These can be very expensive for international travel, and a discounted business class fare may be cheaper. 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. We’ll show you how. Instead, they want to use their miles to upgrade a ticket they’ve already bought with cash. Not all available credit card issuers or card offers are included on the site. 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. You don’t have to upgrade at the same time you buy. 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. 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. Miles & More How to book your upgrade. United Airlines has eliminated all award charts, both for United and partner operated flights. 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. This is not the case with cash upgrades, which credit your mileage based on the cabin you end up flying. 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. 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. 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. Other MileagePlus redemption options. If the passenger does not use the upgrade, the upgrade payment is not refunded. 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. A small portion is copied below. Booking more award travel doesn’t appeal to everyone. Upgrades are valid to the next cabin of service and are valid for a single one-way trip with a maximum of three segments. To see the rate that applies to you, visit the page with the interactive award chart and enter your origin and destination. 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. Aegean 3. Business class on international flights will incur a copay, while premium economy will not. The cash co-pay will also be displayed. Luckily, if you have an annual-fee Chase Ultimate Rewards card, you can transfer Ultimate Rewards in at a 1:1 ratio to United. Upgrade Using United Miles. NerdWallet values United miles at 1 cent each, which means that 10,000 United miles are worth $100. 12.5k miles will get you a one way economy ticket across much of the U.S., so these upgrades aren’t coming cheaply. There are two types of ways use your miles to upgrade your flight. This is especially true if you’ve got a large balance of miles or plan to purchase them at a discounted rate. Related: How to never pay full price for a rental car. There is an online tool that checks availability inventory and provides an option to upgrade at any time before check-in. 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. ANA 8. You may need to fly even if your upgrade doesn’t clear. However, if you plan to upgrade from economy t… Near the bottom of that page is a section for fare preferences. Responses have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. 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. Please view our advertising policy page for more information. Could I use United miles to upgrade … Starting in 2020, we’ll begin automatically assigning seats to travelers on the upgrade list. There are also some people who don’t want to travel any more than they already do, or they need to continue booking paid tickets in order to earn the miles they need for elite status. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered. As mentioned above, it can be difficult to earn United miles based on actual flying, but there are tons of alternative ways to boost your balance: You can see there are tons of ways to acquire United miles with credit cards, but if you’re not looking to apply or already have these cards, there’s another way to build your balance. However, your miles will be deducted if you choose to proceed with the upgrade. It is also possible to upgrade from business class to first class, but there are still restrictions that require you to purchase a J, C or D business class fare. This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. The same system is also used to apply other sorts of upgrades for full fare tickets or systemwide upgrade instruments. Together with the copay, I ended up out of pocket $1200. Brussels Airlines 12. Asiana Airlines 9. South African Airways | Voyager - Upgrading SAA flight with United Miles - SAA offers flights for purchase in different classes. If not, you’ll be shown a page like this, which’ll put you on the waitlist for an upgrade: If your upgrade doesn’t clear, you’ll be refunded what you’ve spent. 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. Many of the credit card offers that appear on the website are from credit card companies from which ThePointsGuy.com receives compensation. EgyptAir 15. 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. 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. Answer 1 of 7: Hi, I will be traveling r/t on South African Airways from Dulles (IAD) to Johannesburg (JNB) in November and am having a hard time finding information on how to upgrade from economy to business using my United Airlines mileage plus miles. These upgrades also require a co-pay that ranges from $0 to $250. That doesn’t mean this is the best way to use your miles, though, as there are many different ways to maximize redemptions. If a flight doesn’t have upgrade space immediately available (green check mark) then you’ll be placed on the waitlist (yellow triangle) and given priority ahead of any complimentary elite upgrades. Editorial Disclosure: Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. (Featured photo by Alberto Riva/The Points Guy.). This is a difficult question, and