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Upgrades

Flexible. Customizable. Fewer restrictions. Hello, PlusPoints!

This fall, Regional Premier Upgrades and Global Premier Upgrades will become PlusPoints. With this new, innovative benefit, you’ll have the flexibility to use PlusPoints however you choose. Domestic or international flights, United Premium PlusSM or United Polaris® business class … you name it. You’ll even be able to request PlusPoints upgrades on united.com or in our mobile app.

Have existing Regional Premier Upgrades or Global Premier Upgrades? We’ve got you covered: 1 Regional Premier Upgrade will convert to 20 PlusPoints, and 1 Global Premier Upgrade will convert to 40 PlusPoints.

Here are some exciting things to know about this industry-leading benefit:

We won’t deduct your PlusPoints until we’ve confirmed an upgrade on your itinerary.

Learn More

Platinum members will now be able to upgrade to United Polaris business class on long-haul, international flights.

Learn More

Our new Skip Waitlist option for Premier® 1K members, available from time to time on select flights, will allow you to confirm your upgrade as soon as you request it — even when upgrades aren’t available.

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Members who earn Premier 1K status will receive enough points for eight upgrades from United Economy® to United Polaris business class, including the 40 PlusPoints earned from Platinum status. Their ability to earn more PlusPoints when they continue flying remains unlimited.

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Among loyalty programs of U.S. global airlines, MileagePlus® offers the most generous upgrade benefits for members at our highest published status level. PlusPoints takes it up a notch.

Use PlusPoints your way

Before, you could only use Regional Premier Upgrades for eligible short-haul flights and domestic routes, and Global Premier Upgrades were available on all flights including long-haul international. With PlusPoints, you can unlock a world of possibilities.

Short-haul flights

Upgrade from:Upgrade to:PlusPoints
United Economy®United First® or United Business®20
United EconomyUnited Premium Plus20
United Premium PlusUnited Business10

Short-haul flights are flights without United Polaris business and include flights within the U.S., including Alaska, Hawaii and premium transcontinental service; flights between the U.S. and Canada; Bogota, Colombia; Central America; Caribbean; Mexico and Quito, Ecuador; flights between Guam and Honolulu, including island hopper service; and intra-Asia flights.

Short-haul flights to and from the U.S.

Long-haul flights

Upgrade from:Upgrade to:PlusPoints
Discounted Economy*United Polaris business80
United EconomyUnited Polaris business40
United Premium PlusUnited Polaris business30
United EconomyUnited Premium Plus20

Long-haul flights are flights with United Polaris business, including flights between the U.S. and Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, the Middle East, New Zealand, South America, and Tahiti.

Long-haul flights to and from the U.S.

We’re also adding the opportunity to upgrade to United Polaris business from discounted Economy fares*, which were previously restricted. Basic Economy tickets will remain ineligible for upgrades.

You may have differently priced upgrades requested within the same one-way flight itinerary; for example, Chicago O’Hare to New York/Newark (20 points), then traveling on from New York/Newark to London (40 points). The cost to request upgrades for that one-way itinerary will be equal to the highest-priced PlusPoints upgrade in the request. Learn more

*Discounted Economy fare classes are S, T, L, K and G

PlusPoints by status level

For Premier Platinum or Premier 1K members, PlusPoints offer more flexibility than ever before.

Platinum members will receive 40 PlusPoints that can be used for a variety of upgrades —including upgrades to United Premium Plus or United Polaris business class on international long-haul flights, which previously weren’t part of the upgrade benefits for Platinum status.

Status levelCurrentNew
Platinum2 Regional Premier Upgrades*40 PlusPoints*
*Applies only to members who meet all qualification requirements for Platinum status.

Here are a few examples of how you can use 40 PlusPoints:

40 PlusPoints+ graphic

1K members will receive 280 PlusPoints. For those who’ve already earned Platinum status and received 40 PlusPoints, that’s a grand total of 320. Among loyalty programs of U.S. global airlines, MileagePlus offers the most generous upgrade benefits for members at our highest published status level — and PlusPoints makes them even better.

