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Some Paid Upgrades Count Towards PQD & mileage bonus and some DON'T!

Old Apr 8, 15, 4:27 pm
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Last edit by: WineCountryUA
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,

Ive 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 offers 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
Print Wikipost

Some Paid Upgrades Count Towards PQD & mileage bonus and some DON'T!

Old Mar 1, 16, 9:57 am
  #316  
 
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Does anyone know if there is any language that says buy ups do not make you qualify for PQMs even if the booking class shows it on the receipt?

I received a canned response from United and I'm gearing up for small claims court and potentially a class action.
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Old Mar 1, 16, 1:23 pm
  #317  
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Originally Posted by CashN View Post
Does anyone know if there is any language that says buy ups do not make you qualify for PQMs even if the booking class shows it on the receipt?

I received a canned response from United and I'm gearing up for small claims court and potentially a class action.
I really doubt a suit would get much traction. United has enough wiggle room in the Mileage Plus T&Cs that even most domestic paid F tickets could earn no bonus credit.

Certain premium cabin flight segments may earn different award miles and Premier qualifying credits than those defined for your ticketed fare class in the chart above (your fare class for each flight segment is displayed during booking and when viewing a ticketed itinerary on united.com). In these cases, earning is based on the first letter of the fare basis code, which may correspond to an economy cabin fare class including Y, B, M, H, Q, U, V, W, S, T, L, K, G, or N. You can determine your fare basis code when booking a reservation on united.com by selecting the Fare Rules and Restrictions link on the itinerary review page prior to purchase.
https://www.united.com/web/en-US/con...r/qualify.aspx

Will I earn additional miles for a premium cabin seating offer?

No. Mileage accrual and Premier qualification credits will be based on the original purchased fare.
https://www.united.com/CMS/en-US/pro...miumCabin.aspx
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Old Mar 1, 16, 1:26 pm
  #318  
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Originally Posted by findark View Post
I really doubt a suit would get much traction. United has enough wiggle room in the Mileage Plus T&Cs that even most domestic paid F tickets could earn no bonus credit.
I wouldn't advise a suit to gain miles, but if someone wants to go ahead with that any lawyer will tell them that those T's and C's are worthless in most cases.
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Old Mar 1, 16, 1:26 pm
  #319  
 
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Question about 2x PQMs on Paid Upgrade

On one SYD -> LAX flight, I purchased Q fare and on check-in, was offered a cash upgrade to business, which I paid, and then was confirmed into business. I was credited 2x PQMs for that flight, and (I believe) PQDs reflected the cash paid for the cabin upgrade.

On another SYD -> LAX flight, I used a GPU cert to upgrade from economy to business. On check-in, I was offered a cash upgrade to GF, which I paid, and then was confirmed into GF for that flight. I was credited only 1x PQMs for that flight, and (I believe) PQDs did not reflect cash paid for the cabin upgrade.

Can someone speak to the policy here and what I should expect on future flights, given that my experience seems to have been inconsistent?
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Old Mar 1, 16, 1:29 pm
  #320  
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Expect inconsistency, there's a long thread on this.

[Link edited by Moderator, since recent discussion has been merged into this thread.]

Last edited by Ocn Vw 1K; Mar 1, 16 at 1:46 pm Reason: See note above.
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Old Mar 1, 16, 1:32 pm
  #321  
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Originally Posted by rcrcr View Post
Can someone speak to the policy here and what I should expect on future flights, given that my experience seems to have been inconsistent?
The policy is that cash upgrades (time-of-departure and at booking) do not earn additional PQM. Experiences vary widely however, primarily based on whether the upsell books into a revenue inventory class. My theory is that this will be based on whatever the lowest available inventory is when you buy up, but I don't have enough data to confirm this.

Last edited by findark; Mar 1, 16 at 1:39 pm
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Old Mar 1, 16, 1:37 pm
  #322  
 
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Interesting. If nothing else, this helps confirm that I wasn't crazy in being confused by a seeming inconsistency across multiple experiences.

