United Premium Plus - Is It Worth It?! [Unbiased Review]

Cazzy Magennis
Written By:
Cazzy Magennis
Last Updated:
December 31, 2023
Looking for an honest review of United Premium Plus? Then look no further. We recently paid for the upgrade and it give our honest opinion on purchasing!

I’ve never really written a review on a specific airline.

Or for that matter ... a specific airline seat!

But, on one of my recent long-haul flights from the USA to the UK, we decided to “splash out” on an upgrade from economy seats, to United's Premium Plus seats.

Honestly, we really weren't sure whether the upgrade would be worth it ... and were apprehensive at first.

That's why I figured I’d share my experience with you.

So you can decide whether it’s worth paying for that upgrade.

P.S: It’s worth noting that I don’t have any airline points. We don’t really have perks like this in the UK, like you guys in the USA do), so there was no upgrading for free involved. Although I’m sure you could use your points, so this may help you decide whether it’s worth using your points for this United Premium Plus seat! 

Let’s get to it ...

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What is Premium Plus?

united premium plus

Premium Plus is United Airlines’ version of Premium Economy class which is a step up from regular economy but not quite United’s international Business Class.

You can find these seats installed on the airline’s Boeing 767, 777, and 787 widebody aircrafts.

As of this writing, Premium Plus is only available on the following routes:

  • Transpacific
  • Transatlantic
  • Premium Transcontinental (LAX/SFO – EWR/JFK)
  • Hawaiian flights (except to and from the West Coast)

How much does it cost to upgrade to a United Premium Plus seat? 

This will depend on an absolute variety of factors, such as ...

  • The route you’re flying
  • The time of year you're flying
  • How busy the flight is
  • How early/late you book
  • Whether you have points to us
  • And more!

So I cannot give you a definite answer, but I can tell you what I paid for the upgrade.

Drumroll please ...



For our United Premium Plus Seats, we paid $200 extra per seat.

For the 11 hour flight, I thought this was a great price, and that’s the reason why I took the plunge and paid for it! 

What does a United Premium Plus Seat get you?

premium plus united seat pitch

We flew on a United 747 plane, and it’s laid out with basic economy seats with a seat pitch of 31”, economy plus with a seat pitch of 34” United Premium Plus with a seat pitch of 38” and then business class with a seat pitch of 6”6.

When you book a United Premium Plus Seat, you get a much wider seat than basic economy, leading to a much more comfortable long haul experience (Especially if you want to try and get some sleep!). 

You also get a different section of the plane, it’s not boarded off with a door or curtain or anything, but the United Premium Plus seats are in there own little area together, just back from  business class- oh and all the United Premium Plus seats are purple themed, whereas the rest of United is blue themed! 

Other benefits include: 

  • You get a cute purple welcome amenity kit that’s quite nice and includes an eye mask, hand cream, ear plugs, lip balm, flights socks, and a toothbrush with toothpaste
  • Your seats are closer to the front of the plane, giving you more legroom, elbow room and room to recline. 
  • Each seat has its own power outlet and USB charger
  • You’ll also get free drinks (including alcohol), hot meals, snacks and desserts
  • Top it all off with two free standard checked bags, Premier Access® boarding and discounted United Club SM passes
  • Your TV for shows is also bigger (13” vs 9”)
  • You get a blanket (which is cozy!), a pillow (Saks Fifth Avenue one) and large headphones 

United Premium Plus seat configuration

United Premium Plus seat configuration 

This will depend on the aircraft, but on the 777 (our plane) it was 2-4-2 and 3 rows 

767: 2-2-2 and 4 rows and on the 787 it’s 2-3-2 across 3 rows. 

The United Premium Plus Experience

The United Premium Plus Experience

We boarded the plane and were greeted by friendly air hostesses and took our seats, which was easy and quickly to find since it’s near the front of the plane.

Our flight was quite full and it had said online that all the Premium Plus seats were full, so we had gotten the last two seats in the 4 section of the plane so technically the middle row.- 21 F and GI would have preferred two seats on our own next to the window, but turns out two people didn’t show up, so the guests next to us, moved to the two remaining seats by the window and we had a full row of 4 to ourselves which actually gave us even more room! 

The seats are comfortable and you really notice the extra space.

There’s more room for arm manoeuvring, i,e you don’t have to hit anyone when you’re attempting to put on, or take off a jacket, and there was a lot of legroom which was absolutely brilliant! 

It is definitely possible to sleep on this flight with these seats.

Bradley spent quite a bit, whereas I was busy enjoying the inflight movies, but I did get around 2-3 hours which was nice and I actually got real sleep! 

Sleepy head!

USB charging is very useful to have next to you. 

There is a footrest, and two buttons which will recline your seat to a comfortable sleeping angle. 

You’ve also got an adjustable headrest too which makes it even easier to find a position to sleep in. 

Food and drinks onboard United Premium Plus

Food and drinks onboard United Premium Plus 

So according to online, there is a different menu, dedicated to United Premium Plus, but I have no idea if this was the case because we weren’t given a menu on board (I have seen this on other reviews and flights with United).

Before we boarded we had requested “vegan” meals, there was no vegetarian option online to choose from, and we did NOT know that United offered a vegetarian option as standard on their flights, otherwise I would NOT have ordered the vegan option.

The vegan options were weak, and one of the muffins given to us actually said “not suitable for vegans” which didn’t bother me, as I’m not vegan, but would bother a vegan. 

One of the vegan options had rice in it, which I can’t eat (and airlines don’t have an option to specify a non-rice meal- you can just ask when on board), so I asked if I could have the vegetarian opinion, which was actually vegetarian meatballs and really good!

The air hostess seemed initially a bit annoyed that I said I couldn’t eat the vegan option, but I wasn’t being fussy, I was simply asking if they had any vegetarian meals left, could I have one, but he came back with a smile and had an option for me!

I think I just caught him off guard in a busy service. 

vegan option on united airlines

The breakfast vegan option was also porridge which was horrible, so if you’re a vegetarian, just know they will have a vegetarian option on board, i.e don’t pick the vegan menu. 

The drinks options were great, and they did a drinks service shortly after take-off in which we got a celebratory drink to celebrate the end of our 1 year trip.

We opted for vodka and diet coke, and it wasn’t Smirnoff (which is a good thing), and if we wanted any more drinks throughout the flight we could request an air hostess via the screen monitor in front of us! 

Pretzels are also served with your drink, which is always nice when an airline does that. 

drinks on board united airlines premium plus

And all drinks both soft drinks, and alcohol are included with United Premium Plus, which is nice! 

Is United Premium Plus worth it? 

For the price I paid, it was absolutely worth it.

It was worth it for the extra leg room, extra space, and more comfortable seats.

It was also nice to have complimentary amenities and drinks, but that wouldn’t be a solo reason for the upgrade.

I don’t think it’s worth anything more than a $300 upgrade (though I guess this is up to you and the size of your bank/points balance!.

But what i will say is that if you want a better flight experience overall and to wake up feeling fresher at your destination, then if the option to upgrade to United Premium Plus is available at a great rate, then I would take it!

Now over to you ...

Have you ever taken the United Premium Plus upgrade?

Or perhaps you have a question you think I didn't cover above?

Just drop a comment below and let me know!

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