Old Feb 21, 2017, 12:20 pm
FlyerTalk Forums Expert How-Tos and Guides
Last edit by: WineCountryUA
UA CPU 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.
When on a common PNR, the elite & companion will be waitlisted at the start of the elite's time window. The elite and companion will be prioritized based on the (higher) elite's status and their common fare class. They will clear together or neither will clear. At check-in, it will be asked if you wish to be placed on the CPU / Gate Upgrade Waitlist, if answered Yes, then the PNR will be split and each will be placed on the Gate Upgrade Waitlist with the elite's status and their common fare class (and ordered by the lowest eticket number). At this point either 1 or both or none may clear the waitlist. If the check-in question is answered No, the PNR will not be split and neither will be on the Gate Upgrade Waitlist.

Companions on separate PNR are not explicitly discussed but some GAs will add them at the Gate.

While elites may be eligible (with the right credit card) for award upgrades, companions are explicitly excluded.

Related threads
Questions About Complimentary Premier Upgrades (CPU) on UA

Understanding the United Upgrade List Comprehensively

To split or not to split PNR

Archive of earlier posts: Comprehensive Companion CPU Questions [ARCHIVE]
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Comprehensive Companion CPU Questions

Old Feb 17, 2019, 6:24 am
  #1  
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Update: Companion upgrade on separate PNR

Originally Posted by Old Gold
Does anyone have any recent experience with companion upgrades on separate PNR's?

I am 1K traveling on a reward ticket eligible for upgrade with Explorer card. Wife is traveling on same itinerary with a paid G fare. What are the chances of adding her to the upgrade list at the airport?

In the good ol' CO days it wasn't a problem, even for companions on the same flight but a different ultimate destination.
I thought that I would update this with my recent experience, on our first segment there were no available F seats on the A319, however on our connection at IAH the ERJ-175 had 6 open seats with only 2 on the standby list. I had received an upgrade at the 96 hour window.The agent at the United Club was unable to help, she could only find upgrade options using miles or $. At the gate the agent was not able to process the upgrade, however she referred me to an agent at a nearby gate. He was able to add my wife to the list with a few keystrokes, returning to the gate the upgrade was cleared before boarding. The fact that I was on a reward ticket was never raised as an issue.
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Old Feb 17, 2019, 8:44 am
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Originally Posted by Old Gold
I thought that I would update this with my recent experience, on our first segment there were no available F seats on the A319, however on our connection at IAH the ERJ-175 had 6 open seats with only 2 on the standby list. I had received an upgrade at the 96 hour window.The agent at the United Club was unable to help, she could only find upgrade options using miles or $. At the gate the agent was not able to process the upgrade, however she referred me to an agent at a nearby gate. He was able to add my wife to the list with a few keystrokes, returning to the gate the upgrade was cleared before boarding. The fact that I was on a reward ticket was never raised as an issue.
I think the right agent can do amazing things. On a recent flight home, with both me and a co-worker on the same PNR using my award miles, the agent upgraded both of us when I asked. She was awesome.
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Old Feb 17, 2019, 9:12 am
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Originally Posted by Old Gold
The fact that I was on a reward ticket was never raised as an issue.
Originally Posted by doug_999
I think the right agent can do amazing things. On a recent flight home, with both me and a co-worker on the same PNR using my award miles, the agent upgraded both of us when I asked. She was awesome.
To be clear for anyone reading through this thread later: companions on award miles are not eligible for CPU. These experiences do not represent policy.
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Old Feb 17, 2019, 9:40 am
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Originally Posted by Old Gold
Does anyone have any recent experience with companion upgrades on separate PNR's?

I am 1K traveling on a reward ticket eligible for upgrade with Explorer card. Wife is traveling on same itinerary with a paid G fare. What are the chances of adding her to the upgrade list at the airport?

In the good ol' CO days it wasn't a problem, even for companions on the same flight but a different ultimate destination.
Originally Posted by Old Gold
I thought that I would update this with my recent experience, on our first segment there were no available F seats on the A319, however on our connection at IAH the ERJ-175 had 6 open seats with only 2 on the standby list. I had received an upgrade at the 96 hour window.The agent at the United Club was unable to help, she could only find upgrade options using miles or $. At the gate the agent was not able to process the upgrade, however she referred me to an agent at a nearby gate. He was able to add my wife to the list with a few keystrokes, returning to the gate the upgrade was cleared before boarding. The fact that I was on a reward ticket was never raised as an issue.
Originally Posted by jsloan
To be clear for anyone reading through this thread later: companions on award miles are not eligible for CPU. These experiences do not represent policy.
In the case Old Gold reported, since the companion was on a paid fare and only the 'primary' elite was on an award, would the policy allow for a companion upgrade? I'm not clear on what is the actual policy for separate reservations.

Anyway, good to be clear about policy vs. exception. ^
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Old Feb 17, 2019, 9:43 am
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Originally Posted by jsloan
To be clear for anyone reading through this thread later: companions on award miles are not eligible for CPU. These experiences do not represent policy.
Just to clarify, I, a 1K, flying on a reward ticket, upgraded as an Explorer card holder, was requesting a companion upgrade for my wife who was flying on a paid G fare.

I will report what happens on our return flights next week.
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Old Feb 17, 2019, 11:37 am
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Originally Posted by fumje
In the case Old Gold reported, since the companion was on a paid fare and only the 'primary' elite was on an award, would the policy allow for a companion upgrade? I'm not clear on what is the actual policy for separate reservations.

Anyway, good to be clear about policy vs. exception. ^
Hmm, good point. Technically, the current policy requires that the companion be on the same PNR. However, its a long-standing unpublished policy to allow companion upgrades for off-PNR travelers at the airport. The policy specifically says that companions on award tickets are not eligible. It doesnt say anything about off-PNR travelers at all, and you cant have an award and paid ticket on the same PNR. So, my answer is that its likely UAs intent not to allow companion upgrades in the situation described, but I cant point to anything definitive.
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Old Mar 5, 2019, 8:30 am
  #7  
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Update: Companion upgrade on separate PNR

Originally Posted by Old Gold
Does anyone have any recent experience with companion upgrades on separate PNR's

I am 1K traveling on a reward ticket eligible for upgrade with Explorer card. Wife is traveling on same itinerary with a paid G fare. What are the chances of adding her to the upgrade list at the airport? In the good ol' CO days it wasn't a problem, even for companions on the same flight but a different ultimate destination.
I thought I would update this thread with our experiences on this trip.

I, a 1K with Explorer card traveling on a reward ticket was upgraded on three of four flights. My wife received an upgrade on one of four flights. (We swapped seats, of course) We were able to have her added to the upgrade standby list for three of the flights. As others have posted, finding an agent with the knowledge to process the upgrade standby on another PNR can be a problem. On our final flight, less than an hour before departure with F booked full with 11/12 checked in I was #1 on the standby list. At IAH an agent at the Terminal E club added my wife to the list. I dropped to #2 and my wife became #1 . The last F passenger checked in before boarding began.

The fact that I was traveling on a reward ticket was never raised as an issue.

Last edited by Old Gold; Mar 5, 2019 at 8:36 am
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Old Mar 30, 2019, 3:25 pm
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When a non status companion has cleared an upgrade, if the records are split they will retain their upgraded seat right?
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Old Mar 30, 2019, 5:37 pm
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Originally Posted by lightbulbs
When a non status companion has cleared an upgrade, if the records are split they will retain their upgraded seat right?
Yes, but is likely the PNR was split to get the CPU.
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Old Apr 30, 2019, 9:19 pm
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I'm flying from LA to Hawaii in a couple days with a companion who is Premier Silver. We are on separate itineraries, and I've already been upgraded. If they are not upgraded until check-in, can I call in so that they have 1K priority for their CPU? If not, can I ask the GA at the gate to move them up on the upgrade list?
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Old Apr 30, 2019, 9:23 pm
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Originally Posted by pregabalin
I'm flying from LA to Hawaii in a couple days with a companion who is Premier Silver. We are on separate itineraries, and I've already been upgraded. If they are not upgraded until check-in, can I call in so that they have 1K priority for their CPU? If not, can I ask the GA at the gate to move them up on the upgrade list?
Only at the gate and not all GAs will do this (it is not a published benefit).
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Old May 1, 2019, 6:54 am
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Just so I understand this correctly. If I am travelling with a Companion who has no status, and I am Gold, at T-48 if we do not clear, UA will automatically split the reservation and then try to upgrade me?
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Old May 1, 2019, 7:35 am
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Originally Posted by UAFLYER22
Just so I understand this correctly. If I am travelling with a Companion who has no status, and I am Gold, at T-48 if we do not clear, UA will automatically split the reservation and then try to upgrade me?
No, the PNR will be split at check-in (unless you decline), after which you will both be upgrade-eligible individually.
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Old May 1, 2019, 7:44 am
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So if I decline to split at check in, do we both stay on the UG list at Gold status? What's the point of splitting? If we do split, are both at Gold on the UG list or is my companion put to the bottom of the list?

Thank you for the help.
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Old May 1, 2019, 7:46 am
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Originally Posted by UAFLYER22
So if I decline to split at check in, do we both stay on the UG list at Gold status? What's the point of splitting? If we do split, are both at Gold on the UG list or is my companion put to the bottom of the list?

Thank you for the help.
If you decline the split, you will not be added to the upgrade standby (visible) list and are generally no longer eligible for an upgrade. Most people choose this option if they would strongly prefer both remaining in Economy rather than being separated when only one upgrade clears.

There is a lot of uncertainty as to exactly where you companion would be prioritized if the PNR is split; I believe for a CPU it should be after everyone with your status and before everyone with lower status (so between a Gold on an X fare and a Silver on a Y fare).
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