Status levelCurrentNew
Platinum2 Regional Premier Upgrades40 PlusPoints
1K2 Regional Premier Upgrades and 6 Global Premier Upgrades*280 PlusPoints (plus the 40 you earned with Platinum status)
1K earning additional upgrades1 Global Premier Upgrade for every 25,000 PQM or 30 PQSAdditional 40 PlusPoints for every 25,000 PQM or 30 PQS
*Applies only to members who meet all qualification requirements for 1K status

Earning incremental PlusPoints in 2020

After meeting the 18,000 PQP and 54 PQF required to reach 1K status, 1K members will receive an additional 20 PlusPoints for every 3,000 PQP they earn. Members meeting the higher 24,000 PQP goal for 1K will receive 40 additional PlusPoints after reaching 1K for having earned 6,000 PQP beyond the lower 18,000 PQP requirement.

For members who earned their way to 1K, there are lots of ways to use 320 PlusPoints:

320 PlusPoints+ graphic
3 Million Milers who don’t meet the requirements for 1K status the program year will receive 280 PlusPoints.

Skip Waitlist

From time to time, our 1K members will be able to use additional PlusPoints to receive a confirmed upgrade when traveling on select international long-haul flights.

When Skip Waitlist is available, you’ll be able to either request an upgrade on our standard waitlist using fewer PlusPoints, or use additional PlusPoints to skip the waitlist and confirm your upgrade right then and there, even if upgrade inventory is closed.

Skip Waitlist availability on international long-haul flights will vary; to be eligible, you must be traveling on an eligible fare*, and be requesting your upgrade at least 30 days from departure. See additional terms and conditions

*Eligible fare classes include O, A, and R (for United Premium Plus to United Polaris business); Fare classes Y, B, M, E, U, H, Q, V, W (for Economy to United Polaris business); Fare classes Y, B, M, E, U, H, Q, V, W, S, T, L, K, (for Economy to United Premium Plus).

The details

PlusPoints can be used for any combination of flights across your journey. That means if you have an itinerary with multiple flight segments, you can request upgrades for individual flight segments or the entire direction of travel.

When PlusPoints launches, you can make PlusPoints upgrade requests at booking through Advanced Search on united.com. You can also view existing reservations and select “Upgrade” on united.com or from the mobile app.

At booking, your PlusPoints will be labeled as “available”, “requested,” or “deducted.”

  • Available: PlusPoints that can be used for future upgrades
  • Requested: PlusPoints that have been used to request waitlisted upgrades (not withheld from your available balance)
  • Deducted: PlusPoints that have been used for confirmed upgrades

You’ll only be charged for the highest-priced upgrade you receive. So your trip could include both a short-haul upgrade for 20 points and a long-haul upgrade for 40 points, and your total PlusPoints request price would be 40 points — the cost of the highest-priced upgrade in the request. That’s true even if you have more than one short-haul flight in your itinerary — a great perk if you don’t live in one of our hub cities and typically make connections for international flights.

Three-letter airport codes represent the following (from left to right): ORD (Chicago O’hare), EWR (New York/Newark), LHR (London Heathrow)

The price of your upgrade request is equal to the highest-priced upgrade in the request. Your PlusPoints won’t be deducted until you’re upgraded on at least one flight segment within your request, at which point we’ll deduct the full amount of points. With your PlusPoints still in your account up until we can confirm one of your upgrades, you’ll be able to make more upgrade waitlist requests on other trips and improve your chances of receiving an upgrade.

We won’t deduct until we deliver graphic
Three-letter airport codes represent the following (from left to right): ORD (Chicago O’hare), EWR (New York/Newark), LHR (London Heathrow)

What happens if only part of your itinerary is upgraded?

If you don’t receive the highest-priced upgrade in the request, we’ll credit back the difference when you arrive at your destination. For example, you could be requesting an upgrade from Chicago O’Hare to London Heathrow, with a stop in New York/Newark. If you’re upgraded on the short-haul portion of your itinerary, we’ll still deduct the full amount of PlusPoints, since we’re going to keep trying to upgrade your long-haul flight to London Heathrow. If you don’t get upgraded on your long-haul flight to London, the difference will be credited back to your account when you arrive.

Three-letter airport codes represent the following (from left to right): ORD (Chicago O’hare), EWR (New York/Newark), LHR (London Heathrow)

Here’s how your PlusPoints will convert:

NowStarting December 4, 2019
1 Regional Premier Upgrade20 PlusPoints
1 Global Premier Upgrade40 PlusPoints

If you have existing upgrade requests, or are planning to make any requests before we convert Regional Premier Upgrades and Global Premier Upgrades to PlusPoints on December 4, here’s what you need to know:

