I’m gifting two United Airlines Systemwide Upgrade certificates (SWUs)

[Edited to add: Thanks for everyone’s interest. Commenter #58 ended up being chosen and the upgrades are reserved in his name]

My international travel has been plotted through at least January next year and I have two United Airlines Systemwide Upgrade certificates available that I’d like to gift to someone, so who better than one of my readers? These SWUs are valid through January 31, 2012, so all segments using the upgrades must be completed by that date.

For anyone unfamiliar, systemwide upgrades can be used for a one-way upgrade to the next class of service on eligible United flights worldwide. They are most valuable on international flights, which requires the purchase of at least a W-bucket fare. They can also be used domestically on any published fare, and I have in the past burned them on United’s premium service p.s. flights where the Unlimited Domestic Upgrade program for elites doesn’t apply. I don’t care how you use them, I would just love to give them away. As with any award, upgrade space is capacity controlled and applying a SWU to an existing reservation doesn’t guarantee the upgrade. For more information on SWUs, check out the details on United’s website.

Interested? Just leave a comment (one comment per person) and be sure to plug in your email address so I can contact the person chosen randomly (via Random.org) this Saturday. As such, all comments must be received before 12:00pm MDT on Saturday August 13, 2011. Don’t worry if your comment gets held up in moderation… I’ll be sure to get it approved & posted live as soon as possible. If you have any questions, feel free to email me at Darren@frequentlyflying.com.

This is a gift and I ask for absolutely nothing in return except I hope you’ll enjoy the upgrades (and they clear!).


  1. This is such a generous offer, thank you so much! I would love to use the upgrade for my tickets to Beijing, China for Chinese New Years. I haven’t been home for Chinese New Years for 11 years and this would be wonderful. Thank you!

    Xiao Li

  2. Thanks for the gift.
    I’m planning to fly across the pond, so it would be handy.
    Crossing my fingers and hoping to get the certificate 😉

  3. Wow, Darren, mighty generous of you! I live near SFO but am a loyal AA flier…however, with their continual retreat from here, I’ve been eyeing United. If I won these, it would make checking them out that much easier 🙂

    Thanks for the opportunity to win!

  4. Wow! Very generous of you! I’m taking my girlfriend on her first trans-Pacific flight next month SEA-NAR and this would be a great way to introduce her to a more comfortable level of travel. Thanks!

  5. Hi, Please put me in for the contest! Also I frequently tweet about airlines, accessibility, etc. Right now an uproar in the accessibility blind community about some recent JetBlue developments. Feel free to email or tweet me for more details.

  6. What a great gesture. I’m headed to Oktoberfest in Germany in September and this would make the trip a really fantastic one.

  7. Now that you are a AA elite you should give out some dAArkside upgrades too so your readers can compare!

  8. Would love to Use the upgrades to visit the grandkids. Fly LAX-IAD all the time on 777 and its a surprisingly hard upgrade to business!

  9. I’ve to travel back to Europe in November (marriage of a family member) and would be quite happy if I could do this in business class. Thank you so much!

  10. I’ve only been lowest-level elite before and never used SWUs. I’d be most excited to give it a shot and fly up front. This is a most generous offer.

  11. right now, i have 1/112 odds of getting your nice gesture. i’m sure odds won’t get any better because of your following. thanks!

  12. Blog is a daily read for me. I even canceled my “First CXXXX FXXXX” monthly PDF subscription. You are quick, to the point and on the ball. Keep up the great work and may your followers post comments that benefit all of us FF. Let’s keep the great traveling moving into even better results for the FF and blog followers!

  13. Darren, I just started reading your blog recently, and have already found it to be really informative. And now to top it all off, you’re super generous. Fingers crossed! 🙂

  14. That’s a nice gesture! I flew transpac 4 times in as many weeks… SWUs would come in really handy for that next flight 🙂

  15. Very kind gesture, even just reading this post puts a smile on my face (on an otherwise a very frustrating day), so I thank you 🙂

  16. I know how happy my mother would be if she could fly business class for the first time in her life. 😀

  17. This is an amazing opportunity and you are very generous to hand this off to your readers. I know we all appreciate it.

    Keep up the great work.

  18. Why not? I have not won anything since a steam iron at a milk plant opening 50 years ago. I’ll go! Thanks!

  19. I’d love to fly a little closer to the front of the plane when I visit my son in Europe this fall. Tugging at the strings a bit, I am a disabled combat vet…

  20. Im getting married november 5th and am flying MCO-FRA and returning FRA-PHX back to work on our dairy. I could upgrade my continental flight but no upgrades are available! Plus my fiance is twenty and wont be able to enjoy a glass of champagne unless she gets some first class treatment. The avaialbe united upgrades would be amazing!

    • Hi Tommy, The time period for this giveaway has lapsed and the two upgrades are reserved for someone else, I’m so sorry. This reminds me I should update this post with that info, so thanks leaving your comment.

  21. OOPS! hey I have 100,000 miles with my onepass account and i wanted to use them somehow to get an upgrade! do you have any ideas? do you think i would have a better chance getting a last minute upgrade if i choose a continental run flight?


    • Are you booked on Continental or a combination of carriers. If all Continental, you might consider spending your miles and paying a co-pay amount (depending on your fare type) to waitlist for the upgrades if none are currently available. You have more than enough to apply for the upgrades. More information on Continental’s upgrade program can be found here.

  22. I am learning alot by your blog. Looking forward to using Delta again. I’ve been a Continental frequent flyer for years. What this merger has done, hmmm. Thanks again. A new reader from The Great State of Texas!

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