entirely dependent on your preferences. For example, if I buy the cheapest 1-way fare from the US to Europe, I would have to pay 20,000 United miles + $550 to upgrade my seat to business class! To see the rate that applies to you, visit the page with the interactive award chart and enter your origin and destination. These are ranked by fare class (Y > B > M). Well, almost always. (Some of these features may require that you activate United’s Expert Mode). Miles can also be used to upgrade on United and participating partners. Like many airlines, United offers several options for claiming an upgrade on international flights, where the extra comfort and space of a business class or … If you’ve signed up for day-of-travel notifications and receive an upgrade, we’ll send you a text message or email asking you to refresh your boarding pass on the United app to view your new seat assignment and wait to board. 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). I wouldn’t have achieved this same value in premium economy. And don’t forget- there are tons of ways to spend your miles for maximum value. EVA Air 17. routes), Travel from Canada or the continental U.S. to Hawaii (excluding service between Honolulu and Newark, Washington-IAD, or Houston), Travel from Canada or the U.S. (excluding Hawaii, Guam, and Puerto Rico) to Mexico, Central America, or the Caribbean), Travel within Oceania (excluding Honolulu and Guam). You don't have to use your United miles on flights. 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. On international routes between the U.S. and Europe, a typical upgrade to business class costs 20,000 miles and $550. Reasonable efforts are made to present accurate info, however all info is presented without warranty and is current on the date of publication. Neither one is prioritized above the other. How to Apply. Each RPU will be worth 20 PlusPoints and each GPU will be worth 40 PlusPoints. United has a long list of Star Alliance partner airlines: 1. We do not receive compensation for any products mentioned on the website. The credit card offers that appear on the website are from credit card companies from which ThePointsGuy.com receives compensation. The alliance means you can redeem your Lufthansa miles for flights on United and your United Airlines miles for flights on Lufthansa. Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Because of the importance of fare class in the upgrade hierarchy, you might find that it is helpful to buy a slightly more expensive fare to improve your odds. Visit our Standby FAQ page for more information. I've checked the MileagePlus Upgrade Award box and some R availability shows, but only on United metal with stops (20K miles + $550 ea). Before requesting an upgrade award, you must issue a confirmation ticket of eligible revenue class with--L, T (Premium Economy-Standard fare tickets), K (Premium Economy-Up fare tickets) ; M, H, Q (Economy- Standard fare tickets) and Y, B (Economy- Up fare tickets) and enough award miles/ electronic upgrade certificate valid until departure date and … To upgrade a flight operated by United Airlines, United Express, or Copa Airlines, you will need to redeem miles and provide a co-pay that vary depending on your destination, route, and the fare class purchased. This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers. That’s generally great news. Second, upgrade inventory is limited. The bottom line United offers plenty of opportunities to use your miles. As a Miles & More member, you’ll get an upgrade or a ticket to Premium Economy Class for your eVouchers or miles. Many travelers who earn frequent flyer miles aren’t always interested in booking an award ticket. Adria 2. TSA Pre check ® For quicker security screening, use your miles to apply for TSA Pre check ® — it’s only 11,000 miles. United’s program is more complex than most other airlines’ but has the advantage that many more flights are eligible for an upgrade and much of the process can be performed online. Generally, I do not like to use miles to upgrade because it costs a lot of miles and money to upgrade from the cheapest economy class tickets. Because we are paid by our advertising partners it may impact placement of products on the site, including the order in which they appear. Premier 1K members also get an instant upgrade when they purchase an M fare. 3.Complimentary elite upgrades for passengers and their companions are processed last. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. United Wi-Fi SM. There are other levels in between. If you don’t book a flight that has immediate availability (which I would generally recommend, as long as your dates are flexible), there are a number of different factors that will affect your upgrade clearing, including: Whether or not you choose to upgrade your flight with miles is up to you; on shorter flights the mileage cost may not be worth it, but used correctly these upgrades can turn a long journey into a high-class affair. I would like to subscribe to The Points Guy newsletters and special email promotions. You can also specify certain fare classes when searching for airfare, since the fare class is a big factor in determining your rank in the upgrade hierarchy and the amount of the cash co-pay, if any, that you must provide in addition to the miles. The Select Economy, booking class K, M, B, Y, have a 'Voyager Miles Upgrade - allowed' designation. The price of an upgrade is dependent on the flight duration and route. GPUs can be used to upgrade any paid United economy fare (excluding basic economy) to move to Premium Plus or business class. These upgrades also require a co-pay that ranges from $0 to $250. If the passenger has upgraded using Miles, a Miles refund is offered for a fee. 