United Airlines quietly updated its fare codes for some premium cabin tickets and upgrades over the weekend.
With Polaris First class now just a memory, United has pulled A and F fare classes traditionally used to designate first class. Domestically, United will still call its front-cabin product “United First” but use business class fare codes instead.
Here’s how business class fare codes will now map out:
- Revenue: J, C, D, Z, P
- Award: JN, ZN, IN, I
- Upgrade: PN, PZ
Revenue fare codes are listed in order from high to low, with J representing unrestricted business class and P representing the cheapest business class fare available. This will apply to both domestic and international flights.
Award tickets in business class do not change. JN and ZN remain “Anytime” awards (JN is enhanced inventory for United MileagePlus Premier members and Chase co-branded credit card holders). IN remains enhanced saver business class inventory for United Premiers while I indicates standard saver business class for United Airlines and its partners.
We see that the upgrade fare bucket has changed from R to PZ. PN has been used, and remains, a special upgrade bucket for Global Services members.
If you are holding a confirmed upgrade, you will see that R has been replaced by PZ on your reservation.
Finally, note that upgrade space (PZ) is still available for viewing in Expert Mode:
Why This Change?
This change is about more than just the end of first class. It is also about the brith of United’s premium economy product. In fact, that’s the reason why United claims the move was necessary:
Starting the evening of Friday, October 19, into the early hours of Saturday, October 20, we are realigning some premium booking codes and discontinuing the use of others to prepare for the launch of United® Premium Plus.
It’s unlikely to me that premium economy class will used the “F” fare class and perhaps not even “A”. Rather, it appears that United will use “R” class to designate its Premium Plus product.
First class is out. Premium economy is coming. The long-term question now is what will happen to upgrades. Let’s hope United will continue to allow Global Premium Upgrades (GPUs) from economy class to business class well into the future.