Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > United Airlines | MileagePlus
Reload this Page >

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

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

    Hide Wikipost
Old Dec 5, 19, 5:11 pm   -   Wikipost
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
Last edit by: WineCountryUA
Wiki Link
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
Print Wikipost

Old Jun 1, 17, 11:14 am
  #406  
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: CVG, originally LAX/SNA
Programs: UA MileagePlus Premier Platinum, Hilton Honors Gold, SPG Gold, Marriott Gold
Posts: 77
Paid up for 3 segments in a span of 2 weeks and all 3 of them ended up changing to P fare class. 2 of them were classified as an "upgrade" while last one as an "upfare"

May 18th - UA 5211 CVG-ORD: $55 ("upfared" and called in to get the My Reservation price)
May 26th - UA 741 ORD-SFO: $199 ("upgrade" and found it at online check in)
May 29th - UA 1858 SFO-DEN: $129 ("upgrade" and did it at the gate with ExpertFlyer help)

Last edited by InterPlace55; Jun 1, 17 at 11:17 am Reason: More elaboration
InterPlace55 is offline  
Old Jun 7, 17, 2:40 pm
  #407  
Used to be MBS PremExec
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Saginaw, MI USA (MBS)
Programs: UA 1K 1.9MM, Marriott Plat w/Lifetime Gold, Hilton LT ♢, National Exec, Sixt Plat
Posts: 5,247
Took a $99 pop-up-at-purchase offer from ORD-EWR on a Monday morning 737. To me, a good value and was very surprised to see it book into F class, as in:

Aircraft: Boeing 737-800
Fare Class: United First (F)
Meal: Refreshments
Does this meat 3X PQMs on that segment? Not a HUGE deal, but you never know!
MBS MillionMiler is offline  
Old Jun 7, 17, 3:12 pm
  #408  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: MSP
Programs: UA 1K, DL PM, WN, Global Entry; +others wherever miles/points are found
Posts: 10,817
Originally Posted by MBS MillionMiler View Post
Took a $99 pop-up-at-purchase offer from ORD-EWR on a Monday morning 737. To me, a good value and was very surprised to see it book into F class, as in:



Does this meat 3X PQMs on that segment? Not a HUGE deal, but you never know!
Weird! Yes, I would expect it to post as F class (300% PQM).
findark is online now  
Old Jun 7, 17, 3:39 pm
  #409  
Used to be MBS PremExec
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Saginaw, MI USA (MBS)
Programs: UA 1K 1.9MM, Marriott Plat w/Lifetime Gold, Hilton LT ♢, National Exec, Sixt Plat
Posts: 5,247
Originally Posted by MBS MillionMiler View Post
Took a $99 pop-up-at-purchase offer from ORD-EWR on a Monday morning 737. To me, a good value and was very surprised to see it book into F class, as in:



Does this meat 3X PQMs on that segment? Not a HUGE deal, but you never know!
Originally Posted by findark View Post
Weird! Yes, I would expect it to post as F class (300% PQM).
Further, it's not like F was even the only class available...United.com shows:

F9 A9 JN9 C9 D9 Z9 ZN9 P9 PN0 R0 RN0...And so on.
MBS MillionMiler is offline  
Old Jul 20, 17, 2:26 pm
  #410  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Washington DC and Denver CO
Programs: 2017: UA 1K, Hyatt "Glob" (ugh, for the last year probably), Marriott/SPG Gold, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 348
Just did a P-class buy-up 5 days before departure.. However receipt is currently showing extra PQMs, but not extra PQDs yet. However, the "Airfare Paid" does include the add collect.. Was originally ~$471, now showing a lovely $666.. Should this probably get the PQDs paid as well, despite the XX9 cost and it not showing yet? (Apparently the buyup breakdown was $195 airfare $14 taxes). Never seen the "BU200USDFC2" code before.

-----

The airfare you paid on this itinerary totals: 666.05 USD (Originally $471)

The taxes, fees, and surcharges paid total: 78.35 USD

Award Rules: Additional charges may apply for changes in addition to any fare rules listed.
BU200USDFC2
All changes must be made prior to the departure date, or the ticket has no value.