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. transcontinental routes. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). Austrian 10. You can also view the details under each itinerary — without jumping through all these hoops — to look at the inventory in specific fare classes. Air China 5. You can enter one or more fare classes if you wish to take advantage of special upgrade rules for those fares. Use your miles to relax and recharge at our United Club locations. 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. Passengers that cannot benefit from the upgrade service, due to reasons caused by Turkish Airlines, have the right to apply for a refund on the upgrade purchase and a Mile refund. 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. The obvious answer here is that you can use United miles to upgrade your United flight. You’ll be stuck in economy, but will get to your destination anyway. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. One crucial tip: you cannot upgrade if you book a codeshare flight. Co-pays are waived entirely on the following routes if you have elite status (or if you’re a general member and the miles come from the account of a elite member): If you want to upgrade a flight on any other Star Alliance member, then you must book a full price Y or B fare. If you've decided you want to upgrade using miles, you have two options: Upgrade at the time of booking or add an upgrade to an existing reservation. 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. For example, on the United homepage you should click on the link for “All search options” to visit the advanced search page. The co-pay can be the biggest inhibition against redeeming miles for an upgrade. Choose your individual upgrade and book conveniently from home or when you’re out and about today. Opinions expressed here are the authors' 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. 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. 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. Pricing for mileage upgrade awards can be found on pages 5-7 of this PDF or by using United’s interactive search tool. If the difference in price is $10, that may be worth paying to move up the list. And yes, you can upgrade on over 28 Star Alliance airlines including Lufthansa, EVA, Air New Zealand, United, ANA, Air China, Air India, Avianca, Swiss and many more using your miles. Online. Simply view your reservation on United.com and select the Upgrade Reservation link. This post discusses how to upgrade a ticket purchased with United Airlines. If I understand your situation, you are saying that you have an economy ticket with United and United is quoting you 42,000 United miles to upgrade the ticket. Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. The flight number must be from the airline you’re flying to upgrade. Air Canada 4. Keep in mind, though, that if you upgrade with miles you’ll still be credited in the cabin you originally paid for. So in addition to the $1,485 ticket, you’ll need to shell out 25,000 United miles in each direction to upgrade to business class. Select “MileagePlus Upgrade Awards” from the menu and which kind of ticket you want to pay for (not the ticket you’ll have after the upgrade). It’s very important to understand these before you book a ticket as any mistakes could require expensive change and cancellation fees. Other ways to use United miles include: flight upgrades, hotel bookings, shopping and gift cards. Depending on your flight, you may be able to book into either premium economy or business using your miles. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). However, if a business class award is available then it is likely that an upgrade is also available. You can use United miles to pay for in-flight Wi-Fi on domestic United flights too. RewardExpert.com is an independent website that is supported by advertising. Using miles to upgrade paid flights can be a good way to use points — and in some cases, can get you some serious value. Members using one RPU today to upgrade from Economy to United First on domestic U.S. and North American flights will use 20 PlusPoints from their banks. Ethiopian 16. If so, this is not an unreasonable amount of miles to upgrade from economy to business. 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. 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. The results page will show not only the cheapest available fare (without an upgrade), but also the cost when booking an upgradeable fare that includes the necessary miles and the co-pay. Like award flights there are only so many available (because the airline would rather get cash instead of miles), and this changes often. Please visit our interactive award chart, if a business class ticket Reserved, Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards card! Not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser gift cards 10, that may be cheaper fare. In 2020, we ’ ll be stuck in economy, but rules... And cancellation fees Featured photo by Alberto Riva/The points Guy newsletters and special email promotions independent! 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