  • All requests will stay in place with PlusPoints pricing following the chart above, and no request will be more expensive than it was under our former upgrade program. Some may be less expensive.
  • If you made a request that has no flight segments with confirmed upgrades, the request will stay in place, but your PlusPoints will be returned to your available balance until we’re able to confirm an upgrade.
  • If you made a Global Premier Upgrade request that would be priced lower than 40 PlusPoints, such as a domestic or short-haul flight, you’ll immediately receive a credit for the difference.
  • If you don’t receive the upgrade that has the highest PlusPoints price, you’ll receive a credit for the difference of PlusPoints after you arrive at your destination — even if you placed your request with a Global Premier Upgrade or a Regional Premier Upgrade before we converted to PlusPoints.
For full terms and conditions of PlusPoints, please visit united.com/upgrades

Frequently asked questions

United is evolving our upgrade benefit program to give our most valued members more opportunities to use their upgrade benefits in a wider variety of ways. Today, an entire Global Premier Upgrade is used if the member upgrades from Economy to United Premium Plus or Economy to United Polaris business, even though the value of these two upgrades isn’t the same. If a member makes a Global Premier Upgrade request for a domestic or short-haul flight, the Global Premier Upgrade is considered used if an upgrade is delivered. With PlusPoints, members may now spend fewer points on an Economy to United Premium Plus upgrade than an Economy to United Polaris business upgrade, and pricing will also be lower for short-haul requests than long-haul requests.

Now, you can request as many upgrades as you’d like, as long as the price of each upgrade is within the total amount of PlusPoints in your available balance. We will not deduct your PlusPoints until we’ve delivered at least one of the upgrades in your request.

  • We won’t deduct your PlusPoints until we’ve confirmed an upgrade on your itinerary.
  • Platinum members will now be able to upgrade to United Polaris business and United Premium Plus on long-haul, international flights. Our new Skip Waitlist option for Premier 1K members is available from time to time on select, long-haul international routes and will allow you to confirm your long-haul upgrade as soon as you request it — even when upgrade inventory isn’t available.
  • Among loyalty programs of U.S. global airlines, MileagePlus® offers the most generous upgrade benefits for members at its highest published status level.
  • 1 Regional Premier Upgrade = 20 points
  • 1 Global Premier Upgrade = 40 points

On December 4, we’ll convert all remaining Global Premier Upgrades and Regional Premier Upgrades to PlusPoints. Any upgrade requests that are already made for flights on or after December 4 will be converted as well.

  • Your Global Premier Upgrade request could be priced lower with PlusPoints. For example, you placed a Global Premier Upgrade request for a domestic flight. Your Global Premier Upgrade is worth 40 PlusPoints, but you’ll only use 20 points since short-haul pricing is lower1.
  • If you made a request for a flight departing on or after December 4, 2019, and had no flight segments with confirmed upgrades, the request will stay in place but you’ll immediately receive a PlusPoints refund equal to the value of the Regional Premier Upgrade or Global Premier Upgrade you used for the request. PlusPoints aren’t deducted until we’re able to confirm an upgrade.
  • If you don’t receive your highest priced PlusPoints upgrade, you’ll receive a refund for the difference of PlusPoints after you arrive at your destination — even if you placed your request with a Global Premier Upgrade or a Regional Premier Upgrade before we converted to PlusPoints.
1We’re unable to extend PlusPoints pricing to departures before December 4, 2019

Eligible members with Global Premier Upgrades and Regional Premier Upgrades will see PlusPoints in their MileagePlus accounts beginning December 4, 2019. Members will continue to see PlusPoints deposited into their account when they earn Platinum and 1K status, as Regional Premier Upgrades and Global Premier Upgrades are today.

  • Any existing requests using Regional Premier Upgrades and Global Premier Upgrades for flights on or after December 4, 2019, will be converted into PlusPoints.

You can request upgrades with PlusPoints on:

  • united.com
  • Mobile app
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    Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

We’ll deduct the full request price whenever we deliver the first upgrade in your request, which could be for any of the included flight segments. This allows us to continue trying to clear remaining upgrades for your request.

  • For example, your PlusPoints upgrade request could include two flight segments, Chicago to New York/Newark for 20 PlusPoints and New York/Newark to London for 40 PlusPoints.
  • The request price is equal to the highest-priced upgrade in the request (40 PlusPoints).

Even if an upgrade with a lower price (Chicago to New York/Newark, for 20 PlusPoints) was confirmed first, we would still deduct the entire request price of 40 PlusPoints. This amount would be deducted from the member’s available balance of PlusPoints as we attempt to clear the remaining upgrade, New York/Newark to London.
PlusPoints are never deducted until the upgrade clears for the first flight in your itinerary. With your PlusPoints still in your account, you’ll be able to make more upgrade waitlist requests and improve your chances of receiving one.

