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United from Cleveland to Italy- how to use miles to upgrade?

Cleveland, Ohio
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United from Cleveland to Italy- how to use miles to upgrade?

Plan to fly United from Cleveland to Rome, then Venice back to Cleveland in Oct 2013. United is showing no tickets of any kind for purchase using just miles.

I was looking at paying for economy plus tickets at minimum for the extra leg room, but would prefer to upgrade to business class - How do I know if I can upgrade to business and how much that will be?

Park City, Utah
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for Utah, Winter Sports
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1. Re: United from Cleveland to Italy- how to use miles to upgrade?

My experience is that if you don't see any award travel flights give UA a call. Upgrades are generally around 20,000 miles each way and may involve an additional fee depending on your booking category.

Here's UA mileage charts:

united.com/web/…

Here's instructions on booking:

united.com/web/…mua.aspx

Good luck.

Cleveland, Ohio
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2. Re: United from Cleveland to Italy- how to use miles to upgrade?

Thank you!

Chicago, Illinois
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3. Re: United from Cleveland to Italy- how to use miles to upgrade?

Just note that those additional fees are usually pretty hefty so double check what class of ticket you are going to book before doing it if your plan is to use miles for an upgrade.

Cleveland, Ohio
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4. Re: United from Cleveland to Italy- how to use miles to upgrade?

Thanks Wes, where are these fees I should watch/consider? I've never done this before. I was thinking of booking coach for about $1100 (last I looked), then calling to upgrade to business. Another question -the fee to upgrade to economy plus wasn't bad, so I at least want to get that - would I want to book that at time of purchase online, in case I couldn't get business, or is that a waste of money.

Lastly - should I / can I do all of this via phone (initial booking as well as upgrade)?

UK
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5. Re: United from Cleveland to Italy- how to use miles to upgrade?

If upgrading is a must and/or you are flexible on time look to see if there is an option to buy and upgrade in one go. You also seem to be assuming that upgrades are guaranteed but this is by no means certain, you can check online (go to the frequent flyer section of the website) or call to see what availability is for upgrades.

Fortaleza, CE
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6. Re: United from Cleveland to Italy- how to use miles to upgrade?

Thought of calling MileagePlus?

Chicago, Illinois
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7. Re: United from Cleveland to Italy- how to use miles to upgrade?

Believe you have to call anyway to get an upgrade award.

If you look at the award table you see the fee depends on the ticket class. If you book the ticket online check the details of the ticket before buying to see what class it is. Make sure it is not one that requires a fee to upgrade. If you can't tell online then call to book the ticket.

Cleveland, Ohio
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8. Re: United from Cleveland to Italy- how to use miles to upgrade?

Thanks - I'll call. When I clicked to show upgrades, it says there aren't any, but someone told me you may have to call anyway. I wanted to try to get info before calling -thanks for all your help, call tomorrow with fingers crossed!

Cleveland, Ohio
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9. Re: United from Cleveland to Italy- how to use miles to upgrade?

Well.... calling did nothing by thoroughly confuse me. She "fared out" flights, talked about upgrade fees and all sorts of things, but I'm left still not knowing what to do.

I believe I understand that depending on the fare class, you will pay anywhere between $350-$550 fee per person per ticket (i.e., $550 outbound and $550 back per person = $1100 per person to upgrade + $20K miles). That is a lot of extra money....!! She said to put in "W" fare class which will give me the deepest discount but the highest copay, but it gave me a much higher rate for just the regular ticket. Maybe I misunderstood?

At this point my only hope anyway is getting on the wait list. So, my question now is if I book using the lowest fare option - can I upgrade any fare class? I asked her how I see what class I got with the ticket and she said there wasn't any way to see. So how would I know if I can even have this option to upgrade?

Houston, Texas
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10. Re: United from Cleveland to Italy- how to use miles to upgrade?

You may want to open the links posted in response #1 again, and read all the fine print and sections, especially the how to book and rules sections. The answer to your question is "no", not all classes are eligible to be upgraded. The deeply discounted ones are not eligible.