2.Upgrades using miles or systemwide upgrade instruments are processed next. You can also transfer in points from Marriott at a 3:1.1 ratio, with a 5,000-point bonus for every 60,000 points you transfer. For more information on mileage requirements, please visit our interactive award chart. You can enter one or more fare classes if you wish to take advantage of special upgrade rules for those fares. Keep in mind, though, that if you upgrade with miles you’ll still be credited in the cabin you originally paid for. Online. You don’t have to upgrade at the same time you buy. Other ways to use United miles include: flight upgrades, hotel bookings, shopping and gift cards. Simply view your reservation on United.com and select the Upgrade Reservation link. The green arrows here mean that you can book your flight, pay the miles (and co-pay, if necessary), and immediately be confirmed into your new cabin. Buy in-flight Wi-Fi with United miles. The amount of miles you need in order to upgrade will depend on a number of factors, including your region of travel, fare class and Premier elite status. It’s also worth noting that, according to United’s page, you can also use Mileage Upgrade Awards to upgrade yourself on all Star Alliance operated flights, not just United. South African Airways | Voyager - Upgrading SAA flight with United Miles - SAA offers flights for purchase in different classes. For example, upgrading a one-way domestic flight within the Continental U.S. will cost 7,500 miles for a Y fare or 20,000 miles for a S, T, K, L, G, or N fare. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). You may need to fly even if your upgrade doesn’t clear. This is not the case with cash upgrades, which credit your mileage based on the cabin you end up flying. 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. We do not receive compensation for any products mentioned on the website. Because we are paid by our advertising partners it may impact placement of products on the site, including the order in which they appear. United Wi-Fi SM. It’s the dream of every frequent traveler to snag much-coveted space at the front of the cabin, but short of paying for first class yourself, your chances are always left up to fate. NerdWallet values United miles at 1 cent each, which means that 10,000 United miles are worth $100. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered. While elite members and holders of upgrade certificates alike can can hope that upgrades clear before takeoff, there’s another way to potentially secure your seat long before you leave the ground. These upgrades must be requested after ticketing; if upgrade inventory is not immediately available you can go back and request the upgrade again at any time. EgyptAir 15. In my case, I shelled out the $600 copay for my TLV-SFO flight in order to spend 14 hours in business class instead of premium economy. Avianca 11. Miles Needed to Upgrade (One-way): Domestic upgrade, including the US Mainland, Alaska, and Canada (but not Hawaii) – 7,500 to 20,000 United Airlines miles International upgrades take up to 35,000 United Airlines miles. Of course, it can be difficult to acquire these miles if you’re flying on low fares (like me), which acquire reward miles based on revenue rather than mileage flown. A typical price is 25,000 miles each way for travel between the U.S. and Europe. transcontinental routes. There are two types of ways use your miles to upgrade your flight. Assuming your upgrade does not clear in advance, United will process upgrades in the following order: 1.Full fare tickets, which may be eligible for an instant upgrade, are processed first. Together with the copay, I ended up out of pocket $1200. United classifies its upgrade inventory in the R fare class. Using miles to upgrade paid flights can be a good way to use points — and in some cases, can get you some serious value. For example, on the United homepage you should click on the link for “All search options” to visit the advanced search page. You can use United’s website to search for available upgrades before or after you book your flight, enabling you to compare options if you have some flexibility in your schedule. RewardExpert.com may be compensated by credit card issuers whose offers appear on the site. That means the price can be anything United wants it to be. On December 4, United will replace Regional Premier Upgrades and Global Premier Upgrades with PlusPoints. If the passenger has upgraded using Miles, a Miles refund is offered for a fee. There are other levels in between. Visit our Standby FAQ page for more information. You can search for specific fare classes on United’s website. Air China 5. Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Upgrade Using United Miles. These upgrades also require a co-pay that ranges from $0 to $250. You can also view the details under each itinerary — without jumping through all these hoops — to look at the inventory in specific fare classes. Brussels Airlines 12. The alliance means you can redeem your Lufthansa miles for flights on United and your United Airlines miles for flights on Lufthansa. Because award availability is often limited, upgrades make it easier to secure travel on the flights you need when the destination and dates aren’t very flexible. Using United miles for upgrades can be a good way to use your rewards and, depending on the upgrade and the flight, can offer an excellent value. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered. As a valued MileagePlus member, you're able to use the miles you've earned for upgrade awards on many of our Star Alliance member airlines. Related: How to never pay full price for a rental car. No matter how long your flight is it will cost exactly 15,000 miles to upgrade to first class, worth $270 based on TPG’s valuations. Editorial Disclosure: Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. Booking more award travel doesn’t appeal to everyone. (Featured photo by Alberto Riva/The Points Guy.). Aegean 3. The bottom line United offers plenty of opportunities to use your miles. These upgrades also require a co-pay that ranges from $0 to $250. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. Arrive at the airport relaxed and ready to enjoy all the benefits of your upgrade, from priority check-in and lounge access to a more personal level of service onboard. Air Canada 4. How to Apply. However, if you find yourself on an ultra long-haul flight and not wanting to sit in the back of the cabin, this could be a way to score a premium seat without shelling out huge amounts of cash. Knowing how to use your miles for an upgrade is still a better option than redeeming them for merchandise or gift cards, which deliver very poor value. Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. If you need to stay connected while you fly, use your miles to purchase a Wi-Fi subscription. Yes, I wish to receive information and offers in connection with my membership of the Miles & More program and consent to Miles & More GmbH and Deutsche Lufthansa AG contacting me for this purpose via electronic communication services (e.g. Many travelers who earn frequent flyer miles aren’t always interested in booking an award ticket. © 2021 RewardExpert.com. This is especially true if you’ve got a large balance of miles or plan to purchase them at a discounted rate. Travelers with elite status who purchase Y or B fares can receive complimentary upgrades on domestic routes and select international flights that travel shorter distances. While you can use miles from one airline to fly another airline, it’s not possible to combine miles between the 2 programs. I wouldn’t have achieved this same value in premium economy. United didn’t change the number of miles required for an upgrade. On international routes between the U.S. and Europe, a typical upgrade to business class costs 20,000 miles and $550. To request these upgrades after ticketing, or to upgrade with miles, go back to United’s website to access your reservation online and then select the “Redeem Upgrade” button at the bottom of the itinerary. Adria 2. Neither one is prioritized above the other. This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page. Austrian 10. These are ranked by the passenger’s elite status first, then fare class, and then the time of request (typically when the flight was booked). However, if you plan to upgrade from economy t… For example, upgrading a one-way domestic flight within the Continental U.S. will cost between 7,500 (Y fare) and 20,000 miles (S, T, K, L, G, and N fares) with different levels in-between. Alternatively, users can call United's customer service line at 1-800-864-8331. 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