United Upgrade to First Class

The First Class cabin is often the most equipped with an extensive range of services known to offer the best flying experience. To make use of these services, you can upgrade to the cabin. Utilizing the United Upgrade to First Class option can help gain several benefits. You can access numerous facilities ranging from improvements in comfort to enhanced amenities. 

United Upgrade to First Class

Types of United Upgrades to First Class 

Based on the availability, you can upgrade a United flight to First Class. This comes with its instantaneous or waitlist upgrades. The eligibility of each of these types of upgrades differs. Above all, the time to confirm the change varies. 

  • Instant Upgrades: These upgrades are finalized instantly, usually at the time of reservation and initial booking. Elite passengers belonging to the Y and B Economy classes have the right to claim it. The M fare fliers of Premium 1k members are eligible for instant upgrade too. United Airlines may facilitate them on short-haul flights and in cases of large-scale availability of vacant seats. 
  • Waitlist Upgrades: Such upgrades are not confirmed at the initial request but are held on the waiting list. They are finalized after a few days according to priority and availability. Different options are eligible for waitlist upgrades which include: 
    • MileagePlus 
    • Complimentary Premier 
    • PlusPoints 
    • Star Alliance 

You may also avail of these upgrades when you change flight on United Airlines. At the time of changing, you can try making the upgrades to the class.

MileagePlus Upgrade on United Airlines (Upgrading with Miles)

The United MileagePlus upgrade to First Class feature allows customers to redeem their miles. This helps them to upgrade their seating options. This option is available on paid reservations to the MileagePlus members after the purchase of the tickets. The miles needed to claim the MileagePlus differ based on the travel destination, seat fare, and nature of membership. 

Travelers will also have to fulfill the charges of the co-pay mainly based on the destination. The flights to and from Mainland U.S., Alaska, and Canada enjoy exceptions from co-pay. 

Note: You can easily check how many miles to upgrade to First Class on United on the “Upgrade Award Chart” of this airline.

United MileagePlus Upgrade

MileagePlus Upgrade Eligibility

Passengers wanting to opt for United upgrade to First Class with miles through MileagePlus awards will have to meet the necessary criteria. The following members are deemed eligible for this upgrade involving the use of miles: 

  • United Premier Silver members
  • Premier Gold members 
  • United Airlines Premier Platinum members 
  • Premier 1K members 

To become a member, you will need Premium Qualifying Flights and 3000 Premium Qualifying Points. Passengers in the Economy, Premium Plus, and Polaris Business Cabins can access this feature. 

How to Request MileagePlus Upgrade? 

You can request the MileagePlus upgrade through the official site of United Airlines. You can sign in to the relevant account. Then you can go to United Airlines Manage Booking. As you manage it, how to upgrade to First Class on United should be known.

  • Log onto your official “MileagePlus” account or sign up, in case of United Airlines booking for the first time. 
  • Go to the “Manage Your Reservation” tab to open your current reservation. 
  • Here, in the panel of tabs, click on the “Upgrade Cabin” option. 
  • Request the change by providing the required information and the relevant details. 

If the seats are available, then the airline can finalize your upgrade instantly. However, in most cases, these requests are transferred to waiting lists where they are updated based on the order of preference. Fortunately, MileagePlus members are given utmost priority. It can help you in saving time. 

The other method to request this upgrade is by contacting the reservation line of this carrier. You can reach it at +1-877-311-7484. The attending agent will, thus, inform you of the regulations. You can then put forward your upgrade request. 

The third method of pursuing the MileagePlus Upgrade is by connecting with the check-in counter at the airport. This offline method can be suitable in case of emergencies. This method may not fully promise you a United upgrade to First Class but can be effective in certain instances. 

Note: You can guarantee a quick confirmation of the upgrade. Please file your requests well in advance of the flight’s scheduled departure. 

Complimentary Premier Upgrade on United Airlines 

Most of the elite passengers holding a Premier membership can access this feature. United upgrade to First Class with this feature does not charge you. These free upgrades are mainly available on Select United and United Express flights. The confirmation of this type of upgrade can require additional time due to restricted eligible locations. 

