The new primer: How to sponsor an upgrade

Welcome to the new website. For folks used to the old site things should look pretty similar. For folks surprised to find that things are different this week, well, surprise! There are a few common features that are very useful to be able to do and which are not particularly well documented. So here’s the documentation. I’ve got a couple of these posts in the works and if there are any particular steps you are having trouble with let me know and I’ll put something together for them.

When you’re ready to spend some of those hard-earned points or upgrade credits on someone other than yourself there are a few extra steps involved in the process. You can call in and an agent will be able to handle it, or you can do it online. These are the steps for handling it online.

  • Log in to the site as yourself.
  • Go to "My Reservations" on the site. At the bottom of that page is a form where you can put in a PNR and passenger last name.
  • Fill that in with the info of the passenger you want to sponsor.
  • Below the list of flights is a button to redeem an upgrade:
  • Click that and you’ll have the option to use either miles or your certs to process the upgrade:

At this point the flight should clear into the upgraded space if the inventory is available (see here for how to search that out). If the upgrade inventory is not available you should see an additional line in the reservation with the notation that the segment is waitlisted.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


  1. Thanks Seth. I was looking for this very subject on FT yesterday with no luck. Great series of posts – keep ’em coming!

  2. Seth,

    How is the new COdbaUA handling complimentary upgrades. On the old UA site you would see and be able to “request” elite complimentary upgrades. is this functionality lost and only visibility is the use of instruments and miles?

    1. You won’t see the “requested” notation any more but otherwise the old UDU system – now called CPU – is basically intact.

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