As United Airlines phases out international first class cabins on much of its fleet, some Premier 1K members have lost the ability to assign seats in the international first class cabin in advance of departure. On the remaining United aircraft that are still equipped with international first class seats, Premier 1K members will still be eligible for the upgrades at the gate.
According to a new report from One Mile at a Time, United Airlines (UA) has quietly eliminated the ability for Premier 1K members to upgrade to first class seats in advance of departure on most international flights. The new restrictions appear to apply to flights on aircraft in which a dedicated first class cabin is not available, but which are still equipped with first class seats. Global Service members are, however, still entitled to reserve the former first class seats at check-in.
“To provide the best experience for all our customers, a dedicated team will monitor flights and may assign former Polaris first class seats to Premier 1K and other high value customers closer to departure when the actual aircraft is assigned and most accurate seatmap is confirmed,” the airline told One Mile at a Time, explaining that the move was made, in part, because of high demand from Global Services members.
According to recent posts in the FlyerTalk United Airlines MileagePlus forum, Premier 1K members who have already been assigned a seat in the former-Polaris First Class cabin will be able to keep those assignments barring a change of equipment. Going forward, however, it appears that only passengers with Global Services status will have the option of reserving the remaining Polaris First Class seats in the fleet ahead of departure.