on your United flight is important to you, you may also enjoy the premium benefit of lounge access. Both the United Club Infinite card and United Club Business card come with United Club and Star Alliance lounge access worldwide for you and your travel companions.

A 1-year United Club lounge membership alone starts at $550 per year, more than the annual fee on either card.

Another great travel perk is free checked bags. Most United-branded cards offer a free checked bag for you and your traveling companion, resulting in savings that can easily offset the $95 annual fee in the second year and beyond. Note that the United Gateway card does not offer upgrades or free checked bag benefits.

To learn more about the best credit cards for United flyers and the benefits offered, be sure to review our article on this topic.

Bottom Line: Having a qualifying United credit card makes you eligible for a flight upgrade on United flights and provides additional flight perks that more than offset the annual fees on the cards. 

Upgrading With Miles

It is possible to upgrade your flight using United MileagePlus frequent flyer miles, either while you’re purchasing a ticket or on an existing reservation, but it is not always the best value. However, it is positive that all fares can be upgraded with miles or miles with a co-pay.

Here’s how to find out how much an upgrade will cost using miles and whether using the miles and co-pay option is worth it. Be sure to sign in to your MileagePlus account before your search to receive better search results.

How To Upgrade With Miles & Co-Pay When Purchasing a Ticket

For a new reservation, search for flights using the Advanced Search option on the United.com homepage. Doing so will allow you to find fares that can be upgraded with miles and co-pays.

Book flight United 1
To find upgrade availability, use the Advanced Search option. Image Credit: United

Once you have typed in your preferred departure, destination and dates, select the MileagePlus Upgrade Awards option from the drop-down box under Upgrades, certificates, and promotion codes.

United Upgrade
Image Credit: United

You’ll find several options for upgrading your flight if seats are available. You may be able to upgrade with just miles, or there may be a co-pay if you do not have Premier elite status. You can select to upgrade from economy to business or from business to first class. Here’s an example of the results when selecting an upgrade from economy:

United Upgrade Award
Image Credit: United

In this example, it would cost $1,217 to purchase an economy seat on the flight. If you wanted to upgrade your flights to business class, you could do so with 25,000 miles plus a $125 co-pay each way.

Fortunately, you don’t have to be a United Premier elite member to upgrade an economy ticket to business class using miles and a co-pay.

However, you’ll want to make sure it is a good value option versus purchasing any available discounted business class. Discounted business class can be priced lower, and therefore a better value, than purchasing economy with an upgrade.

Hot Tip: Purchasing discounted business class fares can cost less than buying an economy fare and upgrading with miles, so be sure to check those fares first. 

How To Upgrade an Existing Reservation With Miles

If you’ve already purchased your ticket and want to upgrade that ticket to a premium cabin, you can process the upgrade yourself within your existing reservation, call United to request the upgrade, or request an upgrade at the airport.

To process the upgrade yourself online, sign in to your MileagePlus account and access your existing reservation. Select Redeem upgrade to view your options. You will see the option to buy up to a premium cabin, use PlusPoints if you have these available, or have the option to use miles and co-pay for the upgrade.

Need more miles? You might be interested in our in-depth article on how to earn lots of United MileagePlus miles.

Bottom Line: Any traveler can use the “upgrade with miles” option when booking a flight or upgrading an existing reservation. However, Premier members do not incur a co-pay for flights on select routes, making it an option to consider if the discounted business-class fare is not attractive. 

Upgrading on Partner Airlines

Air Canada business class seat
MileagePlus members can upgrade with miles on Star Alliance partner airlines. Image Credit: Air Canada

MileagePlus members can request upgrades on United partner Star Alliance airlines from economy to business or first class (on 2-class planes) and business class to first class depending on the partner airline’s seat availability.

United has over 20 Star Alliance partners that participate in mileage upgrades, and upgrades for most partner airlines may be requested up to 331 days before departure for up to 4 travelers on the same reservation.

To request a Star Alliance upgrade with miles, you must first book your ticket, access the reservation on united.com, then request the upgrade under redeem upgrade as you would with a normal United reservation.

For complete rules, terms, and conditions for upgrades on Star Alliance partner airlines, visit the United Airlines website.

10 Ways To Secure an Upgrade or Increase Your Chances of an Upgrade With United

With United Elite Status:

  • Earn PlusPoints by achieving Premier Platinum or United Premier 1K elite status and use these for upgrades.
  • Purchase a Y fare class ticket or a discounted full-fare economy B fare and receive an instant upgrade on select flights. Premier 1K members can purchase an M fare and receive an immediate upgrade. Upgrades are subject to availability.
  • Check for discounted business-class fares before applying upgrades or using miles to upgrade an economy ticket.
  • Select an upgrade-eligible flight at booking using the advanced search tool and selecting the MUA option to find flights that can be upgraded using miles.
  • Purchasing a higher fare ticket will not guarantee you an upgrade, but it will increase your chances of securing the upgrade over other Premier members with the same status when you’re redeeming upgrades. You’ll have to decide if it’s worth the extra dollars.
  • Use United MileagePlus miles to secure a business or first-class ticket.
  • Request the upgrade early. One of the last tie-breakers for upgrade priority is the time of the upgrade request, so be sure to request the upgrade as early as possible.

