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"Upgrade PlusPoints (was GPUs & RPUs) are useless nowadays"

"Upgrade PlusPoints (was GPUs & RPUs) are useless nowadays"

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Old Apr 7, 19, 3:38 am   -   Wikipost
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Old Jan 5, 18, 12:40 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Chicago, IL
Programs: UA 1K MM, HHonors Diamond,PC, Marriott Rewards Gold
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"Upgrade PlusPoints (was GPUs & RPUs) are useless nowadays"

yesterday flying RSW to ORD... two seats open right before boarding; one in e- and one f

lady comes up to me me asking if Iím in line for BG1. She tells me she just booked the flight an hour ago and was offered a $149 buy up to F. I asked her what the ticket cost and it was basically $200 or equivalent to what I paid a month prior. I was #1 using an RPU but did not clear and she snagged the last F seat for $149.

Sorry folks, but itís time to suck it up and realize these benefits have a lot less value than they originally did as little as a few years ago.
tryathlete is offline  
Old Jan 5, 18, 1:50 pm
  #2  
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"Sorry folks, but it’s time to suck it up and realize these benefits have a lot less value than they originally did as little as a few years ago."

It will only get worse IMHO, UA is engaging on borderline fraud by having program rules that encourage lower level elites to spend more on UA in the hope of an upgrade (International W comes to mind), when in reality, UA has made a corporate decision to monetize premium cabins regardless of the effect on the lower level elites. How many would strive for higher elite levels (Plat, 1K) if they knew the chances of an upgrade were .0000001% unless they were GS. I don't begrudge UA having this policy, only, what looks like to me, not disclosing the real effect on lower level elites. UA will eventually pay the price. Why not have full disclosure unless you are deliberately trying to hide something?
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Old Jan 5, 18, 2:48 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
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I agree, it will only get worse. So, this past year I decided the 1K status was not worth it, especially since I self-funded about $8k of my 1K PQD the previous year. After all, I planned my personal trips for the year once I got my GPU's in the account in January 2017 because I wanted to grab every upgrade opportunity early. Needless to say, it was not easy but last year I accomplished getting Beijing and Sydney with the upgrades for travel in April and December. I flew other trips in coach, never got upgraded with CPU. But for the GPU's I had to tailor all my travel dates to when upgrades were available. So it was a Tuesday here, a Thursday there. Never ideal but just what was available. I had over $7000K PQD in all for my travel on UA.

So this year, without 1K and without the GPU's and with some clever ticketing, I have my first class to Hawaii, business class to Morocco and business to UK all for under $6k and on the dates I want, not just what are available using GPU's. I feel I've come out ahead and don't have to worry about waitlists, etc. For example, this past year's WAS-SYD-WAS was via SFO each way - I got the long haul upgrades confirmed at booking in January for December travel, but the IAD-SFO-IAD upgrade waitlists never cleared . I should have just sucked it up, purchased those segments separately with the economy-up upgrades they sell. Lesson learned for the future - but then, I will just purchase the business class upfront.
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Old Jan 5, 18, 2:50 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
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I dunno, I've seen quite a bit of R availability. I just booked a GPU for IAH-EZE next week and that was booked today.
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Old Jan 5, 18, 3:10 pm
  #5  
PPM
 
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I gave $53,000 in business class travel to other star alliance carriers in the second half of 2017, bringing my total United Premier qualifying miles to 250,000 because of my inability to use GPUs or CPUs. I wrote numerous letters of complaint to the 1K Voice, and most of the time got back a form letter referring me to a link that details how upgrades work. Occasionally, I would get a "Thank you for being a 1K, but we cannot upgrade your flight just now". These were all situations where the J cabin was wide open--oftentimes not a single seat taken. On other occasions, I've sat in the exit row aisle with an unused RPU while the people with no status whatsoever willing to pay $50 for an upgrade were in first. On a couple of occasions (on regional jets), the flight attendant came to apologize to another 1K passenger and me about the inability to have us "up front". My position on this is different from many others who say that United should prioritize the monetary value. These instruments are not "free upgrades" as a CPU would be. They are earned and should have some value over last minute cheap upgrades by those willing to pay the $149, as passenger described. I have always maintained that my putting up with the substandard United product--especially in international J--and paying full fare for it--has earned these certificates and they should be worth something. But, they are not. However, I refuse to fly in paid business on United any longer. I will pend my 12,000 on United and acquire the remainder of my miles on star alliance partners, especially LOT and AC, which have superior J cabin product and service. Hard to figure how United can be so short-sighted about these upgrades. It is not as if the domestic or international premium cabins are all that stellar.
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Old Jan 5, 18, 3:47 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: LAS
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Yesterday, ORD-LAS, I'm #6 on the U/G list with 6 open up front at T-45 mins. Only #1 got called to the podium as the other 5 spots apparently went to folks that paid extra to sit in F/C, once they saw where they sat, & once it got close to departure.
Can't blame the pax, nor UA.

