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Is It Worth The Upgrade?

by Staff

Summary

  • United Premium Plus offers enhanced amenities at a more affordable price than business class, making it an enticing option for travelers seeking comfort and a touch of luxury.
  • Passengers enjoy benefits such as priority check-in, boarding, and bag handling, as well as bigger seats with more recline and additional legroom.
  • The upgraded services onboard, including complimentary alcoholic beverages and quality dinnerware, enhance the overall in-flight experience, bridging the gap between economy and business class.


As travelers seek the perfect balance between cost and comfort, the United Airlines Premium Plus class makes its mark as a tempting proposition for those yearning for a more elevated travel experience. If you’re contemplating settling for basic economy, paying a little more for some added amenities in premium economy, or going all out on business class instead, read on!


What is United Premium Plus?

United Premium Plus is United Airlines’ premium economy class (available across its widebody fleet), nestled between standard economy and business class. Promising a curated blend of enhanced amenities without the steep price tag, the benefits of Premium Plus begin the moment you arrive at the airport.

Photo: United Airlines

Premium Plus passengers are offered two free checked bags, priority check-in and boarding, and even express security so you can go to the front of the line at often long and tedious security screenings. Passengers are also treated to priority bag handling, meaning, you’ll be among the first to receive your checked bag when you arrive at your destination.

Onboard, the Premium Plus cabin offers bigger and wider seats with more recline – a distinct departure from the conventional economy experience. Furthermore, with additional legroom and a footrest, passengers can find themselves in a cocoon of comfort that bridges the gap between the cramped confines of economy and the lavishness of business class.

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For the right price, World Traveller Plus offers a much more comfortable flight.

The allure of this intermediate class lies not only in the physical space it provides but also in the upgraded services that accompany the flight. Passengers can relish complimentary alcoholic beverages, free snacks, and a selection of quality cutlery and dinnerware to enhance the overall in-flight experience.

Bridging the gap

The fee to upgrade from Basic Economy (most restrictive) or Economy to Premium Plus is much more affordable than the upgrade to United Polaris (the airline’s business class). Take, for example, a round-trip from New York’s Newark Liberty International Airport to London Heathrow in March 2024:

United Airlines EWR-LHR ticket price comparison

Photo: United Airlines

Upgrading from economy to premium economy will cost $1,038, while going from economy to business class will set you back $2,889 – that’s more than double the price. To upgrade from premium economy to business, be prepared to fork out $1,851, which is still more than the difference between economy and premium economy.

Of course, with United Polaris business class, you’ll get an array of added benefits, such as lounge access, private pods for seats, premium dining options, and more. However, if the cost of upgrading is too steep for your budget, Premium Plus could be the better choice.

The bottom line

For those contemplating the upgrade, the decision hinges on personal preferences and travel priorities. The added cost of United Premium Plus is a small investment for passengers seeking a more comfortable and enjoyable journey, especially on long-haul flights.

United Premium Plus seatbacks

Photo: United Airlines

The extra space, improved dining options, and dedicated services may well tip the scales in favor of upgrading for travelers who prioritize a touch of luxury without fully committing to the premium prices of business class. Ultimately, United Airlines Premium Plus beckons as a sweet spot for those who desire a taste of the high life without breaking the bank.

  • N14106 United Airlines (Her Art Here-California Livery) Boeing 757-224 (1)

    United Airlines

    IATA/ICAO Code:
    UA/UAL

    Airline Type:
    Full Service Carrier

    Hub(s):
    Chicago O’Hare International Airport, Denver International Airport, Guam International Airport, Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Los Angeles International Airport, Newark Liberty International Airport, San Francisco International Airport, Washington Dulles International Airport

    Year Founded:
    1931

    Alliance:
    Star Alliance

    CEO:
    Scott Kirby

    Country:
    United States

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