Find out how to request an elite improve utilizing United PlusPoints

If you wish to improve your subsequent United Airways flight, the easiest way to do it (other than paying money) is with PlusPoints.

United debuted PlusPoints in 2019 as a alternative for Regional Premier Upgrades and International Premier Upgrades. Versus the earlier certificate-based system, PlusPoints are versatile in which you could redeem totally different quantities for various upgrades, whether or not you are trying to sit in Polaris enterprise class, Premium Plus or home first-class.

This is how one can earn and use United PlusPoints.

Incomes United PlusPoints

Premier Platinum, Premier 1K and International Providers members earn PlusPoints on the following charges:

  • 40 upon reaching Premier Platinum
  • 280 upon reaching Premier 1K or International Providers
  • 20 for each 3,000 Premier qualifying factors earned past 18,000 (1K and International Providers solely)

United MileagePlus members who meet the necessities for Premier Platinum standing and subsequently qualify for Premier 1K will earn a complete of 320 PlusPoints.

Associated: What’s United Airways elite standing price?

Trying to find improve availability

You possibly can search for PlusPoints-eligible improve availability on United’s web site so long as the place to look.

After logging right into a United MileagePlus account with a present PlusPoints stability, click on the “Upgrades, certificates, and promotion codes” choice and choose “PlusPoints upgrades” from the “Improve kind” drop-down menu. Full these steps earlier than starting a flight search.

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From there, flight and improve pricing is instantly seen, together with an indicator noting whether or not you may rating an immediate improve or find yourself on the waitlist. You will additionally see the fare class breakdown after enabling “skilled mode.”


You possibly can filter flights by departure time, stops, connecting airports and, most significantly, whether or not or not an improve is confirmable at reserving.


Redeeming PlusPoints for home flights

United requires 20 PlusPoints for all home and regional upgrades, with one exception: Prospects buying Premium Plus on a home premium flight (comparable to Newark to Los Angeles or San Francisco) solely must redeem 10 PlusPoints to maneuver as much as enterprise class.


Sadly, home confirmed improve house stays particularly troublesome to return by, particularly on transcontinental flights. Notice that when upgrades are waitlisted, the factors will not be deducted out of your account till the request clears.

total points due

Associated: The very best bank cards to succeed in elite standing

Redeeming PlusPoints for worldwide flights

Whereas home upgrades are pretty simple — you may want 20 factors to maneuver up from financial system or 10 factors to improve from Premium Plus — deciphering worldwide upgrades feels a bit like consuming a bowl of alphabet soup.

  • Financial system to Premium Plus: 20 PlusPoints
  • Premium Plus to Polaris: 30 PlusPoints
  • Financial system to Polaris (Y, B, M, E, U, H, Q, V and W): 40 PlusPoints
  • Financial system to Polaris (S, T, L, Okay and G): 80 PlusPoints
  • Financial system to All Nippon Airways enterprise (G, E, Y, B, M and U): 40 PlusPoints
  • Enterprise to ANA first (J, C and D): 40 PlusPoints
  • Financial system to Copa Airways enterprise (A, B, E, H, Okay, L, M, O, Q, S, T, U, V, W and Y): 40 PlusPoints
  • Financial system to Lufthansa enterprise (G, E, Y, B, M, U, H and Q): 40 PlusPoints
  • Enterprise to Lufthansa first (J, C and D): 40 PlusPoints

My pal has an upcoming flight from West Palm Seashore, Florida, to London through Newark, so I pulled that itinerary up for instance. As a result of the worldwide leg was booked within the Okay discounted fare class, the long-haul improve to Polaris requires 80 PlusPoints. Moreover, since PlusPoints shall be deducted if solely the home flight clears, now you can select whether or not or to not waitlist segments individually.


Make sure you learn the improve choices rigorously — you’ll be able to’t change your request later, although you’ll be able to cancel it if the improve has not but cleared.


Notably, the home segments didn’t add to the PlusPoints whole, which got here to 80 factors for the one-way flight:


If the home waitlists clear and the worldwide segments don’t, nevertheless, you can be charged the suitable variety of PlusPoints for a home improve. In some circumstances, you would possibly wish to monitor your upgrades intently; it will be a disgrace to waste 20 PlusPoints on quick home connecting flights, comparable to from Boston to Newark or from Dallas to Houston.

Canceling a request

Upgrades waitlisted from your personal account — for you or one other traveler — seem on a tab in your “My journeys” web page.


From there, you’ll be able to merely click on “Cancel improve” to take away a flight from the waitlist.


Skipping the improve waitlist

Because the identify states, United’s “Skip Waitlist” choice helps you to skip the improve waitlist in change for extra PlusPoints. Skip Waitlists are priced dynamically, so there is not any telling which flights may have availability for this function. It’s essential search route by route and date by date to determine if Skip Waitlist is obtainable.

There are some things to notice in regards to the Skip Waitlist function. It is solely out there for choose worldwide flights greater than 30 days from departure, and it is nonrefundable. This implies you will not get your PlusPoints again if you happen to voluntarily change or cancel your ticket. Moreover, Skip Waitlists can solely be utilized to reservations with Premier 1K or International Providers members (together with their journey companions).

Skip Waitlist pricing has traditionally began at 70 PlusPoints for Premium Plus and 110 PlusPoints for Polaris — a major premium over commonplace elite upgrades.


Upgrading a accomplice flight

The method for upgrading a non-United flight is a little more advanced. You will want to go to a devoted web site to substantiate the request, however be sure you learn all of the phrases and situations earlier than processing a accomplice improve.

For one, you’ll be able to solely redeem PlusPoints on Lufthansa, ANA and Copa. Moreover, solely a subset of fares on these airways qualify. The total particulars can be found right here.

Backside line

PlusPoints are simply essentially the most versatile improve foreign money within the business. They are often utilized with fewer fare restrictions than United’s former International Premier Upgrades, supply the power to redeem factors for upgrades on choose companions and can be utilized to substantiate upgrades even once they aren’t in any other case out there through the Skip Waitlist choice.

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