Signing up for credit cards through partner links earns us a commission. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.
Update: One or more card offers in this post are no longer available. Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers.
Sometimes it’s nice to treat yourself to an upgrade. Because who doesn’t like more legroom, priority boarding, and a seat closer to the front of the plane?
Here’s a step-by-step guide that explains how to purchase a seat upgrade from economy to Economy Plus online. With popular airlines like American Airlines, Delta, JetBlue, and United Airlines!
I’ve also included a list of credit cards with statement credits for seat upgrades.
I’ll show you how to get a free airline seat upgrade!
Buy Yourself a More Comfortable Seat on Your Next Flight
Buying a seat upgrade online is pretty straightforward. But I’ve put together a guide to show you how to upgrade from economy to Economy Plus when you’re buying a ticket online with American Airlines, Delta, JetBlue, or United Airlines.
It’s also possible to upgrade your seat at the gate, as long as there’s availability. Just ask an agent! Oftentimes the price for an upgrade might even be lower than if you purchased it in advance. 😉
And of course, you can always add the upgrade online, after you’ve purchased the ticket. So do what works best for you!
1. American Airlines
Start the search for a ticket by entering your trip details on the American Airlines homepage. Then click the “Search” button.
From there, you’ll be asked to select your departing and return flights.
After you’ve chosen your flights, you’ll see your “trip summary” and an option to upgrade to First Class. But to upgrade to Economy Plus, click “Log in and continue” or “Continue as guest” instead.
Then enter your passenger details, like name, birthday, address, and contact information.
Finally, you’ll be able to choose your seats and upgrade to Economy Plus.
American Airlines will show you the cost to upgrade each seat. In this example, Economy Plus seats with more legroom cost $48 or $56, depending on the seat location.
Click on the seat you want to make your selection. Then click “Next Flight” to pick the seats for the remaining legs of your trip.
After that, you’ll see a summary of charges for your ticket, including your seat assignments and the specific cost of your upgrade. And you’ll have to enter your credit card information to complete your purchase!
Head to Delta’s homepage and enter your trip details to buy a ticket.
Then you’ll be able to pick your outbound and return flights, by clicking the “Select” button for the flight you want.
On the checkout page, you’ll see the option to upgrade to “Delta Comfort+”, which is Delta’s name for Economy Plus.
In this example, it costs ~$61 each way to upgrade an economy ticket.
To add the upgrade to your purchase, click the “Upgrade” button, and you’ll see the updated cost of the ticket.
From there, click “Continue” to enter your payment information and complete your purchase.
To search for a flight on JetBlue, start from their main page, enter your trip details, and click “Find It.”
Then, select both your departing and return flights.
And you’ll see your estimated total at the bottom of the screen.
Once you click “Continue,” enter your information.
Then you can make your seat selection, and upgrade from economy (aka “Blue”) to Economy Plus (aka “Even More”). 😉
When you make your seat selection you’ll be asked to confirm your purchase. Click “Purchase Seat” to add the upgrade to your itinerary.
And the cost of the seat upgrades will show separately on the checkout page.
From there, checkout like normal.
4. United Airlines
Start at United.com to search for a ticket on United Airlines by entering your flight details and clicking “Search.”
From there, you’ll be able to pick the flights you want, based on schedule and price.
And on the checkout page, you’ll be able to select an Economy Plus upgrade.
To complete your purchase, click “Continue” and enter the traveler and payment information.
It’s that easy!
Get a Free Airline Seat Upgrade With These Cards
These credit cards offer statement credits for travel and airline incidentals like seat upgrades:
- Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Citi Prestige® Card
- Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Credit Card
- The Platinum Card® from American Express
The Barclaycard Arrival Plus card doesn’t offer a specific travel credit for airline incidentals like the other cards on the list do. But you can use your Barclaycard Arrival miles to offset the cost of most travel purchases, including an upgrade. And it’s easy to redeem your points online. Here’s my review of the card.
With the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, you’ll be automatically reimbursed for up to $300 in travel purchases, including seat upgrades, each calendar year. You can read my review of the card here.
The Citi Prestige card offers folks a $250 statement credit for flight related expenses (including upgrades!) each calendar year. And as with the Sapphire Reserve, the credit is automatically applied to your statement. Here’s my review of the card.
Or consider the Chase Ritz-Carlton card, which has a $300 annual travel credit for qualifying airline purchases such as seat upgrades.
The only downside with the Ritz-Carlton card’s travel credit is that you have to contact Chase at the number on the back of your Ritz-Carlton card to request the statement credit. And the request MUST be made within 4 billing cycles of the purchase date. So the travel credit is NOT automatic.
Lastly, you could use a card like the AMEX Platinum, that offers an automatic $200 yearly airline fee credit. Although upgrades are specifically excluded in the card’s terms & conditions, folks have reported being reimbursed for upgrades in the past. But I can’t guarantee it will work!
And don’t forget, you can always upgrade your seat online, after you’ve purchased your ticket. This makes it easier to keep the upgrade separate from the ticket purchase. And also gives you time to plan your credits.
You could even apply for a new card that offers airline fee credits before your trip. And then enjoy a free upgrade!
If you’ve ever wondered how to upgrade from economy to Economy Plus, I’ve created a step-by-step guide that shows you how to purchase an upgrade online. With popular airlines like American Airlines, Delta, JetBlue, and United Airlines.
You can upgrade to Economy Plus when you purchase your ticket. Or you can add the upgrade later, to keep expenses separate.
Oftentimes it’s also possible to upgrade your seat at the gate. Ask an agent and they’ll be able to take your payment.