TRAVEL NEWS – United Airlines announced a change to how Premier Platinum and Premier 1K members will receive upgrade benefits. Starting December 4, 2019 United will switch over to a points-based system called PlusPoints.

How the new PlusPoints system works

Regional Premier Upgrades (RPU) and Global Premier Upgrades (GPU)

  • Each RPU will be worth 20 PlusPoints
  • Each GPU will be worth 40 PlusPoints
  • Example:
    • 1 RPU upgrade from Economy to United First on domestic U.S. and North American flights = 20 PlusPoints in the new system.
    • 1 GPU upgrade from Economy to United Polaris business class on international long-haul flights = 40 PlusPoints.

New Added Flexibility

The change is designed to add greater flexibility in the following ways:

  • Use points to join upgrade waitlists on multiple trips; points are only deducted once upgrade is confirmed.
  • Spread upgrade requests across multiple trips.
  • Confirm upgrades at booking if space is available.
  • Upgrade from Economy to United Premium Plus and from United Premium Plus to United Polaris business class for less than the value of one GPU.

“We’re making it even easier for our Premier members to use upgrades when and how they want,” said Vice President of Loyalty and President of MileagePlus Luc Bondar. “The new PlusPoints program increases the overall number of upgrade opportunities for top tier Premier members, expands the fare classes where they can be used, and lets members request upgrades on multiple flights all at once. We already make it easy for members to manage all of their upgrades online, and the move to PlusPoints is yet another way we are making MileagePlus the best loyalty program in the industry.”

From United Airlines’ Press Release

Fewer Restrictions, More Options

With this change members should find fewer restrictions and more options such as:

  • Use PlusPoints for any United flight.
  • Premier Platinum members will receive PlusPoints to upgrade from Economy to United Polaris business class
  • Premier 1K members will be able to upgrade from discounted Economy fares to Polaris.
  • “From time to time, United may also allow 1K members the opportunity to use additional PlusPoints to skip the waitlist and receive a confirmed upgrade at booking when traveling on select international long-haul flights, even when upgrade fare classes are closed.
  • Importantly, PlusPoints does not replace or change United’s Complimentary Premier Upgrades benefit.
  • In recognition of their loyalty, all Premier members will continue to be placed on upgrade waitlists for flights operated by United and United Express when available.”

For more information on PlusPoints visit

Video Provided by United Airlines