Complimentary Premier Upgrade Eligibility 

United Complimentary Premier Upgrade

To know how to get a free First Class upgrade, United customers can fulfill the eligibility requirements. These may alter with the change in vacancies and the seat fare of the passenger. They include: 

  • The Y and B fares of all the Premier passengers – Silver, Gold, Platinum, 1K are eligible. 
  • The M class fare of 1K Premier members is eligible. 
  • Co-passengers on the same reservation except the Basic Economy fares can access the feature. 

The travel destinations eligible for complimentary upgrades include: 

  • Continental U.S. (with an exception of transcontinental routes) 
  • Hawaii 
  • Los Angeles 
  • Alaska 
  • Mexico 
  • Canada 
  • Caribbean 
  • Central America 
  • Oceania (an exception to Tahiti)

How to Upgrade to First Class on United for Free (Complimentary)? 

In some instances, this airline adds to your convenience by not charging anything for class upgrades. To be able to upgrade United flights to First Class without paying any extra cost, you can get an airline credit card. This can revive your status as an elite member, therefore, ensures priority from the airline. Given below are the cards that can increase your chances of getting a free upgrade to the First Class cabin: 

  • Explorer Card
  • Business Card 
  • Club Card 
  • Presidential Plus Card 
  • Club Infinite Card 

The other way to score a free upgrade is by contacting the Premier Priority Desk. This method can be especially efficient if you are both a Premier member and a cardholder. 

Note: The confirmation time for the complimentary United upgrade to First Class is less than or equal to 96 hours or 4 days depending upon your Premier level. 

United PlusPoints Upgrade to First Class 

PlusPoints is a reliable and flexible way to upgrade your class of service. This is a simple procedure where the number of points determines your eligibility. You can earn these points through different loyalty programs like Premier Classes as well as Premier Classifying Miles and Segments (PCMs).  Based on these distinctions, the carrier has determined how many points to upgrade to First Class

  • 20 points are necessary to upgrade from Economy to First Class and Economy to Premium Plus cabin. 
  • 10 points are necessary to move from Premium Plus to United Business Class. 

Note: The requirement of these PlusPoints varies with the distance and arrival destination. Short-distance flights often demand fewer points than long-distance ones. 

United PlusPoints Upgrade

PlusPoints Upgrade Eligibility 

Before choosing PlusPoints to advance your cabin class, you will have to analyze and satisfy its eligibility conditions. The requirements on long-haul flights differ from those of short-distance flights. Additionally, while making a United upgrade to First Class using points, the availability of seats can affect the criteria. 

On long-haul flights, the following fares are eligible for the flexibility:

Discounted EconomyS, T, L, K, and G 
EconomyY, B, M, E, U, H, Q, V, and W
United PremiumO, A, and R

Note: You can access the option to change your tickets from Economy to United Premium Plus on the fares Y, B, M, E, S, T, L, K, and U, H. 

The fares eligible for First class upgrade on short-haul flights are as follows: 

  • You are eligible to upgrade all the paid purchases. These include the fares Y, B, M, E, U, H, Q, V, W, S, T, L, K, and G.

Note: All the options eligible for PlusPoints upgrade on long-distance flights are axiomatically eligible on short journeys. 

How to Request PlusPoints Upgrade on United? 

Certain carries work via mobile applications for several purposes. These can account for upgrades as well. To explain how to get upgraded to First Class, United too has developed a mobile app. It is exclusive for these online upgrades and changes. Hence, you can either utilize this app or the airline’s official site to claim a PlusPoints upgrade. When using the main site you can: 

  • Go to “www.united.com” and open the “My Trips” section. 
  • Here, under the “Upgrade tab”, you can explore the availability and status of the upgrades. 
  • In the “Upgrade Type” section, select the “PlusPoints Upgrade” button. 
  • You can now select either of the two options provided with PlusPoints which include:
    • Available and Waitlist 
    • Available Only and Skip Waitlist
  • Lastly, by following the on-screen commands, you may use your points to facilitate the said upgrade. 