Add Collect: An additional amount for the difference in fare was charged to VISA VIXXXXXXXXXXXX9570 on Thursday, July 20, 2017. $209.00 USD per ticket for an additional total of $209.00 USD was collected.
tcp1 is offline  
Old Jul 20, 17, 2:52 pm
  #411  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: MSP
Programs: UA 1K, DL PM, WN, Global Entry; +others wherever miles/points are found
Posts: 10,817
Originally Posted by tcp1 View Post
Just did a P-class buy-up 5 days before departure.. However receipt is currently showing extra PQMs, but not extra PQDs yet. However, the "Airfare Paid" does include the add collect.. Was originally ~$471, now showing a lovely $666.. Should this probably get the PQDs paid as well, despite the XX9 cost and it not showing yet? (Apparently the buyup breakdown was $195 airfare $14 taxes). Never seen the "BU200USDFC2" code before.

-----

The airfare you paid on this itinerary totals: 666.05 USD (Originally $471)

The taxes, fees, and surcharges paid total: 78.35 USD

Award Rules: Additional charges may apply for changes in addition to any fare rules listed.
BU200USDFC2
All changes must be made prior to the departure date, or the ticket has no value.

Add Collect: An additional amount for the difference in fare was charged to VISA VIXXXXXXXXXXXX9570 on Thursday, July 20, 2017. $209.00 USD per ticket for an additional total of $209.00 USD was collected.
Not familiar with the code either, but as long as it shows an add/collect you should earn PQD. It's recorded as a change, and now it's like you originally purchased a ticket in P class.
findark is online now  
Old Jul 30, 17, 2:35 am
  #412  
 
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 514
purchased ord-yyz for dec.

base fare K was S$145 (~US$106). business fare P was S$445 (~US$327)
after ticket, was offered upgrade for S$134 (~US$100) and booked into Z.

after reading this wiki - i was wondering whether to rebook/cancel etc. then realised that for accrual to my SQ Krisflyer program - K and Z both accrue at the same rate.
epigram is offline  
Old Aug 22, 17, 1:03 pm
  #413  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: STL
Programs: UA Platinum, Marriott Gold
Posts: 1,307
Receipt vs MileagePlus account posting

Has anyone had any luck disputing whats displayed on a receipt vs whats displayed on MileagePlus? Case in point this:

Receipt
UA 1900 SANORD F
Award Miles 1184
PQM 5169
PQS 1.5
PQD 148

Mileage Plus
UA 1900 SANORD Y
Award Miles 1360
PQM 2585
PQS 1.5
PQD 170

I know there is anecdotal information as to whether an upgrade bought at check-in will/won't count. But what I find weird about this is on my outbound I flew STLSFO, was ticketed in S, bought the upgrade and it posted as P. So I would have expected that even if it didn't count, my return SANORD would have posted still with the flown ticket class of F. Clearly my new receipt seems to indicate that I was ticketed in F, so I assumed that's what I would earn.
qukslvr619 is offline  
Old Sep 18, 17, 11:24 am
  #414  
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: NYC
Programs: UA 1K, Hyatt Discoverist, SIXT Platinum, SPG Gold, Marriott Gold, Amex Platinum, Global Entry
Posts: 115
I am just reporting an inconsistency and although I figure that, because these events are purchased upgrades during check in, treatment of PQDs and PQMs are inconsistent and seem random and I do not think that I have a real chance of getting PQms and PQDs beyond what I have already received, I thought I'd share it anyway. Please feel free to weigh in.

I booked a round trip EWR - LIM a few weeks ago but ended up from EWR to SCL instead on the outbound leg and LIM - EWR inbound on my return. This was due to Harvey and since I had to go to SCL in any event, this was actually a much appreciated move by UA to make a change without a change fee during the hurricane's travel waiver period. Both flights were routed through IAH. The original fare calls for all legs was L. I have no idea what the fare basis was. I did not try to check on Saudi's webpage until after the last flight which was too late I guess. The search result came up with an error.

