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Answers (5)

Trying to upgrade United SFO-LONDON – newbie

Trying to upgrade United SFO-LONDON – newbie

  1. Nadine Franks

    Just found this amazing community!
    I have booked 4 tickets from SFO-LONDON via United.
    I didn’t have enough miles to fly for free. And, they wouldn’t let me apply miles for an immediate upgrade. I called again, and all four tickets are booked in one name — and I was told I could only use my spouses account and can’t combine accounts for upgrades. (Using multiple accounts would give us enough miles). I was told I could separate the reservations into 2 reservations and try for only 2 seats in business class. Is this an OK thing to do?

    Also, I did pay $189 each way for economy plus for two seats. If I do end up upgrading — will this fee be deducted from the almost $500 increase in seats to upgrade even with enough miles. (And, that seems very expensive — is it taxes?)

    Also, I would be willing to pay a service to make this happen. Do the services to this sort of thing?

    Many thanks

  2. MidSouthSkier

    Welcome [USER=2813]@Nadine Franks[/USER] – let’s break down your questions:
    1. You can’t combine miles from multiple UA accounts so that response was correct.

    2. You can have the reservation split into two PNRs (passenger name records) and use your spouse’s miles to upgrade two seats, if there are enough miles for that. If it’s important for all 4 of you to travel together (if, for example, the other two travelers are children) then I wouldn’t do that. If there is an irregular operations issue (weather, mechanical issue) and you end up getting re-booked, its possible the two reservations might get put on separate flights.

    3. I am not sure if the $189 you’ve paid would get deducted from the $500 or not. Maybe someone else knows.

    4. Flying through/from London is very expensive in general. That’s because there is a tax assessed when flying out of the city that is based on how far your flight is. So flying non-stop from London to the US will incur the most expensive charges. If you’re on an award ticket some people will route from London to someplace close (like Dublin or Paris) and return to the US from there just to save money on taxes/fees.

    5. Not sure if this is the kind of thing Ben’s company, Points Pros, can help with but you can contact them. Just click on the Award Help tab at the top of this page.

  3. Brad B

    I don’t believe the $189 will be deducted from the amount you have to pay to upgrade, however you may want to ask the agent when callinn to upgrade if they can do anything about that.

  4. rickyw

    Not sure on the official policy on the $189 being refunded, but anecdotally I’ve had it automatically refunded. Before I had elite status that let me get it free, I’d pay for the extra legroom on longer transcontinental flights, which would then be refunded when the lucky upgrade cleared using 500 mile upgrade certificates. Money has been refunded immediately, without me even requesting.

    Granted, that was American and not United. But, nobody seems to be much different these days anyways 😉

  5. Anonymous

    Hi [USER=2813]@Nadine Franks[/USER], and welcome!

    The above answers are all correct, but just to add some more details:

    3. United generally [I]doesn’t [/I]refund any fees you’ve paid for premium seating. You might be able to find an agent to do that for you, but no guarantees.

    4. London is expensive, and United also charges a co-pay based on how expensive your base ticket was. If you had purchased a more expensive ticket, you’d have a lower co-pay.

    5. We can work a lot of magic in general, but if you’ve already purchased your tickets you’re pretty much at the mercy of United. We typically don’t recommend trying to upgrade on US carriers unless you have elite status, as they’re still rather pricey, and waitlists rarely clear otherwise. 🙁

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