The problem with upgrades is that most people don’t think about them until they’re about to take off and it’s too late. If that’s not the problem, it’s more than likely that the miles you want to upgrade with can’t be used on the airline you’re flying. Either way, no upgrade, no fun. Star Alliance offers one of the friendliest upgrade schemes, allowing you to use almost any Star Alliance airline’s miles to upgrade on another carrier. Here’s how…

a seat in a plane

Start Here With The Basic Rules…

The first and most important thing about Star Alliance Upgrades is that you can only upgrade one class from economy to business, or business to first. The second most important thing is that you can’t upgrade all fare types and unfortunately, that generally means if you want to use a Star Alliance upgrade to move from economy, you’ll need to be traveling on an expensive economy ticket, though some airlines like Lufthansa allow you to upgrade from cheaper fares by spending more miles on the upgrade. Finally, you can upgrade at any time from the time you book your ticket up to 24 hours before the flight for most airlines.

a large white airplane taking off

How Do I Know How Many Miles I’ll Need And IF I Can Upgrade?

To figure out how many miles you need, it doesn’t matter which airline you’re flying, only which airline you have miles with. And yes, you can upgrade on over 28 Star Alliance airlines including Lufthansa, EVA, Air New Zealand, United, ANA, Air China, Air India, Avianca, Swiss and many more using your miles. Simply visit THIS STAR ALLIANCE SITE and click to your frequent flyer program’s page on Star Alliance Awards. In addition to how many miles you’ll need, it will show what booking code your ticket needs to be to upgrade. Check these things BEFORE booking…

a plane with seats and a few seats

The Tips You Need To Successfully Upgrade…

Don’t think about upgrades after you book your ticket. Before booking, call the airline whose frequent flyer miles you have and ask if there is Star Alliance upgrade space on the flight (with another airline) you’d like to take. If not, inquire about other flights that fit your schedule. Before booking your ticket, also be sure to see if you’re in an eligible class. For most people the additional cost to purchase an upgradeable ticket is not going to be worth it, but for who were stuck buying an expensive ticket, or corporate ticket you can do well. In all cases, be sure to compare the lowest priced fare available against the lowest upgradeable fare BEFORE booking.

a group of seats with a sticker on them

Any Way To Search Upgrades On Your Own?

Indeed! You can use and to search for upgrade space without having to speak to anyone, helping you search for flights which are instantly upgradeable. The best upgrades are those that you can savor in advance….

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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