How to Find United Airlines R-Upgrade Availability

While United Airlines did remove the online fare class availability display overnight, you can still search for “R-Upgrade†space, albeit via a bit lengthier process. It’s not ideal, but it is a way to do it yourself instead of having to call reservations.

First, click on “Advanced Search†on the homepage.

a screenshot of a search engineAfter filling in your origin, destination, dates, etc., scroll to the bottom of the page and select “MileagePlus Upgrade Award†before hitting “Search.â€

a screenshot of a computer screen The next screen appears asking you to select which segments you’re looking to upgrade. Tick the appropriate box(es) and press “Continue.â€

a screenshot of a websiteNow you’re presented with the flights showing where R-Upgrade space is available and those where it’s not.

a screen shot of a scheduleIt will annoy me immensely to have to search for the space in this manner, but it is something to help temper my irritation with United.

Related Posts:

United Airlines to Remove Fare Class Information Online

The New United Airlines Upgrade & Award Fare Buckets

Airfare Pricing Buckets & Airline Fare Basis Codes EXPLAINED



  1. You must set your billing address to US or this does not work – you get this error message “! We are not able to book a Mileage Upgrade Award reservation for this billing address country at this time. Please uncheck “”Mileage Upgrade Award”” to proceed with this reservation. You will have the opportunity to select Mileage Upgrade Award in Manage reservations once your flight purchase is complete.”
    Great so you can book and then take part in the Upgrade Lottery.

  2. Thanks for posting; this is at least better than calling and spending 2+ hours on the phone to book a TPAC with R availability.

    I’m still holding out hope that the blowback will be enough for them to reverse course. Hey, it’s happened before…

    • @glasnost7: I’m also hoping United will reconsider after the significant pushback on Flyertalk.
      @MilesFromBlighty: Thanks, I did not know you had to set your addy as U.S.-based. Another terrible “feature” of this “enhancement.”

    • @Kris: Great question. Hopefully never. Once I hit million-miler next year, I’m done with my obsessive United-only flying. And as I’m certain we’re only two or three years away from fully revenue-based frequent flier programs, it’s probably a smart decision. I truly understand the business side of why airlines want to cater to high yield traffic, but as someone who pays for every single ticket out of my own pocket these days, I’m sad to see my lifelong loyalty considered to be second class with the reduction of benefits and helpful tools.

  3. But it looks like your workaround does not show HOW MANY seats are available! I just returened from vacation…this is terrible news!!

    • @Mary: Correct… we still can’t see “R9” (for example), but if you were to select two passengers in your initial search, it would show whether the flights had at least two seats in R. But yes, this change sucks.

  4. United’s “new” website (ie the old Continental one, rebranded) takes longer to navigate through different return options than the old one. Adding this hurdle makes it ridiculous.

  5. Rookie query: It is still not possible to a GPU <24 before a flight, correct? I tend to get my tickets day of or day before, so the R inventory change doesn't affect me, right ;/?

    • @Jonathan: I haven’t had first-hand experience with this, but recall reading something on Flyertalk to the effect that once you’re within T-24 hours, upgrades are a mess to process.

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