Yes, you can upgrade your United Airlines seat to business class. Upgrading the travel can enhance the overall travel experience, and will provide you with additional services that can make your journey more comfortable. Moreover, If you are travelling with United Airlines and you are a member of MileagePlus, then you can upgrade the flight using the miles and rewards.

Further, you can upgrade the seat during the booking process, or by using the ‘Manage Bookings’ option. And, if you are unsure about the types of upgrade awards United has, and how to upgrade your flight with United Airlines, please refer to the information below for further guidance.

Types of Upgrade Awards United Airlines Have:

  • MileagePlus Upgrade Awards
  • Complimentary Premier Upgrades
  • Plus Points
  • Star Alliance Upgrade Awards

These are types of upgrades Miles United has, therefore use any of them to upgrade your flight.

How to Upgrade a United Airlines seat to Business Class?

To upgrade your flight to business class on a new reservation, refer to the below-mentioned steps:

Upgrade with MileagePlus or Plus Points:

  • Firstly, visit the website, and sign in to your United account.
  • Enter the flight details and access the booking.
    Now, choose MileagePlus Upgrade Awards/Plus Points or another award type.
  • Tap on the option, and enter the type of class you want to upgrade to.
  • Follow the on-screen instructions and proceed.
  • After completing the steps, you will receive a confirmation.

Upgrade with Star Alliance:

If you are leveraging the Star Alliance program to upgrade, you can request it within 24 hours of your flight booking. The requesting upgrade steps will be the same as MileagePlus Upgrade Awards/Plus Points. But if you are travelling with an infant, then you have to call the United Airlines customer service team, as many Star Alliance partners do not allow infants in the premium cabin.

How Much Does United Airlines Charge for Business Class?

Business class flights are typically 3-4 times more expensive than economy class, however, if you are upgrading United Airlines ticket to business class, the airline will charge you a fee.

The upgrade fee will depend upon various factors, such as the route, where you are flying to, and the type of ticket you have. However, United Airlines charges a seat upgrade fee of up to $9,999 per flight per passenger. and this cost applies when the passenger books their flight ticket or during check in for the same.

Can I use United Miles to upgrade to business class?

Absolutely yes! You can use your Award Miles for the United Airlines seat upgrade to business class. United Airlines has 4 types of upgrade awards, as follows:

MileagePlus Upgrade Awards 

  • You can upgrade your seat using the miles if the flight is operated by United Airlines or United Express. 
  • Using these Miles, you can upgrade the flight for others. 

Complimentary Premier Upgrades 

  • Complimentary Premier upgrades are free.
  • Those who are Premium members can use this upgrade.
  •  A complimentary upgrade is available for one travel companion.

Plus Points 

  • For Premier, and Premier 1K members.
  • Can be used to upgrade another traveler.
  • can be used to upgrade, and select partner airlines. 

Star Alliance Upgrade Awards 

Can be used to get an Upgrade for up to 4 people traveling on the same flight. 

Note: The complimentary upgrades are only available for the flights that operate within the U.S., and are not available on flights between New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

How many United Miles are Needed to Upgrade to Business Class?

The amount of Miles or the PlusPoints required to upgrade depends upon where you are heading to, and which seat you want to upgrade. Moreover, if you need to upgrade to business class, you will require:

  • 10 Points for United Premium Plus to United Business class on short-haul flights.
  • 20 Points for United Economy to United Business Class
  • 40 for United Airlines to Polaris Business class on the long haul flights.

Note: United Airlines does not deduct the miles unless your upgrade has been confirmed.

Can You Upgrade to Business Class After Booking on United?

Yes, you can upgrade United Airlines flight to business class after making your reservation. The airline provides 3 options to upgrade to an existing booking, which are:

  • Fill out the online request form by signing into your award type.
  • Call the reservation desk
  • Talk to the agent at the Airport check-in counter

How does United Airlines decide who gets the First upgrade?

United Airlines allows the upgrade request until 3 hours before the departure time. After that, the airline decides on the status of the passengers and those who have more miles. The table mentioned below will provide you with an overview of who will get the upgrade first.




United Global Services requests


PlusPoints upgrades and MileagePlus Upgrade Awards


Travelers with Premier status


United ClubSM Infinite and UnitedSM Presidential PlusSM cardholders


Corporate preferred participant


United Chase cardholders with $25,000 in annual spending


Date and time of request

Does United Airlines Provide Free Upgrades?

Yes, United Airlines provides a free upgrade to its customers through the complimentary Premier Upgrades. Those who are premier cardholders can use this type of upgrade on the award flights. On some flights, passengers can get a complimentary upgrade for their companion as well.


Overall, upgrading a flight to business class provides various benefits and comforts throughout your travel. Whether you choose to upgrade your flight through miles/points or you have paid for it, upgrading seats will always offer the utmost comfort and luxury for any traveler.

And, now we hope, by following the above-mentioned details, your doubts about upgrading the seats must have been resolved. However, if you still have any issues regarding the United Airlines seat upgrade to business class, please reach out to the customer service team and get the required help.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I upgrade my United seat from Economy to Business class?

Yes. You can upgrade your economy seat to business class at any time. Simply, request it by filling out the online form or by calling the United Airlines customer service team.

Is it cheaper to upgrade to Business class on the same day?

It is always cheaper to upgrade your flight to business class at the airport, than upgrading online. But if you are upgrading on the same day, make sure to check the eligibility.

Will I get a Refund if I don’t clear the waitlist?

Yes. If your upgrade request doesn’t go through, then United Airlines will redeposit your miles to your account, and the refund amount will be deposited within 7-10 working days.

When will my upgrade be confirmed if I have a Premier status?

If you have a premier status, it will take 3-4 days to confirm the status. For the K members, it takes 4 days, for the platinum members it takes 3 days, for the gold members 2 days, and the silver members can get the confirmation on the day of departure.


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