Old Nov 8, 15, 12:01 pm
FlyerTalk Forums Expert How-Tos and Guides
Last edit by: drewguy
For complimentary premier upgrades, United explains how they are handled for itineraries with more than one passenger:

Companion policy

One companion traveling on a paid ticket on the same reservation as a Premier member is eligible for Complimentary Premier Upgrades on select flights, and may be confirmed with the same priority as the Premier member, even on the day of departure. If the companion is a Premier member, the upgrade will be processed according to the highest Premier status level in the reservation.

If a reservation includes three or more travelers, and only one is not a Premier member, the Complimentary Premier Upgrades will be processed according to the lowest Premier status level in the reservation. If two or more travelers on the reservation are not Premier members, it will not be processed automatically. In these cases, Premier members should call the Premier Priority Desk to request a separate reservation for themselves and the eligible companion.
https://www.united.com/ual/en/us/fly.../upgrades.html

For elites, an itinerary for multiple passengers will remain together until ~T-24. If the upgrades clear before then, the PNR remains together. If they have not cleared by then, the PNR will be "split" when you check in for purposes of upgrades, with waitlist priority in accordance with above. The splitting has consequences regarding eligibility for "inherited status" - i.e., baggage allowances, upgrade priority, boarding priority for passengers with lower status than the highest status passenger. I.e., as a formal matter the benefits of inherited status are lost (although E+ seats are usually retained or can be gotten back, baggage is usually granted, one can board with highest priority passenger). This also matters for the return.

This thread explains various scenarios and considerations as to whether it is desirable to split the PNR before T-24 and the consequences of having it happen.

Questions to consider:
1) Do you mind if not all passengers are upgraded? If you are willing to have some people remain in coach, then splitting increases your chances of an upgrade before T-24 because sometimes only one upgrade seat becomes available at a time. In such scenarios a group of 2+ will be skipped. If you can't be separated, don't split until forced to do so. If you really can't be separated, consider a call to UA to ask to be marked not for upgrades.
2) Once you get inside T-24 your PNR will be split, unless you make a special request that it not be. Each passenger will be placed on the upgrade list in accordance with the above. This doesn't matter much on the outbound flight unless there are IRROPS, in which case it may be tougher to get accommodation for all passengers.
3) On the return flight(s) the companions may no longer have the highest level of status of all passengers, including baggage allowances (E+ seats are usually retained). However, some recent reports are that companions retain the status of the highest passenger on the original PNR, even after it is split.

related threads
The stupid PNR auto-splitting at T-24 needs to stop

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To split or not to split PNR

Old Nov 5, 13, 8:35 am
  #76  
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Originally Posted by GroundStop
Now, what's the sage advice on splitting? Five single PNRs, or Two, Two, One or Three, Two?
Five, if your ultimate concern is upgrades.

Maybe a few less if you have lots of baggage on the outbound. (When you split, companions lose the allowance - which the agents may "give you back".).
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Old Nov 5, 13, 8:44 am
  #77  
 
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I haven't been in this situation, but what about splitting the PNRs, but not applying the GPU just to the 1K's reservation for now. If 3-4 clear, then apply the GPU. That way, OP is the last to clear into C and can preserve the E+ and luggage benefit for as long as possible. If anyone clears into C, then baggage is not an issue.

Only downside is if all 5 GPUs would have cleared at same time, but someone else pops in front of him after 4 clear.
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Old Nov 5, 13, 9:42 am
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Originally Posted by drewguy
I haven't been in this situation, but what about splitting the PNRs, but not applying the GPU just to the 1K's reservation for now. If 3-4 clear, then apply the GPU.
As long as all the reservations have the same fare class, this shouldn't be necessary should only need to apply the GPU for the 1K *last*. The order in advance is supposed to be (1) status of instrument holder, (2) fare class, (3) time of request.
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Old Nov 24, 13, 10:38 am
  #79  
 
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Kudos to UA for working on PNR splitting

Did OLCI for flight tomorrow with family. Got to screen which asked if I wanted to be on UG list. Checked no. Finally. After finishing OLCI I checked list & I do not appear. Hopefully this will work! I say that since I've called in previously to request to be removed only to to get UG & PNR split. Nice job, UA, as this was always a problem when traveling with family.
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Old Jan 31, 14, 1:19 pm
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Should I split my reservation?

I'm a Premier Platinum member on United and am flying with 4 other family members on a trip to Europe this coming March. We're all booked in economy "K" and have connecting flights in the U.S. both ways.

Here is what I read on United's website:

If a reservation includes three or more travelers, and only one is not a Premier member, the Complimentary Premier Upgrades will be processed according to the lowest Premier status level in the reservation. If two or more travelers on the reservation are not Premier members, it will not be processed automatically. In these cases, Premier members should call the Premier Priority Desk to request a separate reservation for themselves and the eligible companion.
If I'm understanding this correctly I need to split my reservation to still be eligible for the complimentary upgrades for at least two of us flying. My question is do I really need to call or could I just use the "Separate Travelers" function on the United website?

Also, if I split the reservation it will leave two passengers with absolutely no status and therefore likely not be eligible for priority boarding / screening. Is this also the case?

What do you suggest I do? I want to maximize my upgrade opportunities but I also don't want to leave my family members behind.
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Old Jan 31, 14, 1:27 pm
  #81  
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Originally Posted by whoknew89
I'm a Premier Platinum member on United and am flying with 4 other family members on a trip to Europe this coming March. We're all booked in economy "K" and have connecting flights in the U.S. both ways.

....

If I'm understanding this correctly I need to split my reservation to still be eligible for the complimentary upgrades for at least two of us flying. My question is do I really need to call or could I just use the "Separate Travelers" function on the United website? .....
Yes you can use that function.

Complimentary upgrades are only available on your domestic flights and if they don't clear prior to check in you will have to (again) split the reservation into single person PNR.

Originally Posted by whoknew89
... Also, if I split the reservation it will leave two passengers with absolutely no status and therefore likely not be eligible for priority boarding / screening. Is this also the case? ...
not an issue, you are allowed to bring family members with you even if on different PNR.

Originally Posted by whoknew89
.. What do you suggest I do? I want to maximize my upgrade opportunities but I also don't want to leave my family members behind.
behind at security or boarding will not be an issue. On the plane will be a different story if upgraded.

Unless the domestic flights are long and you think there is a high chance of upgrading, I would not do it because of the added complexity it introduces. separate Online checkins, extra effort in the case of irrops, ...

more in http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/unite...split-pnr.html
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Old Jan 31, 14, 1:28 pm
  #82  
 
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Originally Posted by whoknew89

If I'm understanding this correctly I need to split my reservation to still be eligible for the complimentary upgrades for at least two of us flying.

What do you suggest I do? I want to maximize my upgrade opportunities but I also don't want to leave my family members behind.
Don't worry about maximizing your CPU opportunities, as free upgrades on international flights isn't happening anyway!!!

If you split your res your family members that are seated in the back on the domestic portion will be subject to riding in E- if a sweep occurs.
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Old Feb 13, 14, 10:05 am
  #83  
 
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When to Split?

1K here, usually travel on my own but traveling in about a week or so from SFO-BOS with a (non-elite) companion on the same reservation (no bags to check); both have seats in E+ now. Showing 2 F available. If I'm reading this thread correctly I'm assuming:

1) If I leave the res as is, if only 1 upgrade is available at the 96 hour mark and I'm at the top of the list, it will pass over me and go to the next "single" reservation
2) If I split the res now, my companion should still be able to keep the E+ seat unless a sweep (not very likely) or equipment swap occurs.
3) If I don't split the res now there is a very small chance that my companion will get upgraded with me sometime between T-96 and T-24 if I'm first on the list AND both of those seats become available for upgrades
4) If I do split the res now I can still add my companion to the standby upgrade list at the airport and they will be prioritized as if they were a 1K.

So I'm leaning towards splitting now (or at least before 4 days out) given the circumstances. Any reason why I shouldn't besides #3 above? Thanks.
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Old Feb 13, 14, 1:09 pm
  #84  
 
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Originally Posted by KevinInRI
1K here, usually travel on my own but traveling in about a week or so from SFO-BOS with a (non-elite) companion on the same reservation (no bags to check); both have seats in E+ now. Showing 2 F available. If I'm reading this thread correctly I'm assuming:

1) If I leave the res as is, if only 1 upgrade is available at the 96 hour mark and I'm at the top of the list, it will pass over me and go to the next "single" reservation
2) If I split the res now, my companion should still be able to keep the E+ seat unless a sweep (not very likely) or equipment swap occurs.
3) If I don't split the res now there is a very small chance that my companion will get upgraded with me sometime between T-96 and T-24 if I'm first on the list AND both of those seats become available for upgrades
4) If I do split the res now I can still add my companion to the standby upgrade list at the airport and they will be prioritized as if they were a 1K.

So I'm leaning towards splitting now (or at least before 4 days out) given the circumstances. Any reason why I shouldn't besides #3 above? Thanks.
2 key questions:

1) How willing are you to be separated? Split if totally willing.
2) What's showing in terms of R space? I opted recently to keep paired because R was showing 7. Of course, 6 seats got filled and R went to 1 at T-96. Guess 6 other GS or 1K had priority ahead of me. But I still think I made the right gamble because I wanted to keep companion (child) with me. (FWIW, flight got cancelled anyway)

Last edited by drewguy; Feb 13, 14 at 1:18 pm
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Old Feb 14, 14, 12:09 pm
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Originally Posted by drewguy
2 key questions:

1) How willing are you to be separated? Split if totally willing.
2) What's showing in terms of R space? I opted recently to keep paired because R was showing 7. Of course, 6 seats got filled and R went to 1 at T-96. Guess 6 other GS or 1K had priority ahead of me. But I still think I made the right gamble because I wanted to keep companion (child) with me. (FWIW, flight got cancelled anyway)
1) Totally willing, companion isn't a child or significant other
2) Showing F2 R0 right now. So prob not looking good even just for my upgrade.
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Old Feb 14, 14, 12:29 pm
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Just a data point:

I'm traveling ORD-LAS tonight with a companion. T-24 came, and I saw that First Class was full (actually it kept going back between Full and 15 booked (+5 blocked), for whatever reason.

I chose NOT to check-in at all, because I knew I'd have to split. Overnight, we were upgraded. Had I checked in yesterday, I probably would have been upgraded, but my companion would not have, because in my experience once you split, your companion is no longer on the EUA list (they can only be upgraded at the airport). I've been burned by getting upgraded and seeing a bunch of people below my companion on the list get upgraded when this process runs.

Now, it's different if you have an instrument, because instruments will upgrade based on your status. But not for CPUs.

My general strategy is while waiting for a CPU w/companion that hasn't cleared on the outbound is to wait to check-in until T-3, when they traditionally release the remaining inventory into all buckets. Then I know the EUA process won't run anymore, and I'll split if it looks like there's a chance of being upgraded on the outbound. If it's an elite-heavy route where I know I'm not going to clear, I decline the split, so I can possibly get EUA on the return.
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Old Feb 14, 14, 12:32 pm
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Originally Posted by villox
I saw that First Class was full (actually it kept going back between Full and 15 booked (+5 blocked), for whatever reason.
I think that typically occurs in an oversold situation where they may have to op-up people. Odd that it would go from 5 blocked to zero and back - I could see it moving one or two more easily.
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Old Feb 14, 14, 1:10 pm
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Originally Posted by drewguy
I think that typically occurs in an oversold situation where they may have to op-up people. Odd that it would go from 5 blocked to zero and back - I could see it moving one or two more easily.
Yeah it did this over and over again, and given all the cancellations and such it makes sense. However, point remains, that if there are multiple first class seats available, and I think there's a chance my companion and I will be upgraded prior to T-3, I wait to check-in until T-3.
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Old Feb 27, 14, 11:33 am
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I have a couple of trips coming up to Mexico and will be traveling with wife and child. I am Silver they have no status. We are all on the same PNR. Wife and I have no issues sitting apart if one of us can get the chance to sit in E+ or even first (don't laugh). I was thinking of splitting off my wife and keeping my child on my PNR to see if just the two us can get upgraded. I have never done a split before and have no idea how splitting a PNR works. Does it stay linked to the original PNR?
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Old Feb 27, 14, 5:42 pm
  #90  
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Originally Posted by eknock007
I have a couple of trips coming up to Mexico and will be traveling with wife and child. I am Silver they have no status. We are all on the same PNR. Wife and I have no issues sitting apart if one of us can get the chance to sit in E+ or even first (don't laugh). I was thinking of splitting off my wife and keeping my child on my PNR to see if just the two us can get upgraded. I have never done a split before and have no idea how splitting a PNR works. Does it stay linked to the original PNR?
The split PNR linkage is weak but enough to maintain E+ access and checked bag benefit.

As for upgrading if you don't get upgrade by checkin, you will need to split the 2-person PNR to get a chance of a gate upgrade. If you don't want to chance getting only 1 person upgraded, then decline waitlisting for upgrades after checkin.

also see
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/unite...eeds-stop.html
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