United Introduces Star Alliance Upgrades

United has introduced Star Alliance upgrade awards — upgrades on most of their Star Alliance partners confirmed by redeeming miles. These has been available on other Star Alliance carriers for several months, United has just introduced them, but it’s notable that only Star Alliance offers this quite so broadly.

United miles can be used for upgrades on ANA, Asiana, Austrian, LOT, Lufthansa, TAP Portugal and Thai Airways. (United miles could previously be used for upgrades on Lufthansa, but those were space available rather than confirmed.)

Currently there are no upgrade options for other Star carriers such as Singapore, Air Canada, bmi, Swiss, Spanair, SAS, South African Airways, etc. Hopefully they’ll come in the future.

Unfortunately you need to be buying nearly a full fare ticket in order to use this option. Y and B coach fares can be upgraded to business, and C and D business fares can be upgraded to first.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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