Let Me Upgrade Your United Flight!

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One of the very best part of the holidays is giving to others.  I know that sounds trite and is a phrase that gets thrown around a lot, but it doesn’t change it from being true.  I am super excited to extend some of that holiday giving to some of you, and help get you upgraded on an upcoming flight.

As a United 1K I get a certain number of regional and global upgrades to upgrade paid fares, and I have one GPU (Global Premier Upgrade) left that I haven’t yet used that will expire on 1/31 if it isn’t used.  I was planning to give it away today, and as luck would have it, an awesome Mommy Points reader sent me an email yesterday that they also have 3 expiring United GPUs to give away that they also would like me to share with other Mommy Points’ readers.


So, if you (or someone you know) have a paid United flight between now and January 31st, we might be able to help make your flight more enjoyable.

I would prefer these go to people who are on flights with R space (confirmable upgrade) currently available as that will help ensure the upgrades go to use.  To check and see if your upcoming flight has R space available you need to:

United Expert Mode Rules

  • While logged into your United account, search for your flight as if you are going to buy it and click on “Fare Class” as shown below.
  • Once you click on “Fare Class” you should see various fare classes, including R.  If there is R space there will be R and a number such as R2.  If there is no R space it will show R0.

United Expert Mode

You can waitlist flights for upgrades that don’t have R space, but if it doesn’t clear then we have to start the process over starting to find a new use for the upgrade before January 31st and that’s probably a little more work intensive than I can sign-up for right now.

You can use a Global Upgrade for a domestic or international flight, though for some international flights (to Europe, Asia, Australia, etc) you have to be booked in W fare class or higher to use a GPU to upgrade.  For domestic flights there is no fare class requirement to use the upgrades.

I will be giving preference to those with longer flights who have R space available instead of little one hour hops, and if there are any other special tidbits of info you want to include feel free (veteran, it’s for your parents, etc.).  There won’t be an exact science to how these are given away, but the sooner it is squared away the better so you can look forward to the flight and the upgrades can go to good use!  If you are interested, leave a comment on this post giving me the flight date, destination (ex IAH – FRA), and whether there is R space showing, and I’ll work through them as soon as I can.  I’ll email you to get the confirmation number if I think I can help.

One final thing to note, in order to have your flights upgraded you have to provide your confirmation number and name.  I’ll be processing one of the upgrades, but a Mommy Points reader will be doing the others, so only throw your hat in the ring if you are okay with a fellow blog reader having that information.

Happy Holidays and Happy Flying!

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.


  1. Thanks for the offer!! Unfortunately, all my scheduled mid-cons via IAH in Jan don’t have any R space avail, and my upcoming HKG trip at end of January is already upgraded.

    Merry Christmas!

  2. My gf is visiting her family in Cancun, flying before New Year’s Eve to SF where we meet. I would be super nice if you could spare the upgrade for her ticket. Thank you lots! Happy to provide the info.

  3. You also might want to throw out there that even though the GPU upgrade is free, if the upgradee has a lap infant with them, it could still turn out to be a pretty costly proposition at 10% of the front cabin fare!

  4. SFO-TOK(Haneda) on Dec 28. Heading back to my duty station. I would greatly appreciate the opportunity to experience an upgrade. Upgrades are available on the flight.

  5. UA 286 (PDX-EWR) Jan 3, 2015 (2R, 2RN) available. Would be awesome as they changed the flight to leave 2 hours earlier (now before 6AM!)!

  6. Dear Mommy Points, My flight from SFO to BOS has R space available. The reservation number is X, passenger name Rui Liu. Appreciate it.

  7. Thanks for trying for the upgrades for my iah to eze flighy it would have surely made for a memorable Christmas flight. Enjoy your holidays and safe travels in 2015!!!

  8. Pick Me! Pick Me! Lol. I’m flying United to Boise on the 31st (meeting the boyfriend’s family – Eek!) and would love an upgrade. There is R space too!

  9. For those interested in an international upgrade (beyond Canada, Mexico, Caribbean, etc) please let me know in your request if you are booked in a W or higher fare class (Y, B, M, E, U, H, Q, V, or W).

  10. Wife and 1yr 6 month baby flew back to China this Winter Break. Their return flight is from PVG (Shanghai, China) to CAE (Columbia, South Carolina).

    Jan. 07.2015, CP8V73, United shows both R (R9) and RN (RN9) available. I wish you have a happy holidays.

  11. If you have any left over and wait to try a waitlist for my husbands trip from ORD to LAX leaving on January 19th and coming home January 22nd, that would be awesome! 19th – UA1168 and 22nd UA543. There are no R spaces available on either flight. This is a really super gift you are offering your readers…I am thankful for such generosity even if I don’t get the opportunity to use it. 🙂

  12. Flying from MBS to OGG Jan 26th with my husband and another couple for our anniversary. Would love an upgrade! Merry Christmas to you and your family. Have a blessed 2015!

  13. Strange, I was looking all over the internet to see if any one is giving away upgrades, and today morning got an Alert from your blog. We are a couple returning from our 5th anniversary Celebration in Kauai. An upgrade would be perfect way to end our trip, I could see R1 and RN1 for our return flights.

