United Airlines (UA, or UAL) owns 850+ aircraft and operates flights to various domestic and international destinations. It is one of the major airlines in the United States with headquarters in Chicago, Illinois. 

UA operates flights from 8 primary hubs located at different airports across the country including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington–Dulles, Newark, Houston–Intercontinental, Guam, Denver, and Chicago–O’Hare.

United offers MileagePlus Premier Status Loyalty Program for its frequent flyers and Loyal Customers. There are four levels under this program including Premier 1K, Premier Platinum, Premier Gold, and Premier Silver.

As we have already explored Premier Platinum, Premier Silver, and Premier Gold Status, we will be focusing on the benefits of United Premier 1K today. So, let’s get started with an introduction to MileagePlus Premier 1K.

What does United Premier 1K mean? (MileagePlus Premier Status)

MileagePlus Premier 1K is the highest level of the Premier Status loyalty program that offers exclusive benefits to qualifying members. PlusPoints advantage, pre-boarding service, complimentary drinks & snacks, and complimentary checked baggage are the major benefits of the Premier 1K.

United Airlines frequent flyers, and loyal customers need to earn Premier Qualifying Points (PQP), and Premier Qualifying Flights (PQF) to qualify for Premier 1K status.

Let’s explore all details of Premier 1K with requirements and benefits.

premier 1k status requirements aviatechchannel
Requirements and Benefits of United Premier 1K

Requirements to qualify for United Premier 1K

All MileagePlus Premier Status including Premier Silver, Premier Gold, Premier Platinum, and Premier 1K require Premier Qualifying Flights (PQF), and Premier Qualifying Points (PQP). 

United recently announced new reduced Premier Status qualification requirements for the year 2023 based on the qualifying activity in 2022. As per the new reduced requirement, Premier 1K requires at least 36 PQF, and 13,500 PQP, or 15,000 PQP only. The required PQF, and PQP must be achieved during the calendar year (January 1 through December 31).

Previously, 54 PQF, and 18,000 PQP or only 24,000 PQP were required to qualify for Premier 1K status.

If you fly continuously and reach 3 million miles, you will get lifetime Premier 1K status.

Premier Silver54 PQF + 18,000 PQP OR 24,000 PQP-only36 PQF + 13,500 PQP OR 15,000 PQP

What are PQF, and PQP?

PQF, and PQP are the two major qualification requirements specified for the Premier Status levels.

Requirements and Benefits of United Premier 1K

PQF (Premier Qualifying Flights) is calculated based on the number of flight segments flown with United Airlines, United Express, Star Alliance Partner Airlines, Connecting airlines, or other partner airlines mentioned below. 4 of the total Premier Qualifying Flights must be flown on United or United Express.

PQF, and PQP Eligible Airlines for Premier Silver Status

  • United Airlines
  • United Express
  • Star Alliance Partner Airlines
  • Connecting Airlines
  • Air Dolomoti
  • Azul Brazilian Airlines
  • Edelweiss
  • Eurowings
  • Olympic Air

Likewise, PQP (Premier Qualifying Points) is evaluated based on the fare, and a carrier-imposed surcharge of flight purchases along with seating purchases, and paid upgrades. 

Passengers can earn PQP (1 PQP for every $1 spent) based on the following flights and purchases.

  • Base fare + surcharge
  • Economy Plus® seating or Economy Plus subscriptions
  • Preferred seat purchases
  • MileagePlus Upgrade Award co-pays
  • Paid upgrades on flights operated by United and United Express
  • Flights ticketed and operated by our Star Alliance™ partners

If you fly on Star Alliance Partners, other airlines (Air Dolomoti, Azul, Eurowings, Edelweiss, and Olympic) and select MileagePlus Partner airlines, you can earn Premier Qualifying Points (PQPs).

PQP Calculation on Partner Airlines

  • Star Alliance/Preferred Partner Airlines PQP = Award Miles divided by 5
  • Select MileagePlus Partner PQP = Award Miles divided by 6

For example, if you collect 1,500 award miles for your flight with Star Alliance/Preferred Partner Airlines, you’ll earn 300 PQP. On the other hand, you’ll earn 250 PQP with 1,500 Award Miles while flying with a select MileagePlus partner.

The maximum Premium Qualifying Points that can be earned per flight on tickets issued and operated by partner airlines are calculated based on the class of service as mentioned in the table below.

