Enhancing the upgrade booking experience

Role: Experience design, UX research + visual design

Stakeholder: MileagePlus® Premier Program + Digital Merchandising at United Airlines

Deliverables: SME workshops, wireframe concepts, detailed design specs, accessibility documentation, digital assets for enterprise change management tools and consumer-facing media


United introduced a new PlusPoints currency to cover upgrades for domestic and international flights for their most frequent flyers who receive Global Premier Upgrade (GPU) and Regional Premier Upgrade (RPU) certificate benefits. With this transition, the legacy upgrade booking platform was redesigned with a brand new technology stack.

The redesign stretched beyond booking upgrades with the new PlusPoints currency, it included a redesign to using money and award miles to purchase upgrades. As one of the most sought-after benefits of flying, this project had direct impact to the highest ancillary revenue-driver for United. I served as the in-house UX lead on a hybrid team with agency designers, to redesign the upgrade booking experience.


Existing state

A traveler can request an upgrade for their upcoming flight and for their upgrade benefit, the currency is a Regional Upgrade Certificate (RPU)/Global Upgrade Certificate (GPU).



Project kickoff

  • Planning exercises to align on project scope and define a working model
  • SME workshops to understand requirements and influence program experience

Design process

  • 2-week design sprints consisting of cross-functional team sketch sessions, collaborative design concepting, and stakeholder review sessions
  • Deliver detailed design at the end of each sprint so tech teams could build new services

UX handoff

  • High-fidelity responsive design comps for product, business, technology, contact center, and marketing communications teams.
  • New design system components and accessibility documentation

Sample assets for development

Key highlights

More details to come...



The upgrade booking experience supports the new PlusPoints upgrade currency in responsive web using modern design system and new services platform.