You’ll only be charged for the highest priced upgrade request. So, if your trip includes both short-haul (20 points) and long-haul (40 points) flights, your total cost will be 40 points. That’s true even if you have more than one short-haul flight in your itinerary — a great perk if you don’t live in one of our hub cities and typically make two connections for international flights. If you ultimately don’t get the highest PlusPoints priced upgrade you requested, you’ll receive a partial refund upon landing at your destination.

If you don’t receive the highest-priced PlusPoints upgrade you requested, but we deducted PlusPoints because you received at least one upgrade, you’ll be due for a credit of PlusPoints when you arrive at your destination. The credit will be equal to the difference between the PlusPoints request price and the highest-priced PlusPoints upgrade you received.

  • For example, your PlusPoints upgrade request could include two flight segments, Chicago to New York/Newark (20 PlusPoints) and New York/Newark to London (40 PlusPoints).
  • You may have received an upgrade only on Chicago to New York/Newark (20 PlusPoints).
  • If you never receive an upgrade on New York/Newark to London, valued at 40 PlusPoints, you’ll receive a credit of 20 PlusPoints upon landing at your final destination.
  • The credit of 20 PlusPoints back into your available balance is the difference between the price of the request (40 PlusPoints) and the highest-priced PlusPoints upgrade received (20 PlusPoints).

You will not be able to cancel PlusPoints requests that have received upgrades.

PlusPoints gives us the flexibility to offer you new upgrade options. You can now use more PlusPoints to request United Polaris business upgrades from discounted Economy fares (fare classes S,T,L and K). With Global Premier Upgrades, requesting an upgrade from a discounted Economy fare class to United Polaris business was restricted.

You can use additional PlusPoints to make a new upgrade request for any flight segments not included in the initial request, but you cannot add segments onto an upgrade request that has already been placed. Requests that have not been upgraded can be cancelled.

  • For example, your itinerary could include two flight segments to get to your final destination; Chicago to New York/Newark and New York/Newark to London.
  • You could place a request only for New York/Newark to London. The request is cancellable as long as it has not been upgraded.
  • If, after receiving an upgrade from New York/Newark to London you’d like to also add Chicago to New York/Newark, it will require a net new PlusPoints request and cost additional PlusPoints.

The full price of your request (equal to the highest-priced PlusPoints upgrade within your request) is deducted to ensure that you can receive the higher priced upgrade if and when it becomes available. If you don’t receive the highest-priced upgrade in your request, you’ll receive a credit back to your account when you reach your destination. This credit will be the difference between your request price and the price of the upgrades you actually received. Skip Waitlist upgrades cannot be refunded or partially credited back to your account since they’re confirmed at time of request.

You’ll be able to request as many upgrades as you can with the PlusPoints in your available balance.

  • For example, if you have 20 PlusPoints in your available balance, you will not be able to request an upgrade for 40 PlusPoints.
  • However, you may waitlist for as many upgrades for 20 PlusPoints as you’d like.
  • PlusPoints will only be deducted from your account once the upgrade is confirmed.

You will not be able to turn off the ability to request more upgrades than you have PlusPoints. However, you’ll be notified if you don’t have enough PlusPoints to cover all of your requested upgrades. You can then remove requests to ensure that you aren’t skipped on the upgrade waitlist for certain requests. Requested upgrades cannot be prioritized and will be confirmed and deducted as upgrade space becomes available on any flight segment within the request.

From time to time, our 1K members will be able to use additional PlusPoints to receive a confirmed upgrade on select international long-haul flights.

When Skip Waitlist is available, you’ll be able to either request an upgrade on our standard waitlist using fewer PlusPoints, or use additional PlusPoints to skip the waitlist and confirm your upgrade right then and there, even if upgrade inventory is closed. Because Skip Waitlist allows customers to confirm an upgrade when upgrades would otherwise be waitlist only, there are important restrictions to remember prior to requesting your upgrade. These requests must be placed at least 30 days from departure and cannot be changed or refunded. Skip Waitlist upgrades are not transferrable to other flights, and although companions can be sponsored with a Skip Waitlist upgrade, the PlusPoints account holder must always be traveling. If you have a Skip Waitlist upgrade and you wish to change your itinerary or flights, a new upgrade request will require additional PlusPoints.