Economy or Premium Economy750 PQP500 PQP
First or Business Class1,500 PQP1,000 PQP

Besides flying, passengers can also gain Premier Qualifying Points by using their MileagePlus Credit cards for making purchases, and paid upgrades. The available credit cards are United Gateway Card, United Explorer Card, United Quest Card, and United Club Infinite Card.

Requirements and Benefits of United Premier 1K (MileagePlus Credit Cards)

Every $12,000 in Card Spend = 500 Premier Qualifying Points (PQP)

The Premier Qualifying Points (PQP) that can be earned with a MileagePlus credit card ranges from 1,000 PQP to 4,000 PQP. For example, up to 1,000 Premier Qualifying Points (PQP) can be earned with the United Explorer Card which will assist passengers in qualifying for the MileagePlus Premier Status. 

United Explorer CardUp to 1,000 PQP50,000 Miles
United Quest CardUp to 3,000 PQP70,000 Miles
United Club Infinite CardUp to 4,000 PQP80,000 Miles

We explored the qualification requirements for the United Premier 1K Status. For detailed information, you can visit the airline’s official website. With that, let’s dig into the benefits of Premier 1K on United Airlines.

What are the benefits of United Premier 1K?

The number of benefits offered by the MileagePlus Premier Status increases as the levels increase. Premier 1K is the highest status level so, it offers more benefits as compared to other levels.

The major benefits of Premier 1K on United Airlines include a PlusPoints advantage, pre-boarding, complimentary upgrades, complimentary food & snacks, complimentary checked baggage, and more.

Benefits of United Premier 1K

Here are the major benefits of United Premier 1K status.

280 PlusPoints

Premier 1K status passengers receive up to 280 PlusPoints which can be used anywhere United flies. PlusPoints are a flexible upgrade benefit offered to Premier 1K, and Premier Platinum Status members only.

For instance, if you have 80 PlusPoints, you can use them to upgrade from Discounted Economy to United Polaris Business class on long-haul flights. The following table presents the upgrades according to the points earned.

Number of PlusPointsEligible Upgrade
10 PlusPointsUnited Premium Plus → United Business on short-haul flights
20 PlusPointsUnited Economy → United First or United Business on short-haul flights
United Economy → United Premium Plus on short-haul flights
United Economy → United Premium Plus on long-haul flights
30 PlusPointsUnited Premium Plus → United Polaris Business Class on long-haul flights
40 PlusPointsUnited Economy → United Polaris Business Class on long-haul flights
80 PlusPointsDiscounted Economy → United Polaris Business Class on long-haul flights

The top benefits of earning PlusPoints are listed below.

  • Passengers can request upgrades from any seat to any available premium cabin such as United Polaris Business, or United Premium Plus.
  • They can request and confirm premium cabin upgrades by using the United website or mobile app with ease.
  • PlusPoints offer flexible upgrades with as many requests as passengers want.

1 Free Food, and Drink

United Airlines MileagePlus Premier 1K status members get 1 free food item, and 1 free drink while traveling in United Economy cabin class.

Premier 1K passengers can enjoy one free alcoholic beverage and one free Choice Menu food item. This complimentary food and drink are applicable when traveling in United Economy on any United or United Express-operated flight system-wide.

Passengers can go through the Inflight Beverage Selections for a list of available non-alcoholic, and alcoholic beverages. Besides, all Choice Menu options along with Snack Shop, and Bistro on Board items are included.

To enjoy free food and drink, Premier 1K passengers need to show their digital MileagePlus membership card to the flight attendant.

Complimentary Checked Baggage

Are you worried about baggage limits while flying on United Airlines? Well, if you are a Premier 1K Status holder, you will get 3 complimentary checked baggage with a weight limitation of 70 lbs (32 kg) on each bag.

The free checked bags allowance is applicable on United Airlines, and United Express-operated flights. Your status level along with the complimentary baggage allowance is determined during the time of check-in with United.

Priority Check-in, Priority Security Screening, and Pre-Boarding 

Premier 1K status holders are offered priority check-in, and security screening services for expedited airport processes. Besides, 1K members can board earlier than other passengers as they are offered pre-boarding service. With that, 1K status holders can board earlier, and avoid the long lines. 

Pre-Boarding services are specially offered to Premier 1K members, active military members, passengers with disabilities, unaccompanied minors, United Global Services members, and families traveling with children (2 years and younger).