Without United Elite Status

  • Check the price for all classes of service and compare. It may seem obvious, but occasionally, business and first class fares can be a deal. Consider the example earlier in this article where discounted business and first class fares are less expensive than economy.
  • Purchase an upgrade-eligible ticket. If you have United MileagePlus frequent flyer miles, you can purchase an upgrade-eligible ticket and use miles and co-pay to secure a business or first class ticket instantly if seats are available. You can find this type of ticket by selecting the MileagePlus upgrade award option (MUA) from the drop-down menu on the advanced search page.
  • Use United MileagePlus miles to secure a business or first-class ticket.

Final Thoughts

Scoring an upgrade is complicated, and not just because there are so many factors involved in the process.

It’s also because the system doesn’t always work as planned. You can be dropped off the upgrade waitlist for no apparent reason or experience other anomalies that can complicate the process further. Understanding that anomalies happen regardless of the airline and knowing how the process works can provide you with the leverage to secure the upgrades you deserve.

The bottom line to securing any complimentary upgrades with United is Premier elite status. Otherwise, if it’s essential to fly in business or first class, you should consider purchasing tickets in these classes or upgrading with miles, if available, if doing so is a good value compared to discounted business class.

The information regarding the United℠ Presidential Plus℠ Card and United℠ Presidential Plus℠ Business Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.

The information regarding the United Club℠ Business Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if my upgraded ticket on United allows a free checked bag?

You can find out if the ticket you purchased, an upgraded ticket, or an award ticket will result in checked baggage fees by utilizing United’s checked baggage service fee calculator.

The calculator allows you to enter a flight, your status level (if applicable), whether you’re military, and other criteria that determine whether you’ll pay to check a bag.

Why does the United upgrade standby list keep changing?

There are several reasons the upgrade list can change, including the addition of travelers who have just checked in for their flight.

Once checked in, travelers may end up high on the standby list based on their elite status above those travelers with lower status.

The upgrade standby list can also change when a traveler has missed a connection, decided to take an earlier flight, or declined an upgrade, perhaps to sit with a colleague or family member in economy.

How can I get upgraded on an international ticket if I don't have status with United?

As a rule, there are no complimentary upgrades when traveling on an international ticket. However, you may be able to upgrade using the miles and co-pay option if there is space available.

Follow the instructions for upgrading an existing reservation in this article, or you can call United reservations for an immediate answer regarding your specific international itinerary.

Can I upgrade a United award ticket I purchased with miles?

No, you can’t upgrade an award ticket. However, if you’re traveling on an award ticket and are a MileagePlus Premier member or hold a United Airlines-branded credit card, you may receive a complimentary upgrade when flying on a domestic award ticket.

Complimentary upgrades are based on availability and are cleared based on status first then United credit card holders next in line.

You may also have an opportunity to purchase an upgrade at the gate on the day of departure.

When will the United miles be deducted and the co-pay charged for an upgrade request?

When you request the upgrade, the miles will be deducted from your United MileagePlus frequent flyer account and your credit card will be charged the co-pay amount.

If the upgrade you requested does not clear, the miles will be redeposited and the co-pay will be refunded to your credit card.

Which United fare class should I buy to make sure I get an upgrade?

The only way to guarantee you’ll be sitting up front is to purchase a business or first class fare or redeem miles for a business or first class award ticket.

Other fare classes can be upgraded with miles, miles and co-pays, or qualify for instant upgrades if you have Premier status, purchase an applicable fare, and if seats are available.

You may also upgrade a flight with earned PlusPoints if the flight qualifies and seats are available.

All other tickets will be prioritized for upgrades based on the criteria stated in the article which include Premier status, fare class, and time of upgrade request.

What is the difference between economy and economy plus seats on United?

The biggest difference between an economy seat and an economy plus seat is the extra legroom. You’ll also be sitting closer to the front of the plane because the economy plus section is located in front of the main economy section of the plane.

You can purchase economy plus seating anytime you’re selecting seats for your flight. You can normally purchase economy plus seats only at check-in if you have a basic economy fare.

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About Christine Krzyszton

Christine ran her own business developing and managing insurance and financial services. This stoked a passion for points and miles and she now has over 2 dozen credit cards and creates in-depth, detailed content for UP.

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