When I checked in for my EWR-SCL flight I received an upgrade offer for the IAH-SCL portion of the trip for $829 which I accepted. The new fare class noted on the receipt was ZN. A few days later, PQMs and PQDs posted including the upgrade fee.

For my flight back to EWR I was again offered an upgrade, this time for $859 for the LIM - IAH leg. Upon acceptance, my fare class shown was the same as before: ZN. Needless to say, this time, the PQMs and PQDs that posted a few days later did not include the upgrade payment.

In both instances, the language on the receipt reads:" ...was charged xxx USD for the / EDD .... for: Premium Cabin Upgrade."

After my first flight posted favorably, I started reading this thread for the first time and saw in the Wiki portion that additional PQMs and PQDs have been reported in ZN class fares. When the second flight did not post as hoped, I called the premier desk. The representative forwarded me to US's web support where I received the monotonous response that only true upfares ticketed as such and any fare differences into the same count towards PQMs and PQDs.

When the web support representative looked at my numbers for the first leg, I was told that the numbers did not make sense as they don't correctly reflect the PQDs spent but since it was an error in my favor (none of the upgrade fee should have been added to the PQDs or counted as PQMs, not even partially as it was done in my case) but that UA does audit these numbers every 2 weeks and it is possible that if an audit catches the alleged mismatch, my account may be adjusted downwards.

Any thoughts anybody?
UASleeper is offline  
Old Sep 18, 17, 1:32 pm
  #415  
Moderator: United Airlines; FlyerTalk Evangelist
2020 FlyerTalk Awards
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: SFO
Programs: UA Plat 1.85MM, Hyatt Discoverist, Marriott Plat/LT Gold, Hilton Silver, IHG Gold
Posts: 48,980
Originally Posted by UASleeper View Post
....
After my first flight posted favorably, I started reading this thread for the first time and saw in the Wiki portion that additional PQMs and PQDs have been reported in ZN class fares. When the second flight did not post as hoped, I called the premier desk. The representative forwarded me to US's web support where I received the monotonous response that only true upfares ticketed as such and any fare differences into the same count towards PQMs and PQDs.

When the web support representative looked at my numbers for the first leg, I was told that the numbers did not make sense as they don't correctly reflect the PQDs spent but since it was an error in my favor (none of the upgrade fee should have been added to the PQDs or counted as PQMs, not even partially as it was done in my case) but that UA does audit these numbers every 2 weeks and it is possible that if an audit catches the alleged mismatch, my account may be adjusted downwards. ...
Hopefully, your inquiry does not lead to a reversal. Glad the agent you talked to also took the customer-centric approach. The audit guys tend to be by the rulebook but others have had these extra "bonuses" stick.

Originally Posted by UASleeper View Post
.....
In both instances, the language on the receipt reads:" ...was charged xxx USD for the / EDD .... for: Premium Cabin Upgrade."
.....
Any thoughts anybody?
As mentioned in the wiki, PCUs do not receive PQDs nor PQM bonuses. And neither do ZN generally.

Occasionally they do slip by and receive bonus but it is best to "let sleeping dogs lie."
WineCountryUA is offline  
Old Sep 18, 17, 4:19 pm
  #416  
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: NYC
Programs: UA 1K, Hyatt Discoverist, SIXT Platinum, SPG Gold, Marriott Gold, Amex Platinum, Global Entry
Posts: 115
Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
As mentioned in the wiki, PCUs do not receive PQDs nor PQM bonuses. And neither do ZN generally.

Occasionally they do slip by and receive bonus but it is best to "let sleeping dogs lie."
Thanks WineCountry. What I meant was that after the initial perusal of the Wiki and its language I thought that ZN would qualify as a fare category that automatically and regularly receives additional PQDs and PQMs. After re-reading and having read the entire thread in context it became clear to me that I misread, didn't take into account that I purchased at check-in, and that I can call myself lucky to have received an accidentally favorable treatment on the outbound flight. I will certainly let sleeping dogs lie in the future...and buy up-fares before check-in, if I like the price (or have no expectation whatsoever when buying check-in upgrades again).