Note: Apart from existing bookings, you can also upgrade United flight to First Class on existing reservations. You can do so during the reservation of your flight online by using the “Advanced Search” option. 

Star Alliance Upgrade Awards 

United Star Alliance Upgrade Awards

United Airlines, as an honorable member of the Star Alliance, extends Star Alliance Awards. You can use these awards to claim and request upgrades for other passengers too. Redeem the miles you earn or use your status as a MileagePlus member to get these awards. They can later be used on various Star Alliance airlines. 

The Star Alliance upgrade offers numerous benefits since it is similar to the United MileagePlus upgrade to First Class features. They include priority check-in, access to lounge facilities, special attention, and improved in-flight services. 

Along with this one, various other carriers allied with it are eligible for these awards. However, they must be partners of United. Some of these include Air Canada, Copa Airlines, EVA Airlines, and Brussels Airlines among many. 

Star Alliance Upgrade Eligibility

The eligibility of these awards is comparatively sophisticated. It is mostly confined to the nature of the aircraft. These regulations are as given: 

  • Upgrades from Economy to First Class with these awards are only eligible on two-cabin aircraft. 
  • You can change from Business to First Class on three-cabin aircraft. 

Note: You ought to be aware that the Star Alliance United upgrade to First Class option does not fully guarantee the change. It largely depends on the itineraries and, hence, changes constantly. 

How to Request Star Alliance Upgrade? 

Passengers can request these awards up to 24 hours before the flight’s departure. You can claim them after the confirmation of your booking. However, before filing this claim, remember to first redeem your miles for MileagePoints. 

  • To directly open the Star Alliance request page, type the same in your browser.
  • Wait for it to redirect you. Then you can sign in by providing the “MileagePlus Number” and “Password”. 
  • You can now request to upgrade United flight to First class with Star Alliance as per the on-screen instructions. 

Note: Making requests for these awards can be tricky considering the restrictions. 

United Airlines Upgrade to First Class Cost 

To determine the cost to upgrade to First class, United Airlines classifies the fee based on the cabin class. The nature of the upgrade can also be a basis. These charges are as follows for elite members: 

  • For Business Class to First Class upgrade, the fee can be 25,000 miles + $125 co-pay. 
  • In the case of Economy Class to First Class upgrade, the fee can be 15,000 miles + $75. 

Note: For non-elite members, the upgrade charges depend on the fare difference usually starting at $50. 

United Airlines makes flying in the First Class cabin accessible to civilians through its variety of programs. The options to use miles and awards help the customers in cutting down costs. The inclusive eligibility criteria further make it possible to afford this class. Thus, a simple yet effective policy to upgrade United flight to First Class ensures a great flying experience. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) – United Upgrade to First Class

Passengers are given various options to upgrade United flights to First class. For this, you can use miles, points, awards, or cash. You may initiate this upgrade online through the United web page or by contacting customer service.

To upgrade to this class for free, you can use the Complimentary Premier Upgrade feature on United. This does not require passengers to pay any cost for their upgrade request. To access this, you will have to get the credit cards exclusive for United Airlines. MileagePlus members are also eligible for getting these cards.

Travelers can request a United upgrade to First Class by redeeming their points and miles. To upgrade online, log on to your MileagePlus account in the My Trips section and request a change. For offline up-gradation, you can contact the Priority Help Desk.

Sometimes, the airline can charge you and at other times, the flexibility can be for free. The cost to upgrade to First Class on United depends upon the fare type and if you are an elite member. For passengers with Elite membership, the costs may start at 125 USD. The starting fee for non-elite travelers can be USD 50 and extend up to USD 300.

With the MileagePlus membership, for domestic flights, it can cost about 7,500 miles one way. On international flights, an average of 25,000 miles can cost when upgrading from Business class and 15,000 from Economy. The miles can change with the destination.

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