The rollout of premium economy — what United calls Premium Plus — has complicated the normal idea of a one-cabin upgrade. These upgrades are available on all flights, including both domestic and international routes. And depending on your itinerary, moving to a better seat or cabin can cost you a lot in terms of miles and a co-pay. If that doesn’t work, the system will continue on to credit card status, spending and finally the time the request was submitted. In fact, the number of ways to earn miles with the United MileagePlus program is almost overwhelming, but the following is a simplified list to get you moving in the right direction. To Whether it's for your next getaway or everyday life, you get to decide where your miles will take you. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). I’m also given the option to pay $189 for this one-way upgrade. United MileagePlus Upgrade Awards come with a lot of terms and conditions, so it’s important to know what to expect when you’re requesting a United upgrade with miles. Arrive at the airport relaxed and ready to enjoy all the benefits of the upgrade, from priority check-in and lounge access to a more personal level of service onboard. That was easy to do because my mom always has a stash of Chase Ultimate Rewards points she earns with cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Chase Freedom, that she simply transferred to … Here are some things to keep in mind: If you already know you’re going to request an upgrade while you’re booking your flight, now’s the best time to do it. If you have some flexibility with your trip and haven’t already booked it, consider researching a few different itineraries to see if you can get a lower price. This could actually represent a good deal, depending on how much the underlying S … The price varies based on your region of travel, fare class and Premier elite status. It’s becoming harder to score upgrades on flights and at hotels, thanks to growing numbers of elite members and new options for casual travelers to bump to a better class of service. If not, you’ll be placed on a waitlist. Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater. Today we’ll walk through everything you need to know about upgrade eligibility, priority and more for United Airlines. This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. For example, booking Chicago O’Hare (ORD) to Frankfurt (FRA) on a United Airlines plane cost 60,000 United miles while a Lufthansa-operated flight on the same route would cost 70,000 miles. Redeeming miles for award tickets is one of the most common uses of United miles. If you’d like to be considered for a move to a Premium Plus seat or for an upgrade to the Polaris business-class cabin, United will move you to the first available seat. Most of these options are given as benefits for Premier elite members — as you would expect — but even if you don’t fly United frequently enough to earn elite status, you should still be able to upgrade your trip with cash or miles. Please view our advertising policy page for more information. Use miles on flights with United and other airline partners It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered. Before you can even think about scoring a better seat on your next United-operated flight, you need to find seats that the carrier has designated for upgrades. Premier 1K members earn six GPUs each year after qualifying, plus an additional one for every additional 25,000 Premier Qualifying Miles (PQMs) or 30 Premier Qualifying Segments (PQSs) flown during the year that the 1K status was earned. There are two types of ways use your miles to upgrade your flight. There are other levels in between. Here’s what you need to know. There’s no one right answer to how you should use your miles — you’ve earned them, so do what’s best for you and your situation. You can request these upgrades when purchasing your ticket or after purchasing by clicking on “Manage your reservation.” MileagePlus upgrades are valid on most paid tickets on United-operated flights and select Copa-operated flights, excluding basic economy tickets. But if you’re looking for a touch of luxury as you get from Point A to Point B, upgrading your ticket might be the way to go. Also, you can use your miles to request an upgrade for a friend or family member, whether or not they’re on your reservation. Before you buy your ticket, you can use advanced search in order to filter out flights that have immediate award availability: If you’ve already bought your ticket, you can head to ‘manage trip’ … All Miles & More members have the option of using their award miles for an upgrade to a higher service class. If you aren’t upgraded instantly — or are booked into a lower fare class — complimentary upgrades will begin to clear based on your elite status at the following windows: Award tickets are normally not eligible for CPUs, but you can circumvent this rule if you hold any of the following United cobranded credit cards: The information for the United Club Business, United Presidential, and United Presidential Business has been collected independently by The Points Guy. However, the sooner you request your upgrade, the more your chances are of getting it. Premier 1K members earn six GPUs each year after qualifying, plus an additional one for every