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The Complete Guide to United Premium Plus

Last updated: May 12,2022
Originally Published: May 13,2022
by Jestan Mendame

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For all frequent flyers who want to experience an upgraded United Airlines experience at an affordable price, don’t worry because United Premium Plus has got you covered!

You’ll now be able to fly with larger seats, complimentary drinks, and premium in-flight services on transcontinental and select international long-haul flights.

In this article, we’ll discuss the benefits of this United Airlines premium economy fare class and find out if it’s really worth it or not.

Read More: Do United Miles Expire?

United Premium Plus passengers will get complimentary food and beverages on both select domestic and long-haul international flights.
United Premium Plus passengers will get complimentary food and beverages on both select domestic and long-haul international flights.
(Image courtesy of Canva Pro by gerenme from Getty Images)

What Is United Premium Plus?

With premium economy seats becoming a popular product in the airline industry, United pre-launched its own version called the United Premium Plus in mid-2018 with only a few seats on select aircraft.

During this period, these premium economy seats were sold as Economy Plus seats (a seat upgrade from standard and basic economy fare class) before it was officially launched by United in 2019 and sold as a separate fare class.

United Airlines was actually the third airline among the big three US carriers to offer a premium economy product. Americans Airlines’ Premium Economy fare was first launched in 2016 followed by Delta’s Premium Select in 2017.

Premium Plus Benefits

The benefits you get from United Airlines premium economy flights vary per route, however, there are general benefits that are offered on all three flight categories (transcontinental, Hawaii routes, and long-haul international) where Premium Plus is offered.

Premier Access: Priority Check In & Boarding

Premier Access is an exclusive service that expedites security checks and boarding processes for United Premium Plus passengers.

Here are some of the benefits that Premier Access offers:

  • Dedicated check-in lines
  • Exclusive security lanes
  • Priority boarding (Boarding Group 2 before the economy passengers))
  • Priority baggage handling

But apart from premium economy passengers, the following passengers below are also entitled to Premier Access benefits:

Baggage Allowance

United Premium economy passengers are entitled to two free checked bags on both US transcontinental flights and select international flights.

Spacious Seats

United Premium Plus seats provide more elbow room, legroom, and recline for passengers with a wide of 19 inches and a seat pitch of 38 inches. That’s around 7+ inches of space compared to basic and standard economy seats.

And to make your trips even more comfortable, the seats come with adjustable foot rest and leg rest, USB charging ports, and power outlets.

Lounge Access

Buying a Premium Plus fare also comes with discounted access to United Club lounges. It’s a great way to relax and unwind especially on long-haul international flights.

Wi-Fi & In-flight Entertainment

United Airlines offers high-speed internet on almost all United planes so you can have access to social media sites, messaging-apps, and online shops. If ever you forget your devices, don’t worry because the seats also come with a TV monitor of up to 13 inches where you an watch your favorite tv shows and movies. For select long-haul international flights, you’ll get noise-reducing headphones and Saks Fifth Avenue beddings,

Food and beverages

Premium Plus passengers on both select long-haul international flights and domestic flights will get complimentary alcoholic beverages and premium dining options (hot entrée, fruit, and dessert).

Read More: Understanding The United Global Services

Where Does United Premium Plus Fly?

United Premium Plus is available on premium transcontinental flights, Hawaiian routes, and select long-haul international routes. You can check the available flights on the booking page of and just type in your destination and select Premium Economy using the drop-down button.

As of today, here are the aircraft that have been retrofitted with Premium Plus seats:

  • 777-200ER – 41/51 planes
  • 777-300ER – 21/21 planes
  • 767-300ER – 15/21 planes
  • 767-400ER – 0/16 planes
  • 787-8 Dreamliner – 3/12 planes
  • 787-9 Dreamliner – 3/27 planes
  • 787-10 Dreamliner – 10/10 planes

You can keep track of United’s retrofitting progress on its website.

United Economy Plus vs. Premium Plus

United offers three types of economy class seats which are Basic Economy, Standard Economy, and Premium Economy (Premium Plus). So what’s the difference between Premium Plus and Economy Plus?

Premium Plus is a fare class of its own and it bridges the regular economy cabin and business class cabin. Meanwhile, Economy Plus is only a seat upgrade (more legroom) whenever you buy a basic or standard economy fare. You’ll still be seated in the regular economy cabin when you upgrade to Economy Plus.

Booking Premium Plus Flights With Miles

If you have a big amount of United Miles to spare, booking United Premium Plus flights with miles is your best option. United miles are typically valued at 1 cent apiece although award prices may vary depending on the routes and type of flights you book.

Here’s a sample booking for a one-way Premium Economy flight from Newark to Hong Kong which costs 140,000 United miles.

United Airlines Premium Plus 2 united premium plus
Image courtesy of United Airlines.

Typically, you earn United miles by flying with United, however, you can also earn them when you sign up for a co-branded credit card:


United Premium Plus is a great option for flyers who are traveling on long-haul international flights. It’s not as expensive and as exclusive as business class flights but it will give you additional comfort at a cheaper price.

Is it worth it? Of course yes, it’s definitely an upgrade from standard economy. The extra space and complimentary food options are definitely worth the price.

Advertiser Disclosure

  • Earn 75,000 Bonus miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn 2X miles on everyday spend.
  • Earn 10X miles on hotels and car rentals, and 5x on flights booked on Capital One Travel
  • Receive 10,000 bonus miles every account opening anniversary.
  • Get a $300 credit to use on Capital One Travel each year.
  • Unlimited Access to Capital One Lounges and Priority Pass lounges internationally.
  • $395 annual fee.
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