After ALL, it's ALL bout $$$!

I'm thinkin' that any of the five that didn't get called, and burnt a portion of an RPU on another segment, got screwed by a last min purchase by anyone that paid the fee.
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Old Jan 5, 18, 4:19 pm
  #7  
 
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Originally Posted by claaaaaydavis View Post
I was unable to get a single one to clear LAX-EWR in 2017

Same here. One upgrade cleared in 2017, and I think maybe one cleared in 2016. It's frustrating when I have more RPUs expire (after multiple failed attempts) in a year than those that clear.
UA should at least toss us a few points when GPU/RPU expire, so that they aren't completely worthless. Just my $0.02
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Old Jan 5, 18, 5:50 pm
  #8  
 
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Originally Posted by Phil Level View Post
Same here. One upgrade cleared in 2017, and I think maybe one cleared in 2016. It's frustrating when I have more RPUs expire (after multiple failed attempts) in a year than those that clear.
UA should at least toss us a few points when GPU/RPU expire, so that they aren't completely worthless. Just my $0.02
I have never had instruments expire.... but going back to 1K this year, that may change. It would be nice if they exchanged those for points after expiration... even if it's just 5000 each.
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Old Jan 5, 18, 8:29 pm
  #9  
 
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Originally Posted by jjmoore View Post
I have never had instruments expire.... but going back to 1K this year, that may change. It would be nice if they exchanged those for points after expiration... even if it's just 5000 each.
As GS you clear into PN, but 1K, Plats, and below need R, and I have found very little R on domestic, esp PS flights in the last 2, maybe 3 years. Back in the days when PS flew into JFK, the Saturday night red-eye was a slam-dunk upgrade. No more.

In late 2015, UA ran a promo where for every paid PS flight in F, one could earn an RPU. I earned 2 for making Plat and 2 under the promo. During 2016 I tried many times to use the RPUs on PS flights but not a single one cleared. All 4 expired in Jan 2017.
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Old Jan 5, 18, 9:02 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
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Originally Posted by jjmoore View Post
I have never had instruments expire.... but going back to 1K this year, that may change. It would be nice if they exchanged those for points after expiration... even if it's just 5000 each.
You're in for a rude awakening. Brace yourself.
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Old Jan 6, 18, 12:04 am
  #11  
 
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Originally Posted by Phil Level View Post
As GS you clear into PN, but 1K, Plats, and below need R, and I have found very little R on domestic, esp PS flights in the last 2, maybe 3 years. Back in the days when PS flew into JFK, the Saturday night red-eye was a slam-dunk upgrade. No more.

In late 2015, UA ran a promo where for every paid PS flight in F, one could earn an RPU. I earned 2 for making Plat and 2 under the promo. During 2016 I tried many times to use the RPUs on PS flights but not a single one cleared. All 4 expired in Jan 2017.
I had 1K several for several years prior to GS and was always able to use them all... but those were different times.
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Old Jan 6, 18, 1:27 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: LAX
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2-16 this year when using RPU- 17 year 1k

1k just not worth it
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Old Jan 6, 18, 1:39 am
  #13  
 
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Since GPU and RPU are getting to be tougher to use as upgrades, giving them the ability to get a Y cabin seat, would be a nice way to give a nod to FF. I can always use a flight, we are flying all the time. At least make an RPU worth a 12.5 mile Y seat.

I still don't get why you can have miles upgrade inventory, but not allow GPUs.
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Old Jan 6, 18, 2:10 am
  #14  
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Originally Posted by PushingTin View Post
I still don't get why you can have miles upgrade inventory, but not allow GPUs.
You can't; assuming you've purchased an eligible fare class for the GPU, both mile upgrade inventory and GPUs clear into the same inventory bucket. If you can use miles, you can use a GPU.
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Old Jan 7, 18, 11:47 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
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Originally Posted by jjmoore View Post
I had 1K several for several years prior to GS and was always able to use them all... but those were different times.
I was 1K in 2010 and used all my upgrades.... and could have used more. You said it.... " those were different times". R inventory on PS flights was frequently available.
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