additional 25,000 Premier Qualifying Miles (PQMs) or 30 Premier Qualifying Segments (PQSs) flown during the year that the 1K status was earned. As an example, take a look at the following flight from Chicago-O’Hare (ORD) to Shanghai for tomorrow: Note that PN6 means that there are six Polaris seats available for Global Services travelers, while PZ4 indicates that there are four seats available for mileage and certificate upgrades (this flight doesn’t have a Premium Plus cabin). The Points Guy will not sell your email. The $95 annual fee is waived for the first year. A RED VENTURES COMPANY. Although there are lots of opportunities to optimize Turkish Airlines miles, we’ll first go over some of the pros and cons before deep-diving into all the sweet spots. For this flight, United wants either $104 cash or 20,000 miles for an upgrade. However, if you plan to upgrade from economy t… If you’re tempted to burn some of your United miles on an upgrade with Turkish, you may be wondering where is open to book right now. United’s most valuable type of upgrade certificate is the Global Premier Upgrade (GPU). However, if you plan to upgrade from economy to business, fare classes S, T, L, K and G may only be upgraded on flights within the continental US, or between the continental US and Hawaii, Alaska, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America and Oceania (except Tahiti). You can even Unfortunately, none of the United co-branded credit cards allow you to earn Premier Qualifying Miles, which can help you gain Premier status. United Airlines offers four different types of upgrades: MileagePlus Upgrade Awards, which you can earn using miles on United or Star Alliance flights, are available to all United members, regardless of whether you have a special status with the airline. However, if you already have Premier status, most of the best airline credit cards from United make it possible to get Premier upgrades even on award tickets — meaning you don’t have to pay out-of-pocket for the base fare. Continental US (excluding premium, transcontinental services), Premier 1K: 96 hours/4 days before departure, Premier Platinum: 72 hours/3 days before departure, Premier Gold: 48 hours/2 days before departure, United MileagePlus Presidential Plus Business Card, Flights in South America on Copa Airlines. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page. Enter the details of your itinerary and choose “MileagePlus Upgrade Awards” for your upgrade type. Premier ® members enjoy enhanced upgrade availability and extra upgrade benefits. Consider submitting the request while booking your flight or as soon as possible after booking. However, you may not upgrade for trans-Atlantic basic economy fare or economy. On international routes, a typical upgrade between the U.S. and Europe costs 20,000 miles and $550. Compensation may impact where offers appear. If you’re looking to get a better flight experience, it’s important to set the right expectations. United Airlines | MileagePlus - How to upgrade with UA miles on Star Alliance carriers - Originally Posted by jsloan Neither. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. If you paid the full fare on your original reservation, there is no extra cost when using your miles other than taxes. It’s also worth noting that upgrade inventory is different than regular award inventory; if you wanted to use miles for this flight, there’s only a single seat available (I1 in the blue box). For more information on mileage requirements, please visit our interactive award chart. 2X miles on United purchases, restaurants, and delivery services. As you can see, the … For requests on the waitlist, United will clear them in the following order of priority: Obviously not all of these factors will come into play on any given flight, but if multiple passengers with the same tier of elite status are requesting an upgrade, United will move down the list and use fare class as a tiebreaker. You can either book online, directly at the check-in desk or via your local Miles & More Team. Any MileagePlus member can use miles to upgrade on United ® or Star Alliance flights. You’ll then see the price in miles and co-pay under the fare price and can compare different options. Take some time to research your options and consider the best one for you, including choosing the best travel credit card from United. ANA allows you to request a GPU upgrade eight weeks before departure; Lufthansa will let you request an upgrade a full 331 days in advance. On ANA, this is only available on flights booked into C, D, J, Y, B, E and G fare classes, while Lufthansa limits upgrades to tickets booked into the B, C, D, E, G, H, J, M, Q, U and Y fare classes (and US government fares are not eligible for upgrades). By submitting this form you agree to receive emails from FinanceBuzz and to the privacy policy and terms. Simply view your reservation on United.com and select the Upgrade Reservation link. The process can be simple, but the rules are complicated. As an example, I have a trip booked with United from Washington-Reagan (DCA) to Houston (IAH) in August. We strive to provide up-to-date information, but make no warranties regarding the accuracy of our information. I booked the cheapest, non-basic economy ticket I could find, which ended up in the T fare class. GPUs