Traveling with United Airlines is always comfortable and a premium experience. All of its travel class seats are well-supported and reclining. But nothing is better than upgrading yourself to the First Class. Apart from the comfortable seats, you can avail other amenities and additional benefits as well. From upgraded lounges to meals and beverages and many more. Who wouldn’t like a United upgrade to first class? Experiencing a better travel experience is always thrilling. So, why should you stay back? Grab your opportunity to upgrade your seats. 

But, now, upgrading to first class is slightly more complicated. It is not as easy as before. The terms and conditions have changed. Although it still offers United upgrade from economy to first-class or business class. Whereas many other airlines have eliminated this upgradation. It can create hassles. But United Airlines wants its passengers to enjoy their journey. Therefore, you can also get last-minute upgrades. Here is all that you need to know about the ways and procedures to follow.

United Upgrade to The First Class: What are The Types Of Upgrade?

To upgrade yourself to the first class, you will have to be eligible for it. It is not so easily accessible for all. If you are eligible through any of these ways, then you may easily upgrade yourself:

Complimentary Upgrades: All MileagePlus Premier Members are eligible to avail of the complimentary upgrades. But they are not specific. It depends on the availability of space. Hence, if there is availability you can easily get an upgrade but if not, you will not be able to upgrade. 

PlusPoint Upgrades: Again the Members can request an upgrade through the official site or the application. You can use your accumulated points to get a United upgrade to first-class or business class. Indeed it is known as the innovative benefit. 

Using Miles Upgrade New Reservations: While booking your tickets, you may upgrade your seats to first-class using your collected miles. It is a sure shot at upgrading yourself. 

Upgrading Existing Reservations using Miles: If there is availability you may also upgrade yourself, even with existing tickets. Simply use your miles without spending any extra expenses. 

Upgrade yourself with a Partner Airlines: You may also upgrade with any partner airline. United is a partner with multiple leading airlines. Therefore, you may also find suitable up-gradation. 

Further, these upgrades are available according to availability only. 

How To Find Out The Availability for United Upgrade to First Class?

In order to upgrade yourself to the First Class, you will first have to find out the availability. And the best way to do that would be by promoting to expert mode. You can gather all the information through the expert mode on United Airlines. Simply visit the official website of United Airlines and complete the process to be an Expert Mode

Now, you can scroll through for upgrade options. If you belong to any of the available classes for upgrades, you may do so. All the classes are distributed in different parts. And you will have to find one that best suits you. Although they are not directly marked but here are some of them:

Business Class: J, C, D, Z, P.

Economy Class: Y, B, M, E, U, H, Q, V, W, S, T, L, K, G.

Hence, through the expert mode, you can see exactly how many seats are available for which class. And you make your requests accordingly. 

Priority Basis United Upgrade to First Class

United Airlines also act according to a priority basis. Always the elite class has the first chance for upgrades. All the classes are again divided to ensure that the top person gets the opportunity. Apart from the class division, the person who raises the upgrade first gets the seat. And the seats are allocated 3 hours before departure only not before that. Further, there is more that you need to know. 

Global Services: They receive the top-class status in United Airlines. All the benefits are given to them as the first preferences.

United Premium 1K: Members can get complimentary upgrades. Also, you get qualifying points and even more benefits. Earn up to 280 PlusPoints.

United Premier Platinum: Earn a maximum of up to 40 PlusPoints on availing of the upgrades. They are also eligible for complimentary upgrades. 

United Premier Gold/Silver: Can only get complimentary upgrades subject to availability. 

And if you do not qualify for any of these, you will be on the waiting list. And as soon as it clears, you will be the first one to get the seat. And even for the waiting list, there are priorities again:

  • Premier 1K travelers
  • Travelers using PlusPoints
  • Remaining Premier members:

The seats will be allotted systematically according to availability. 

Related: United economy cancellation policy

Upgrading with Miles

You can also use your miles to upgrade your seats. You can easily earn the miles by traveling to various destinations with United Airlines. Every travel will earn points. Also, you can earn points for shopping, dining, upgrades, and many more. And you can use it to win award tickets or to again upgrade your seats to First Class. 

United Upgrade from Basic Economy

Another most common query by passengers and the difficulty to answer is whether you can upgrade a basic economy ticket. Usually, it is never possible to upgrade to any other amenities with a basic economy. Therefore, if you wish to upgrade your seats. It is best to avoid a Basic Economy ticket. However, if you are comfortable traveling on a Basic Economy ticket, you may easily do so. There will be no complications in it. Directly book your united tickets through the official website in basic economy fare. Then enjoy all the benefits of a basic economy ticket. 

Therefore, do not just give up. Try your best to find United Upgrade to First Class whenever possible. Enjoy the luxury and special offers for the first-class easily using your miles or purchasing the upgrades. 

Is it possible to upgrade to first class from the basic economy?

If you have a basic economy ticket, you will not be able to upgrade to business or first class. You are not entitled to make any changes except for a change of flight. Therefore, you cannot make any up-gradation post-purchase of the ticket.

How much does it cost to upgrade to First Class on United?

There are separate charges for upgrading to the First Class from various travel classes.
Class Cost Miles
Economy $325 500 miles
MileagePlus Premier Members $200 500 miles
And for upgrades from other classes, it differs, accordingly. The cost for each flight differs and so does the cost of upgrading.

Is it cheaper to upgrade at the airport?

It’s a risk, and getting promoted to business class at the airport is uncommon. If you value luxury and more legroom, book ahead of time. A last-minute upgrade, on the other hand, can be the cheapest alternative if you’re totally happy to travel economy class and willing to take a chance.

How can you get a free upgrade on United?

It is quite elementary to get free upgrades as members of the frequent flyer program. MileagePlus Premier Members can get upgrades easily through all available means. If there is availability and you get lucky, you may just get the best deal possible. If you have qualifying points to get the seat then you can surely free upgrades.

Do United upgrades get cheaper closer to flight?

It is not impossible to get cheap upgrades but surely difficult. But there is the hope of getting free or cheap upgrades at check-in. Further cheap upgrades are hard to find during the peak seasons and to popular destinations.