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Sep 19, 17 at 1:48 am Reason: repaired quote
UASleeper is offline  
Old Sep 19, 17, 12:26 am
  #417  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: MSP
Programs: UA 1K, DL PM, WN, Global Entry; +others wherever miles/points are found
Posts: 10,817
Originally Posted by UASleeper View Post
When the web support representative looked at my numbers for the first leg, I was told that the numbers did not make sense as they don't correctly reflect the PQDs spent but since it was an error in my favor (none of the upgrade fee should have been added to the PQDs or counted as PQMs, not even partially as it was done in my case) but that UA does audit these numbers every 2 weeks and it is possible that if an audit catches the alleged mismatch, my account may be adjusted downwards.

Any thoughts anybody?
I am shocked you received PQD credit for something which posted as "Premium Cabin Upgrade" on the receipt. What booking class posted on your MP statement?
findark is online now  
Old Sep 20, 17, 4:56 am
  #418  
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: NYC
Programs: UA 1K, Hyatt Discoverist, SIXT Platinum, SPG Gold, Marriott Gold, Amex Platinum, Global Entry
Posts: 115
Originally Posted by findark View Post
I am shocked you received PQD credit for something which posted as "Premium Cabin Upgrade" on the receipt. What booking class posted on your MP statement?
ZN.
UASleeper is offline  
Old Oct 6, 17, 1:29 am
  #419  
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 5
Unhappy

Hey y'all, I'm a little turned around by the rules of paid upgrades w.r.t. PQMs especially when partner carriers are involved, so I'm hoping you can help me determine whether there's a clerical error on my MileagePlus account or whether it's legit.

Back in June I had a Boston to Johannesburg trip that was booked via Egencia and involved United, South African Airways, and Lufthansa. Because of the multi-carrier nature of the trip, I wasn't able to put in, in advance, for upgrades on the long SAA-carried LHR->JNB leg or the LH-carried FRA->BOS return. I instead got them by counter upgrades at LHR and FRA respectively.

At LHR I paid 875GBP to SAA for an upgrade from class S to C. I don't seem to have a receipt for that, just the boarding pass that indicates "Class: C/S" and the line item on my credit card statement, so no looking for the wording that's been mentioned here.

On the way back, at FRA I paid 899EUR to LH for the upgrade to C. I do have the card stock receipt for this, which says "Airport Upgrade M to C".

My MileagePlus earnings are showing both the SAA and LH in S, and just 5620 and 3670 miles respectively -- that is, 100% rather than 200% as expected for class C.

I did try calling the MileagePlus desk already but the agent I spoke to didn't fill me with confidence that he really knew what he was talking about, because he started off saying paid upgrades never get a bonus are always based on original class, but that's plainly wrong. I'm still left with the feeling that there was some sort of miscommunication about the proper class because it was counter upgrades on a partner airline. (It sure has made me really reluctant to bother with multi-carrier itineraries; the whole thing was just difficult to deal with.)

Since there was a non-trivial upgrade cost in each case I'm hoping they qualify for the extra PQMs. Does this seem to be an error, or are things as they should be?

Thanks in advance for any guidance.
vttale is offline  
Old Oct 6, 17, 5:05 am
  #420  
Moderator: United Airlines; FlyerTalk Evangelist
2020 FlyerTalk Awards
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: SFO
Programs: UA Plat 1.85MM, Hyatt Discoverist, Marriott Plat/LT Gold, Hilton Silver, IHG Gold
Posts: 48,980
Originally Posted by vttale View Post
....
Since there was a non-trivial upgrade cost in each case I'm hoping they qualify for the extra PQMs. Does this seem to be an error, or are things as they should be? ....
Short answer is the rules vary by carrier on cash upgrades and whether that carrier considers cash upgrades eligible for fare class bonus. Past reports suggest SA/SAA does not. This is up to the operating carrier and UA will post what the operating carrier reports.
WineCountryUA is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: