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General RPU earning & usage questions [Consolidated 2016 onward]

General RPU earning & usage questions [Consolidated 2016 onward]

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Old Jun 5, 19, 11:06 am   -   Wikipost
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This thread is for general RPU usage questions. ---- Previous Thread was Specific GPU and RPU usage questions thread

Questions like "will my upgrade clear" are better placed in
[Consolidated] Chance of upgrade clearing on my flight [2016]
How often do your RPUs clear?

General comments on utility / value are better placed in
My new United Regional Premier Upgrade (RPU) strategy

Regional Premier® Upgrades (RPUs) are one-way, one-cabin, space available confirmable upgrades as early as the time of ticketing on eligible UA/UX and Copa Airlines-operated flights. They can be used on any fare and any flight that is also CPU eligible and on PS flights. This includes some Oceania and some COPA South America flights. They are generally not usable on flights outside of North America -- see upgrade region chart for details.

PS and non-west coast Hawaii flights are considered one of the better uses of RPUs since those flights are not CPU eligible and since elites are subject to copays on mileage upgrades.

RPUs are earned by elites -- (Re-)qualifying for Premier Platinum earns 2 RPU for the rest of the year, all of the next year and then thru 31 January of the following year. Re-)qualifying for Premier 1K earns 2 more RPUs and you can then earn 2 more RPUs for each additional 25K PQMs.
Unlike GPUs, UA does not offer an extension of unused and about to expire RPUs.

2MM, assuming they did not otherwise qualify for Platinum in the prior year, will have 2 RPUs deposited into their account around mid-January. 3MM+, assuming they did not otherwise qualify for 1K in the prior year, will have 2 RPUs and 6 GPUs deposited into their account around mid-January.

RPUs can be used for other individuals / friends / family but the upgrade priority is based on the status of the flyer, not the earning elite.

RPUs require PZ space (formerly R) to clear (except for GS RPUs which clear into PN space). For a given flight, RPU /GPU or Mileage+Copay have the same waitlist priority -- what does matter is passenger Status then Fare Class and then the time of the request. For more on waitlisting, see Understanding the United Upgrade List Comprehensively

A Regional Premier Upgrade will be considered used if any segment of an itinerary is upgraded and flown - no exception. Miles and GPUs have an exception if the waitlisted International BF/GF (now called Polaris business / first) does not clear, the miles/GPU will be returned -- this does not apply to RPUs. Recent changes in the rules make it clear there is no exception for PS routes.

Note on most RPU routes, a "connection" needs to be under 4 hours (longer only if it is the next scheduled flight) or a single RPU will not apply. This standard stopover definition for North American flights.

A single RPU (or GPU or Miles+copay) can not be applied to flights on different PNRs (or for different carriers even on the same PNR).
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Old Jan 21, 18, 9:01 am
  #556  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
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This one is kind of interesting. Have a meeting in IAH so I booked PHL-IAH-DEN-PHL all in one day. The system applied me to apply an RPU to all the fights. I thought it would be two. PHL-IAH had R>0 so it cleared at booking. IAH layover is 3.5hrs, DEN layover is 2hrs.

Today, DEN-PHL had R>0 so I called it to ask it to be cleared.
The rep said she couldnt clear it for some reason and put me on hold. Her supervisor said that because I am returning back to PHL same day and the "process" I will lose my PHL-IAH upgrade. I said OK (since I have a higher chance of upgrade on a 737 vs a A319 and I don't care about morning flights so much). Then the supervisor warned me that they have to redeposit my RPU and if R went to 0 I'd lose DEN-PHL. I said I'll take my chances. Then the supervisor came back and said that they just noticed that I should be using TWO RPUs and there was an error in the system allowing me to do both ways. I asked about IAH-DEN and was told that was counted with PHL-IAH and she recommended I just leave the reservation as is.

What is the policy here? I have flown RT in one day before and the RPU only applied to one segment. When you have 3 segments in one day, how does it decide which flights count into one RPU? I searched PHL-IAH RT and for some reason it turned it into PHL-DEN I guess. When I look at my reservation now, it still has the last two legs as "upgrade requested". I guess the system won't auto clear me when R>0. What about when I enter the CPU window? or at the gate? Where will I fall on the list?
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Old Jan 21, 18, 9:04 am
  #557  
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Originally Posted by eng3 View Post
Today, DEN-PHL had R>0 so I called it to ask it to be cleared.
The rep said she couldnt clear it for some reason and put me on hold. Her supervisor said that because I am returning back to PHL same day and the "process" I will lose my PHL-IAH upgrade.
That's the point in the call where you hang up.
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Old Jan 21, 18, 9:19 am
  #558  
 
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
That's the point in the call where you hang up.
Well I want to confirm the policy.

Should I be able to use one RPU for all three legs? If yes, then I should call back
If not, then it makes sense why they can't do it and I probably shouldn't call back and possibly lose something I shouldnt have.
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Old Jan 21, 18, 9:27 am
  #559  
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
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Originally Posted by eng3 View Post
Well I want to confirm the policy.