  14. Hi.
    I’ll be flying TLV-EWR on Dec 26th UA85 and there are 9R on this flight.
    Would appreciate very much the upgrade.
    If possible to contact you privately, I will be giving the confirmation #.
    Thank you so much.

  15. Flying with my fiance EWR-MEX on 1/17 and back 1/20 for a birthday trip! Confirmation MN1262. Plenty of R space there (8) and back (4).

    Thanks Mommy Points and Merry Christmas! 🙂

  16. MommyPoints, thank you for the generous offer! I have been a longtime reader and this will be my first time commenting.

    My sister-in-law is getting married on 12/27 in the Bay Area. Her family will be traveling from BOS-SFO on 12/26 to attend the wedding. On the flight will be my significant other’s grandfather who has been battling health issues this year. It is really a miracle for him to be healthy enough to attend the wedding so far away from home. It would be great to upgrade him so that he can fly with more comfort.

    I would love to upgrade grandfather or ong ngoai as we call in Vietnamese as well as his caretaker, my mother in law.

  17. R4
    phoenix to newark on 1/20. UA1148

    First of 3 flights that day…

    phoenix to newark with an 12 hour layover.

    then newark to toronto.

    then toronto to rio

    …but this one is an award ticket on air canada so i can’t pick my seat until the day of, so…most likely middle seat hell for 14 hours… haha!

    soooo… and upgrade on the beginning flight of almost 2 days in airports and planes would be amazing!!

    happy new year!!

  18. I would love an upgrade – I get really anxious on flights lately, and some extra space would help a lot! I’m flying on 1/8 from DEN to PDX, and the search tool is showing R4. Happy holidays and thanks for the generous giveaway!

  19. Hi Mommy Points!

    My mom is traveling from Rio de janeiro to LAX to visit part of my family in january. i was able to find a less then 500USD round trip GIG-LAX for her on blackfriday! She is 54 (dont tell her i told you that haha) and she never flown on business or first in her life and she is always telling me its her dream to do that. The fly is about 14 hours with 1 hour of layover on Panama. Its operated by Copa Airlines but im almost 100% sure thats its possible to use GPU on those fights. It would love to make her dream come true with your help! thank you very much, and happy holidays!

  20. How nice of you, and of course my partner and I would love an upgrade!

    We are flying on 1/6 from EWR to LAX on UA1600. R class is not available but we still used mileage + copay for two upgrades and we are on the waitlist. We requested two months ago. It would be so nice to fly first on a 6 hour flight.

    Thanks and Happy Holidays!!

  21. My 6’9″ son, his wife, their 3 year old son and their 23 month old daughter will be flying home from Aruba to IAD on 12/29. Three upgrades would be great but I am sure that they will take one for my son (and their daughter on his lap). As she is under 2 (barely) she is a lap child. He is a teacher with a stay at home mom so money is always a consideration for them. They have saved up for this trip that includes a rental home from VRBO.

  22. I’m flying on 1/1 RDU-EWR-PIT and there is R availability on both segments. I know it’s a short flight, but it would be lovely to be able to sit up front!

  23. hi, this is a great and heart warming initiative, thank you!
    my husband is flying from Costa Rica on january 20th, for a Congress & Trade fair, the confirmation code is ch45WK, SJO-LAS. There is space to upgrade now, its showing open

    thanks again!

  24. I would love to surprise my wonderful parents when they go to Australia in mid January on united. I can get you all their information if you pick us. They are the most loving amazing parents ever but did not have enough miles to upgrade their flights. I love following your blog.

  25. My partner and I have a LAS-ORD-MUC-VCE flight routing on January 28. All is in economy, and the first segment is on United (then Lufthansa, then Dolomite). Our total travel time is over 16 hours. The itinerary begins on UA 1115, and on that flight R class is currently wide open with 9 seats. It’s close to a four hour flight, and it would be nice to stretch out for the first segment of the itinerary. I’m an avid reader of your blog, and you’ve been nice enough to answer questions on Twitter a couple times. Very kind of you! Thanks for any help!

  26. This is very kind of you guys to do this!

    If none of the above work, I have a flight on 12/29 with it showing R6.

    Happy Holidays guys!

  27. I’m doing two long segments on Dec. 29 – HNL to SFO to BOS – and I would really appreciate a slightly more enjoyable flight segment! I’m heading back to school early so I can spend some time doing research in lab. I did the search, and there is R availability on both flights.

    Thanks for the consideration!

  28. My parents are flying out for my son’s first birthday. ATW-COS on 1/15 and return on 1/21. There is R4 both directions between COS and ORD. This would be their first time not in coach.
    UA 6395
    UA 6064


  29. We’ve reached out to a few folks and gotten some upgraded on some pretty long hauls! Still waiting to hear back from one person and then we’ll be out of the first round of upgrades, but there is a potential we have some more to giveaway, so don’t give up yet. That said, it may not be until after Christmas that we can get back on this fun project.

