Confirmed regional upgrade reciprocity between United/Continental

This merger is finally moving along at a good pace. Just a couple of weeks ago systemwide upgrade reciprocity was announced between United and Continental. As of a couple of days ago, the same is true for confirmed regional upgrades.

The process is a bit cumbersome. You have to call the elite line (be it Continental or United) and then literally transfer the confirmed regional upgrade to your frequent flyer account with the other airline. This requires your accounts to be linked. So it’s not the simplest process in the world, but it’s now possible, should you want an upgrade advantage on one of those impossible transcons.


  1. Hey Lucky… related question (but probably not).

    What do I do with this 1,000 mile upgrade cert that I got from signing up for this old United card? I’m a 1P.

  2. I decided to be ambitious and try to sponsor an upgrade on CO using a UA CR-1. Long story short, the process took a whole three hours on the phone; they pulled the wrong upgrade; and multiple support teams including the UACO integration team ended up being involved. They found a boatload of bugs in the process. YMMV, but this isn’t ready for primetime.

  3. Lucky, UA reservations told me that this is the exact process for using a UA SWU on CO. You must transfer it to a CO One Pass account, just as you would a CR1, and the names on both CO & UA frequent flyer accounts must be exactly the same.

  4. @ infamousdx — Hmmm, is it still valid, because I believe Chase stopped issuing those a while ago. At this point I believe they’re worth as much as the paper they’re printed on.

  5. I just don’t understand why they didnt add to the online linking site, the capability to move an upgrade like you move miles. If it was just moved over electronically, then you could apply online and they could save a lot of manual effort. Anyone know why this wasn’t possible or considered??

  6. Just want to clarify- this applies to upgrade certificates? Not if you purchase an upgrade for an itinerary with both UA and CO segments?

  7. Ben and fellow readers, I booked an M fare via CO for a codeshare flight operated on UA metal. Since I am CO Plat, I was expecting an upgrade at time of booking but was denied because UA does not reciprocate this benefit (apparently). Any advice?

    Also, I am trying to elevate status with USAir from Gold to Plat so will be booking many more flights like this (i.e. IAD-SFO) operated on UA metal. Any strategies to allocate miles to USAir but still get upgraded?


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