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Old Dec 4, 18, 1:21 am   -   Wikipost
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Last edit by: WineCountryUA
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One of the more confusing aspects of cash upgrades is "does this upgrade get premium cabin mileage bonus and is the fee included in PQD?"

The best assumption is no bonus and fee is not included in PQD but there are some cases where there will be a premium cabin bonus and amount will count toward PQD.

There are multiple cash upgrade paths and different ones are offered at different times (and can be quite hard to separate).

The key is what is the new fare basis after the upgrade. Note R, RN, P, PN, ZN, ON, A and others have been reported.
  • Many of the upgrade offers results in R/PN/ZN fare class (and post as Zx) -- so like a regular upgrade the mileage posting is based on the original fare class. The upgrade fee does not earn PQDs.
  • Others bump the fare basis to a -UP fare which reports as a P/Z/A fare class, these are now earning PQMs at the up-fared fare class and the up-fare costs earns PQDs.
  • And others book into a true P/Z/A fare basis and will earn the PQM bonus and the up-fare cost will earn PQDs.

The following are generally not eligible for PQD or bonus:
  • Pop-up upgrade immediately following purchase on united.com
  • Last minute upgrade at check-in
Generally these will be priced as $xx9 (ending in 9 dollars) and reflected on the receipt as
Additional Charges:
Date/CreditCard XXXX was charged xxx USD for the Merchandising / EDD
xxx USD for: Premium Cabin Upgrade
However the offer, in "My Reservations" via the cash method tab "Buy Up to First" under "View {Upgrade} Options" is likely to be eligible for PQDs & PQM bonus.
**** Due to UA changes in May 2018, this statement may not be relieable ****
**** This now appears to be an Upgrade Fee (no PQDs) and may book into Upgrade fare class (no extra PQMs) or into a mileage earning bonus fare class (PQMs earning). Unclear if that is a way to tell which will happen ****

Generally these will be reflected on the receipt as
Add Collect: An additional amount for the difference in fare was charged to {card} on {date}. $yyy USD per ticket for an additional total of $yyy USD was collected.
Notice the words "generally" and "likely" -- those are weasel words to protect the wiki author because of the lack of transparency in this system
For instance, some time of checkin paid upgrades that book into P, will earn PQM bonus but not earn PQDs.
Checking the actual fare basis during booking when you are given access (or using the Saudi site) is key in understanding the outcome.


UA Insider commented on this a while back, but there has been no improvement in the confusion / clarity in the meantime.
Originally Posted by UA Insider View Post
Hi Everyone,

Iíve done a little bit of research on this, and I wanted to share some background on the scenario vandrei shared.

At a high level, and as a some of you have noticed more recently in the thread, the buy-up offer we sometimes present immediately upon booking an economy ticket is indeed distinct from the one presented when viewing a reservation in My Account at some point after the flight has been ticketed and confirmed. For example, the offer at booking enables customers to the flexibility to confirm an upgraded seat on a segment-by-segment basis, whereas the one in My Reservations is based on the line of flight.

Additionally, from a functional perspective, the offer immediately upon booking does not change the underlying fare basis for the original purchased fare (even though the visible fare class is reflective of the buy-up inventory), whereas the one in My Reservations results in a complete re-issue of the existing ticket. It is this aspect of the functionality which drives mileage accrual, which is based on the original purchased fare for the offer immediately after booking, but based on the new fare class for the offer in My Reservations. These policies are disclosed in each offerís respective (and indeed, different) terms and conditions.

Longer-term, the vision is indeed to align mileage accrual policies between the two types of offers. In the meantime, the tradeoff between the two offers continues to be one of additional miles vs. the flexibility to confirm on a segment-by-segment basis.

Aaron Goldberg
Sr. Manager - Customer Experience Planning
United Airlines
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