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UA Miles + $ CoPay Upgrade (refunded if no Polaris segments are upgraded)

Old Feb 17, 2015, 4:16 pm
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Last edit by: WineCountryUA
From MileagePlus Upgrade Awards in the T&Cs

What is the refund policy for MileagePlus Upgrade Awards that do not clear the waitlist?If you request an upgrade using a MileagePlus Upgrade Award, and none of your travel segments are upgraded, then we will automatically redeposit your miles and co-pay. In most instances, a MileagePlus Upgrade Award will be considered used if any segment of your travel is upgraded. However, if your travel includes requested upgrades to United PolarisSM business class or United Polaris first class, and none of the international premium segments are upgraded, then your MileagePlus Upgrade Award will not be considered used, even if you are upgraded to United First or United Business on another segment. In these instances, we will fully redeposit your miles and co-pay. When applicable, these refunds will occur automatically seven to 10 days after travel.
The uncertainty on PS (previously considered BF) segments appears to have been address, as PS flights are not considered Polaris flights



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UA Miles + $ CoPay Upgrade (refunded if no Polaris segments are upgraded)

Old Jan 13, 2019, 1:50 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Aug 2001
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Miles refunded promptly, but not the $$$.

FYI - Once the flight is completed and the upgrade does not clear, the miles are returned quickly. However, I had to chase down the co-pay (over $1,000 round trip). 1K Desk says that most cash refunds require a call-in.
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Old Apr 1, 2019, 1:19 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
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UA upgrade policy language unclear

Hoping for some clarification...

I'm a MP general level member with an upcoming flight to HKG. Looking to upgrade from economy to Business using miles and money. After reading the policy and checking on UA's website, I am confused about the refund policy. I have a domestic flight to ORD first, then onward on the international portion. The domestic flight is short, and I could care less about upgrading to First on that flight, but the long ORD-HKG flight is what I want Polaris for. By applying to upgrade, it includes both portions and they cannot be separated, obviously. When speaking to the UA rep on the phone, she stated that if upgraded to First on the flight to ORD and could not be upgraded to Polaris on the HKG flight, then I would be refunded some cash and 10,000 of the 30,000 miles. The rep didn't seem to know the answer at first and had to check with a coworker, so I'm not sure she realized it was a polaris flight and may have an exception. However, UA's website makes it sound like Polaris flights are a special case, stating...

"Your miles and co-pay are due at the time when you request an upgrade, even if you are waitlisted. We will automatically refund any miles, co-pay and taxes you paid if none of your flights are upgraded. In most instances, the MileagePlus Upgrade Award will be considered used if any segment of your travel is upgraded. However, if your travel includes requested upgrades to United Polaris business class and none of the segments are upgraded, then your MileagePlus Upgrade Award will not be considered used, even if you are upgraded to United First or United Business on another segment. In these instances, we will fully redeposit your miles and co-pay. When applicable, these refunds will occur automatically seven to 10 days after travel."

So, am I misreading that Polaris upgrades are a special case, where the whole thing would be considered unused if only upgraded to Chicago? Or is the rep right, and they would charge me 20k miles + $ for the upgrade if Polaris doesn't come through for the HKG flight? 20k miles for a upgrade on a 90 min flight kinda sucks, but the policy seems so unclear.

Anybody have this experience?
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Last edited by WineCountryUA; Apr 1, 2019 at 7:14 pm Reason: Merged with master thread
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Old Apr 1, 2019, 1:20 pm
  #3  
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If short domestic segment is upgraded and ORD-HKG is not, you get all money and miles back. It's a good deal.
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Old Apr 1, 2019, 1:23 pm
  #4  
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Originally Posted by IAH-OIL-TRASH
If short domestic segment is upgraded and ORD-HKG is not, you get all money and miles back. It's a good deal.
And the language is actually reasonably clear as T&C go.
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Old Apr 1, 2019, 1:27 pm
  #5  
 
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There's a whole thread on this somewhere that I am sure you will inevitably be linked to if not consolidated into. Long story short, you're right, rep is wrong.
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Old Apr 2, 2019, 1:58 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
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Thanks everybody. I thought I was right, but the rep came back with a very specific "you'll be charged 20k miles and 75$ copay", which seemed bogus. I figured people here would have experienced this and would have the answer.
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Old Apr 18, 2019, 5:40 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
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Upgrade with miles and multiple waitlists -- partial refund if not cleared?