can be used to upgrade any paid United economy fare (excluding basic economy) to move to Premium Plus or business class. The best part about earning miles is using them for the things you love. Plus, an additional 10k bonus miles after you spend $6,000 in the first 6 months. FinanceBuzz has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. This works out to a pretty low value of 0.52 cents per point, well below … GPUs can be used to upgrade any paid United economy fare (excluding basic economy) to move to Premium Plus or business class. Upgrade Using United Miles If you've decided you want to upgrade For United planes equipped with Premium Plus, the following rules apply: United is rather generous in making Complimentary Premier Upgrades (CPUs) available to members with every tier of Premier Elite status, and this includes one companion traveling on the same reservation — even for lowly Silver elites like myself. FinanceBuzz is not a financial institution and does not provide credit cards or any other financial products. But on a flight from Los Angeles to Berlin, upgrades from economy to business class cost as much as 20,000 miles and a $550 co-pay each way on a discounted fare. Nabbing a United upgrade with miles can be a lucrative way to spend your rewards. However, it is a positive that all fares can be … This may not be confirmed until a few days before the flight or may even happen at the gate just before departure. All MileagePlus members seated in economy can use a single MileagePlus Upgrade Award request to move to a Premium Plus seat or upgrade to the Polaris business-class cabin. 60k bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. In the past, United would tack on a 10,000-mile surcharge for Star Alliance partner awards. United Premier 1K members receive six Global Premier Upgrades (GPUs) upon requalified for status each year, and can earn an additional two for every additional 50,000 elite qualifying miles earned. In addition, RPUs can be used to sponsor another member, meaning you can gift your upgrade to a friend or family member, even if you aren’t traveling with them. Leveling up to a higher fare class can be expensive, though, and learning how to get a United upgrade with miles can save you hundreds of dollars. We have not included all available products or offers. Upgrade your seat on Star Alliance member airline flilghts. Generally speaking, you’ll have the most luck finding upgrade inventory very far in advance or very close to departure. Then determine whether you truly want to upgrade or save those miles for a free flight. After enabling this hidden feature, you’ll be able to see how many seats are available in each fare bucket when searching for revenue flights on United. FinanceBuzz is reader-supported. Although United’s Polaris business class is certainly a huge upgrade over its previous product, you’ll likely get a much better value using your GPUs on carriers like ANA and Lufthansa instead. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). The same applies to the carrier’s nonstop, premium transcontinental flights — from Newark to Los Angeles or San Francisco and from Boston to San Francisco. Whether you’d like to upgrade your seat to Delta One, Delta Premium Select, First Class, Delta Comfort+ or want to select a Preferred Seat or Exit Row Seat on a Delta flight, it’s easy to do on delta.com. See what you should know before trading in your miles for a United upgrade. For 20,000 United miles, you can fly in economy on United or one of their Star Alliance partners from the U.S. to the northern part of the continent. Based on the award chart, an upgrade would cost 20,000 miles each way, and this is confirmed when I log in to my account: The $75 upgrade copay that would usually be required on a flight like this is waived because I have Premier Silver status, but in this case, there’s no actual availability, so I’d be left on the waitlist. The United Explorer Card, for instance, offers 2X miles at restaurants and eligible delivery services, hotel accommodations booked directly with the hotel, and eligible United purchases; and 1X miles on everything else. while not Just be sure to check upgrade inventory first as the carrier is notoriously stingy at opening up inventory — especially in advance. As a result, here at TPG, we strongly recommend booking the seat or hotel room you actually want in order to avoid being disappointed if an upgrade isn’t available. Take note of the items in this list so you’re 100% informed about the details of booking with Turkish.To begin with, fuel surcharges are always passed on.If you are booking Turkish Airlines flights only, you can reserve your flights completely online. RPUs are valid in the same regions as CPUs plus the following. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer. Europe - Using United Airlines miles to upgrade on Lufthansa - So, I bought my ticket from Newark to Paris on Lufthansa (via Frankfurt). RPUs will be deposited to your account when they are earned, and they’re valid through the end of the following Premier program year (i.e., the same amount of time as your elite status). We may receive compensation from the products and services mentioned in this story, but the opinions are the author's own. 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