United Club Annual Membership Discount

MileagePlus Premier 1K passengers are offered a $100 discount on the annual United Club membership discount. 

United Club allows passengers to relax while they wait for their departure flight. Breakfast, snacks, beverages, high-speed Wi-Fi, and personalized travel assistance are the major amenities offered by United Club.

CLEAR Discounted Annual Membership

The annual membership fees for CLEAR are waived for Premier 1K passengers. CLEAR allows passengers to proceed faster through airport security in designated lanes at TSA checkpoints.

Complimentary Premier Upgrades as early as 96 hours

MileagePlus Premier 1K members get complimentary premier upgrades as early as 96 hours prior to the scheduled departure.

Besides, there are other major benefits of United Premier 1K Status which are listed below.

  • Access to most sold-out flights (Y or B Class ticket, available at least 1.5 hours before scheduled departure)
  • Confirmed Flight Changes within 24 hours of departure (Free within the same fare class)
  • Complimentary Access to Economy Plus or Preferred seating at the time of booking.
  • Complimentary Economy Plus for 8 Travel Companions
  • Preferred seating for travel companions (8 companions)
  • Instant upgrades to the Premium Cabin on Economy tickets (Y, B, or M Class fares)
  • 11X Miles earned on every flight (Extra miles per dollar on United, United Express, and select partner airlines)
  • Better Award Availability in Economy
  • Better Award Availability in Select Premium Cabins
  • Priority Award Waitlisting
  • Standby for international award flights
  • Premier Priority Desk Phone Line
  • Waived Phone Booking Service fees
  • Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status
  • Complimentary Avis Elite Status (Avis President’s Club)
  • Extra Benefits when booking a VIP Access property with United Hotels
  • United Cruises Onboard Amenities Offer
  • TPC Network Golf Course Benefits
  • Complimentary Access to Timeshifter – The Jet Lag App (Annual Subscription)
  • Bonus miles on car rental with Avis (Upto 1,250 base miles per rental)

Conclusion on Benefits of United Premier 1K

As we come to the end of this informative blog, we explored the benefits of United Premier 1K status with its requirements. Premier 1K is one of the four MileagePlus Premier Status levels offered to loyal customers and frequent flyers.

Premier 1K is the highest level of MileagePlus Premier Status followed by Premier Platinum, Premier Gold, and Premier Silver. To qualify for this status, passengers need to earn at least 36 Premier Qualifying Flights (PQF) + 13,500 Premier Qualifying Points (PQP) or 15,000 PQP only.

Passengers can earn PQP while flying on United Airlines, United Express, or other select partner airlines. MileagePlus credit cards can be used to gain PQPs by using them to make purchases.

Let’s conclude with the top benefits of United Premier 1K.

  • 280 PlusPoints
  • Complimentary Premier Upgrades
  • 3 Complimentary Checked Baggage (70 lbs/32 kg each)
  • 11X Miles Earned on Every Flight
  • Priority Travel Services including Pre-Boarding
  • 1 Free Drink and Snack in Economy
  • Complimentary Access to Economy Plus at booking + 8 Companions

FAQs on Benefits of United Premier 1K

Does United 1K status expire?

United Airlines MileagePlus Premier 1K status is valid from the date you earn it till January 31st of the following year. To maintain the status, you need to frequently fly with United (or partner airlines), or use MileagePlus Credit cards to earn PQP. If you reach 3 million total miles, you will get lifetime Premier 1K status.

Is United Premier 1K worth it?

United Premier 1K is the highest level of the MileagePlus Premier Status loyalty program. It offers various premium benefits including complimentary food & drink, complimentary checked baggage, pre-boarding services, 280 PlusPoints advantage, and more. It is a worthy program for loyal, and frequent flyers.

Does Premier 1K have lounge access?

MileagePlus Premier 1K status level does not offer complimentary lounge access however, members are provided a $100 discount on United Club annual membership. 

How many Premier 1K members are there?

As per the latest estimation, there are over 40,000 MileagePlus Premier 1K active members.

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Suman Karki
Suman Karki is the founder of the AviaTech Channel blog and YouTube Channel. He is a passionate aviation enthusiast and holds experience working as a Ground Operations Officer for Swissport International. He is currently serving as a Flight Data Feeder for FlightAware (a US-based company for Flight Tracking). Besides, he has worked as an aviation content editor for various aviation media.


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