I'll read the longer thread, but are there any documented cases of successfully making a plea to UA to credit PQMs differently in a case like this, perhaps specifically founded on such inconsistency?
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Old Mar 1, 16, 3:38 pm
  #323  
 
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I have paid for a few TOD upgrades to first on domestic segments this year - mostly at the end of long weeks and I knew my CPU wouldn't clear. In every instance, I ended up in P and received 200% PQMs. PQDs still reflected the originally booked fare.
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Old Mar 1, 16, 3:48 pm
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Originally Posted by jtmann05 View Post
I have paid for a few TOD upgrades to first on domestic segments this year - mostly at the end of long weeks and I knew my CPU wouldn't clear. In every instance, I ended up in P and received 200% PQMs. PQDs still reflected the originally booked fare.
That's happened to me every time except this most recent fare. Which is what I prefer, PQDs are not an issue, it's the PQMs for me.

The inconsistency and lack of articulation from a big company like United is hysterical, albeit par for the course.

Originally Posted by findark View Post
I really doubt a suit would get much traction. United has enough wiggle room in the Mileage Plus T&Cs that even most domestic paid F tickets could earn no bonus credit.



https://www.united.com/web/en-US/con...r/qualify.aspx



https://www.united.com/CMS/en-US/pro...miumCabin.aspx
Thanks.
I bet they wouldn't send a representative to small claims court. Although they may boot me and my 800K lifetime miles out of the program... I do love that I paid more for a business seat than if I bought it at booking and still didn't get credit. Meanwhile this same route I have received 200% (P class) on a cheap economy ticket several times in the past three months...
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Old Mar 1, 16, 4:05 pm
  #325  
 
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Originally Posted by jtmann05 View Post
I have paid for a few TOD upgrades to first on domestic segments this year - mostly at the end of long weeks and I knew my CPU wouldn't clear. In every instance, I ended up in P and received 200% PQMs. PQDs still reflected the originally booked fare.
Ditto. When I pay for TOD upgrades on domestic flights, I end up in P and have received the bonus PQMs, with PQDs reflected in the original fare.

I have also noticed that if I buy the premium cabin upsell at booking, I do not receive bonus PQMs or PQDs so I've learned to just avoid those.
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Old Mar 1, 16, 4:58 pm
  #326  
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Originally Posted by rcrcr View Post
Interesting. If nothing else, this helps confirm that I wasn't crazy in being confused by a seeming inconsistency across multiple experiences.

I'll read the longer thread, but are there any documented cases of successfully making a plea to UA to credit PQMs differently in a case like this, perhaps specifically founded on such inconsistency?
As mentioned earlier in the thread UA specifically warns the bonuses may not apply, hard to see the avenue for appealing.
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Old Apr 26, 16, 4:59 pm
  #327  
 
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PQD for buy-up on the post-purchase pop-up?

Hi all,

I recently booked a ps flight wherein I bought up to BusinessFirst by accepting the upgrade on the pop-up that appears immediately after purchase. The fare difference was exactly the same as what I saw when I was booking the flight, and I am now booked in P. While the flight is correctly listed as 1.5x PQMs on "View My Receipt," my PQD has not changed.

I would be remiss if I did not accrue the additional PQD, as I would then not need to worry about the PQD for making Platinum this year. Any insight on this?
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Old Apr 26, 16, 5:16 pm
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Yup. You get up post-purchase, but not if you wait until check-in.
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Old Apr 26, 16, 5:22 pm
  #329  
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Originally Posted by dulcamara View Post
Yup. You get up post-purchase, but not if you wait until check-in.
To be fair, I think getting the extra PQM, etc. at check in is a possibility depending on what the offer is based on - buy-up vs. paying the difference to the cheapest available class in the front cabin. However, the process isn't transparent, so you don't really know until after, and it's probably more likely in many cases that it's the former.
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Old Apr 29, 16, 10:28 pm
  #330  
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Originally Posted by CappuccinoAddict View Post
Hi all,

I recently booked a ps flight wherein I bought up to BusinessFirst by accepting the upgrade on the pop-up that appears immediately after purchase. The fare difference was exactly the same as what I saw when I was booking the flight, and I am now booked in P. While the flight is correctly listed as 1.5x PQMs on "View My Receipt," my PQD has not changed.

I would be remiss if I did not accrue the additional PQD, as I would then not need to worry about the PQD for making Platinum this year. Any insight on this?
If the receipt shows "upgrade fee" you will not earn PQD for the upsell regardless of booking code. If it booked into a revenue bucket like P, you should be good for 2x PQM.
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