  30. Hi Mommy Points! I have a long haul from HNL to SFO on a red-eye. Date is 1/16/2015, there is R2 showing and my conf code is P9F9MW. I can’t wait for a weekend of Chipotle and In n Out Burgers! But in all seriousness, I’m checking out MBA program too. Thank you!

  31. Hi! I’d love a RPU or GPU for my flight from Boston-EWR-STI. I’m going on 12/28 and I’m sleeping in the airport overnight because there’s no more space on other awards :(. Coming back on 1/2 before an economy flight to HKG (ouch!)

    I follow your blog religiously and would love your help! Even willing to trade for something if need be!

    Merry Christmas!

  32. dear Mommy points, wow! this would be so great! leo and i just got engaged and he wants to give me my ring on the beach at the andaz in maui.we are so excited. we are in our 50’s and waited for our special love!! and it is here!!
    we are traveling on january 1, 2015 from new york, newark, to maui and returning on 1/10/15 from maui to new york.
    return 1/10/15 UA FLIGHT 1157 AND UA FLIGHT 0212
    I hope that you choose us but i wish the best of luck to all!!merry christmas, happy hanukah and happy new year!!

  33. Hi. Thanks for doing this. Even if my flight won’t work out, I think it’s pretty darned cool.

    So, my deets:

    First, I have no special circumstances, so I don’t expect preference. I’m just hoping to make this cold long flight less of a grind 🙂

    Am heading from SFO to CLE on 6 Jan on UA1161.
    Back to SFO on 8 Jan on UA467 connecting to UA 1057.
    It does appear that upgrades are happenin’ 🙂

    Again, thanks and happy holidays to you.

  34. –I should add, I do voiceover work as a side job, so if I can ever be of service to you, please let me know (www.voiceofjack.com). Would be happy to return the favor. –JD

  35. Traveling red-eye HNL-IAD via LAX on 1/28 to visit my Dad. Currently R6 on the HNL-LAX leg. R0 LAX-IAD, but it’s catching some shut-eye on the 1st leg that I would love! Thanks so much for doing this – Happy Holidays to you, your family and your readers!

  36. Flying FLL-IAH (UA1649, R6) and IAH-SMF (UA1714, R6) on 1/18 for my niece’s first birthday! Thank you if you can do anything! Confirmation: CHGHFT, Last Name: CHEA. Merry Xmas!

  37. Tomorrow (12/25) is my wife’s 40th birthday and I am giving her a surprise trip back to Australia.

    As of right now we are seated in coach for the entire PVD-IAD-LAX-MEL 27+ hour trip.

    I would greatly appreciate any chance at these global upgrades. It would make a special surprise trip even better.

  38. I am flying with my son on overnight (1/6) flight across the country and I would love 2 RPUs to make sure he sleeps before school the next day. Its on SFO-JFK so no chance of complimentary upgrade

  39. I have been subscribed your blog for almost a year and it is my first post.

    My flight is UA34, on Jan 10, 2015 from KIX to SFO and It is a 10-hour flight. The fare class shows that R7 is within the available cabins.

    Hopefully, I am lucky enough.

    Thanks you and happy holiday!

  40. Hi Mommypoints!

    My good friend is flying from SFO to EWR on 1/2/14 and there is R space available. Would be wonderful if she is able to get an upgrade. Love your blog and thanks for doing this for your readers!

    Have a wonderful holiday!

  41. Looks like there are plenty of people eager to get the upgrades. Me and my wife are traveling on UA836 from Shanghai to Chicago ORD on Dec 28th and would love the upgrade. We got our tickets with United Miles though so I don’t know if that qualifies. If it does and you decide to choose us, that’d be awesome.
    Either way thanks for spreading holiday cheer! 🙂

  42. Hi. We are flying with our 3-year old from FLL to GVA via EWR on January 8. There are 5 seats showing up in R class and an upgrade would make our trip ( the 6th from GVA to the US for our toddler) so much more pleasant… Happy holidays!

  43. My husband and I will be flying back from SFO to SAT on Jan 4th. I will be 32 weeks pregnant and my husband who is in the Army stationed at Ft.Sam Houston in San Antonio is on crutches due to foot surgery. We are going to SF to celebrate his 40th birthday. I already paid to upgrade is to Econ plus for our comfort but would love another upgrade. Merry Christmas and happy New Year.

  44. Hi mommy points
    Will be flying for hawaii to your neck of the woods Houston for the first time for a meeting.
    1/5 NHL Denver
    1/6 Denver Houston

    Would love to be able to fly easier as I am taking a red eye to get to Houston at a decent hour. Merry Xmas and thanks.

  45. We have been able to upgrade several of your flights, but now that the end of January is here, even more nice folks are sharing their expiring upgrades so we have the chance to help some more who still have flights this month. I think I have either contacted or checked all the eligible flights I see on this thread for R space, but if you have travel plans still this month on an eligible flight and there is R space, let me know ASAP!

  46. Hi,

    I’m a long time lurker. Not sure if you still have your 1K status let alone if you’re going to be doing this again this year, I thought I’d give it a try…? I’m going on my FIRST international trip this December (18th) until early January. IAH -LHR. Let me know if you think you can spread some cheer around 🙂

    Thanks in advance!

    – Chris

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