I have a flight a few months from now, DEN - IAD - BRU, and I see a pretty good upgrade offer from my current Premier Plus to domestic First (DEN-IAD) and Polaris (IAD-BRU) for 20k miles + $425. But both legs are listed as waitlist-only. I know that if I take the offer, and no leg clears, I get a refund. But what happens if one leg clears, and not the other -- would that get me a partial refund, particularly if only DEN - IAD clears?
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Last edited by WineCountryUA; Apr 18, 2019 at 7:06 pm Reason: merged into consolidated thread
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Old Apr 18, 2019, 5:58 pm
  #8  
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if only DEN-IAD clears you get a full refund, if only IAD-BRU clear you get none.
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Old Apr 18, 2019, 6:48 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
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Good to hear!

Second question (I don't usually do these upgrades, so fairly ignorant about how they work) -- is there a way to gauge whether this would clear (I'm not sure what fare class rules apply here), and if they clear, do they usually clear at the gate or much earlier? I'm trying to gauge if I'd have Polaris lounge access at IAD, but if it clears at gate, I obviously would not.
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Old Apr 18, 2019, 7:01 pm
  #10  
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Originally Posted by zoned_post_meridiem
I'm trying to gauge if I'd have Polaris lounge access at IAD, but if it clears at gate, I obviously would not.
No Polaris lounge at IAD (yet).
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Old Apr 18, 2019, 7:11 pm
  #11  
 
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Originally Posted by Repooc17
No Polaris lounge at IAD (yet).
Ha, that's right -- I don't know why I assumed there'd be one open there already.

ps. thanks for whoever moved my post over here; wasn't aware that this thread existed.
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Old Apr 18, 2019, 7:13 pm
  #12  
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Originally Posted by zoned_post_meridiem
... Second question (I don't usually do these upgrades, so fairly ignorant about how they work) -- is there a way to gauge whether this would clear (I'm not sure what fare class rules apply here), and if they clear, do they usually clear at the gate or much earlier? ....
Impossible to answer in the abstract other than generally chances are poor unless you have high status (and then still might not be great). But it can happen.
Status, purchased fare class and time of request is the basic system but lots depend on flight specific factors -- route, day of the week, season, historical booking data, .... the discussion in [Consolidated] Chance of upgrade clearing on my flight may provide some insight.
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Old Apr 18, 2019, 7:28 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA
Impossible to answer in the abstract other than generally chances are poor unless you have high status (and then still might not be great). But it can happen.
Status, purchased fare class and time of request is the basic system but lots depend on flight specific factors -- route, day of the week, season, historical booking data, .... the discussion in [Consolidated] Chance of upgrade clearing on my flight may provide some insight.
Thanks, that's what I figured. It's IAD - BRU on a Saturday ... don't think it's a high-use route that day, purchased fare is B/Premium Economy, but my United status is low. May be worth a shot since I get a refund if the TATL leg doesn't clear, but without Polaris lounge, I'm 50-50 if it's worth the $400+ copay (I already have regular lounge access).
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Old May 16, 2019, 6:58 pm
  #14  
 
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I'm flying PVG-SFO-LAS with an almost 23 hour connection at SFO (it's an overnight connection; Flight #890 lands at 8:40pm, the next flight #681 departs ironically the same day at 8:40pm ... ahh, the magic of time zones!).

As I live outside the USA and my RPUs usually go to waste, a while ago I applied an RPU to the SFO-LAS leg and that u/g request cleared about a month ago. Yay! All is good and SFHokie is happy!

A few weeks ago I decided to try and apply miles + co-pay to get on the upgrade list PVG-SFO (those upgrades never clear for me and I'm tired of paying for W fares to use GPUs when I'm still stuck in Y). Looks like there's only one J seat available so I doubt my upgrade will clear (I'm on a G fare...). However ...

If the PVG-SFO leg does clear, would I be entitled to getting the RPU "refunded" since it's all part of the same set of flights? Or does the overnight connection cancel that out even though technically my flights both depart on the same day?
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Old May 16, 2019, 7:15 pm
  #15  
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I tried to apply a miles + cash upgrade to a ticket last week. It has almost no chance of clearing but the cost to upgrade is over $4k so I'm good with this route

When I tried to apply it an error message popped up. But when I look at my reservation it says I'm waitlisted. The cash was charged to my credit card. However, the miles were not withdrawn from my account (and it's been a week). Is this normal? What can I expect here?
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