Should I be able to use one RPU for all three legs? If yes, then I should call back
If not, then it makes sense why they can't do it and I probably shouldn't call back and possibly lose something I shouldnt have.
To the extent that there's a policy, it's "one instrument per direction." The website has long had a glitch where it will ignore this policy and allow you to use a single instrument if you are transiting different hubs in each direction (or, going nonstop in one direction and transiting a hub in the other).
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Old Jan 21, 18, 9:30 am
  #560  
 
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
To the extent that there's a policy, it's "one instrument per direction." The website has long had a glitch where it will ignore this policy and allow you to use a single instrument if you are transiting different hubs in each direction (or, going nonstop in one direction and transiting a hub in the other).
I recall when I booked PHL-IAH-PHL it wanted me to use two RPUs
I guess this is why the agent said PHL-IAH-DEN counted as one leg because it is all going west.

If this is a "glitch" does that mean I should not try calling in again?
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Old Jan 21, 18, 9:38 am
  #561  
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
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Originally Posted by eng3 View Post
I recall when I booked PHL-IAH-PHL it wanted me to use two RPUs
I guess this is why the agent said PHL-IAH-DEN counted as one leg because it is all going west.

If this is a "glitch" does that mean I should not try calling in again?
If you call again, you may be asked to apply a second instrument. I don't see a much bigger downside than that, unless I'm missing something. I suppose it's possible that you might lose the PHL-IAH upgrade, which you said you were willing to trade for DEN-PHL anyway. I can't see them banning you from MileagePlus or anything.
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Old Jan 21, 18, 9:53 am
  #562  
 
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
If you call again, you may be asked to apply a second instrument. I don't see a much bigger downside than that, unless I'm missing something. I suppose it's possible that you might lose the PHL-IAH upgrade, which you said you were willing to trade for DEN-PHL anyway. I can't see them banning you from MileagePlus or anything.
My concern is that upon seeing the "glitch", they may remove the RPU from one or two of the legs. Basically what they said they were going to do on the first call.

If I do nothing in the best case, the "system" just clears me or I an prioritized higher on the list for IAH-DEN and/or DEN-PHL. Worst case, I dont get upgraded.

I just want to clarify the policy so I know if I'm asking for something I'm entitled to or asking for something that is a glitch. It sounds like getting all three flights with on RPU is a glitch and not something I'm entitled to.
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Old Jan 21, 18, 10:58 am
  #563  
 
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Originally Posted by eng3 View Post
My concern is that upon seeing the "glitch", they may remove the RPU from one or two of the legs. Basically what they said they were going to do on the first call.
Well, right. Which is functionally the same as requesting a second RPU; I mean, you could always go back in and apply a new RPU to the affected segment(s).

Originally Posted by eng3 View Post
It sounds like getting all three flights with on RPU is a glitch and not something I'm entitled to.
Correct.
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Old Jan 21, 18, 12:21 pm
  #564  
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Originally Posted by eng3 View Post
.... I just want to clarify the policy so I know if I'm asking for something I'm entitled to or asking for something that is a glitch. It sounds like getting all three flights with on RPU is a glitch and not something I'm entitled to.
The policy is
Regional Premier® Upgrades are one-way, one-cabin upgrades, confirmable as early as time of ticketing on eligible United-, United Express®- and Copa Airlines-operated flights.
The glitch is for certain ("circle-like bookings") RT where there are no clear "stops" (over 4 hours for a domestic trip) the system does not know how to break the outbound from the return. However, a human can see there is a problem and the glitch is allowing something that is outside the polciy.

This is something that is most likely found on MRs and pretty rare for a normal travel situation (except maybe a short airport meeting).
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Old Jan 28, 18, 2:24 pm
  #565  
 
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Hello,

Interesting situation for me. If my flight departs Jan 31st but my connection leaves on a redeye 12:30AM(Feb 1st), will the RPU still be applied to both legs, or only the first one?

Thanks!
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Old Jan 28, 18, 6:06 pm
  #566  
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Originally Posted by SKYEG View Post
Hello,

Interesting situation for me. If my flight departs Jan 31st but my connection leaves on a redeye 12:30AM(Feb 1st), will the RPU still be applied to both legs, or only the first one?

Thanks!
Beleive yes, have not heard a recent test of this but in the past, a RPU/GPU is applied to a multiple segment itin, the instrument can be used for the entire sequence if the first segment is pre-expiration and other segments are post-expiration. Let's know if you have any issue applying.
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Old Jan 31, 18, 8:52 am
  #567  
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I have an RPU that expires today, Jan 31. Can it be applied to flights booked today, but depart in a couple weeks? And if so, must the Upgrade come through today?
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Old Jan 31, 18, 9:03 am
  #568  
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Originally Posted by Zip View Post
I have an RPU that expires today, Jan 31. Can it be applied to flights booked today, but depart in a couple weeks? And if so, must the Upgrade come through today?
No, it can only be used for a flight that departs before midnight today, then it dies forever.
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Old Jan 31, 18, 9:50 am
  #569  
Zip
 
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
No, it can only be used for a flight that departs before midnight today, then it dies forever.
...as does one of the last remaining portions of my heart that is devoted to UA.
(I'm in the camp that believes those things are essentially worthless).
goodeats21 and nomad420 like this.
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Old Jan 31, 18, 3:04 pm
  #570  
 
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Originally Posted by Zip View Post
...as does one of the last remaining portions of my heart that is devoted to UA.
(I'm in the camp that believes those things are essentially worthless).
Zip, you owe me a new key board. I was laughing so hard when I read your post I spewed my coffee into it.
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