Skip Waitlist will only be available from time to time on select international long-haul flights. Availability for Skip Waitlist varies based on a variety of factors, but you must be a 1K member with sufficient PlusPoints and be placing your request at least 30 days from departure.

Once you request a Skip Waitlist upgrade on an itinerary, that upgrade is confirmed immediately and cannot be cancelled or moved to another flight. If you change flights, you will not be refunded the PlusPoints for your Skip Waitlist upgrade.

  • For example, you could place a Skip Waitlist request for an itinerary and later decide you’d like to change flights.
  • Your confirmed Skip Waitlist upgrade will not be transferred to your new flight.
  • If you’d like to request an upgrade on your new flight, you’ll need additional PlusPoints according to the PlusPoints price of what’s being requested.

No, your upgrades do not affect your Premier status qualification. However, earning Premier status does affect your PlusPoints. Upon receiving Platinum status, you will receive 40 PlusPoints. Upon receiving 1K status, you will receive 280 additional PlusPoints. After earning 1K status, you can continue flying to earn incremental PlusPoints.

PlusPoints can be used on United, United Express and select United partners: All Nippon Airways (ANA), Lufthansa, and Copa. All upgrades on partner flights will cost 40 PlusPoints, and your PlusPoints for partner flights will always be deducted at the time of request.

No. Complimentary Premier Upgrades won’t change, so members with Premier status will still get free upgrades when available as a thank-you for their loyalty.

Only PlusPoints are deducted at time of confirmation. Miles and copay for MileagePlus Upgrade Awards will continue to be due when an upgrade request is placed.

MileagePlus Upgrade Awards will continue to work as they do today.

Platinum members have never had an opportunity to use their Premier benefits to upgrade on international long-haul flights. With PlusPoints, we’re giving Platinum members the option of using their PlusPoints however they’d like, which includes upgrading to United Premium Plus or United Polaris business on international long-haul flights.

Yes. With PlusPoints, we’ve added the ability for users to customize which segments they’d like to use PlusPoints for. If you don’t want to be charged for a domestic upgrade or don’t want your PlusPoints deducted until your long-haul segment’s upgrade is confirmed, only request an upgrade for the long-haul segment. Remember: It is not possible to add segments to an upgrade request after it has been placed. Additional upgrade requests would require additional PlusPoints.

Skip Waitlist is a new product that allows you to confirm a premium seat when upgrade inventory is closed. This benefit is exclusive to members with 1K status, which is why those members have to be flying to use this benefit. All other PlusPoints upgrades allow the Premier member to sponsor another traveler without being on the reservation.

Because Skip Waitlist allows you to reserve a premium seat when upgrades otherwise would not be available, a Skip Waitlist upgrade cannot be re-confirmed on other flights in the event you wish to change your itinerary, and PlusPoints will not be refunded if you decide to forgo a Skip Waitlist upgrade after placing it. Customers who change their travel plans involuntarily, in situations such as irregular operations, cancellations and schedule changes, are eligible for a full refund of PlusPoints if we’re not able to re-confirm your upgrade.

With PlusPoints, we’re able to price upgrade requests differently depending on the type of seat you purchased and the one you’d like to upgrade to. For customers who’ve spent more to book a United Premium Plus seat, we offer a lower PlusPoints price to upgrade to United Polaris business (30 PlusPoints) than for upgrade requests from Economy to United Polaris business (40 PlusPoints).

Yes. Members eligible to receive upgrades with their Million Miler status will receive PlusPoints in place of Regional Premier Upgrades and Global Premier Upgrades.

PlusPoints upgrades can be requested all the way until the cut-off time to check in for your flight. Previously, we only accepted new waitlist requests for Global Premier Upgrades and Regional Premier Upgrades up to 24 hours before departure. Waitlists for MileagePlus Upgrade Awards will continue to be accepted until 24 hours before departure.

With the introduction of United Premium Plus in select short-haul markets like premium transcontinental flights, it’s possible to use any amount of PlusPoints in your balance. For example, if you had 40 PlusPoints and requested an upgrade from United Premium Plus to United Polaris business for 30 PlusPoints, you would have 10 PlusPoints left. You can request a short-haul upgrade from United Premium Plus to United Business for that amount, or you can earn additional PlusPoints either by reaching 1K status or by continuing to fly after earning 1K status.

Yes, PlusPoints expire, like Regional Premier Upgrades and Global Premier Upgrades do today. After earning PlusPoints with Platinum or 1K status, your PlusPoints will expire at the end of the program year for which your status was earned.