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General PlusPoints (was GPU) earning & usage questions [Consolidated]

General PlusPoints (was GPU) earning & usage questions [Consolidated]

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Old Mar 6, 20, 3:49 am   -   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
GPUs have been replaced (as 4 Dec 2019) by PlusPoints Introducing PlusPoints – New Upgrade Benefits for MileagePlus Premier Members and its associated wiki
RPUs became 20 PlusPoints
GPUs became 40 PlusPoints and operate essentially as before (needing W or high fares on UA's Polaris marketed flights
Some key differences
  • 80 PlusPoints can be used for Polaris marketed flights for any non-BE paid fare (including sub-W fares)
    • Skip-the-Waitlist will be an confirmed upgrade option for PlusPoints if no PZ space available (Only limited availablity presently and is running 160 PlusPoints)
================================================== ======

This thread is for general GPU usage questions. ----- Previous Thread was Specific GPU and RPU usage questions thread and Consolidated Global Premier Upgrade (GPU) Questions Thread [With Wiki]
Questions like "will my upgrade clear" are better placed in
[Consolidated] Chance of upgrade clearing on my flight [2016]

General comments on utility / value are better placed in
"Upgrade certificates are useless nowadays" - Hah!

Global Premier Upgrades (GPUs) are one-way, one-cabin upgrades, confirmable as early as time of ticketing on all UA/UX, Copa Airlines-operated, ANA/NH-operated flights and LH-operated flights systemwide. When used on a flight that is also RPU-eligible, their are usable on all paid fare. When the flight is non-RPU eligible, they are restricted to certain fares (Y, B, M, E, U, H, V, W ). See upgrade region chart for details.
For more on required fares and how to use see Global Premier Upgrades
For use on LH see the above link and Lufthansa GPUs Go Electronic
For use on NH (ANA) see this thread GPU may now be used at ANA
For LH & NH, GPUs can only used for a single segment and there is no waitlisting.
Using GPUs/RPUs on Copa Airlines.

GPUs are earned by elites -- (Re-)qualifying for Premier 1K/GS earns 6 GPUs good for the rest of the year, all of the next year and then thru 31 January of the following year. You can then earn 2 more GPUs for each additional 50K PQMs. Starting in 2019, United will provide 6 GPUs at 100k PQMs and 1 additional GPU for each additional 25k PQMs.

UA has offered to extend up to 2 unused GPUs for re-qualifying 1Ks to April in most years. Need to specifically request the extension -- the window for request usually opens in mid-Nov.

GPUs 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 R PZ space to clear (except for GS RPUs which clear into PN space).

Note: the term journey is used here to denote travel between a pair of cities, with one or more layovers, and all segments of the journey are part of the same ticket, confirmation number, and record locator. A one way ticket has one journey. A round trip has two journeys. A multicity ticket has three or more journeys.

Can I apply a GPU to UA metal that is ticketed on non-UA ticket stock?
Yes -- there were some issues early post merger but seems to work well today -- however, if codeshare the equivalent UA fare classes still needs to qualify/
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/19321483-post23.html says you can.
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/19324013-post25.html says not always.

Can I use a GPU on flights operated by other airlines?
Yes, Copa, NH and LH.

On Copa, the rules are the same as for flights operated by UA. It can't be done online, so you have to call. The regular Premier desk can't do it, though, even though Copa uses MP as its loyalty program--you'll need to call (or be transferred to) the Star Alliance Help Desk to complete the process. (And it's an involved process for the agents--they have to duplicate the Copa PNR in SHARES and issue you a separate UA PNR. Betwen *A Desk hold times--no priority for Premiers--and the hassle it is for the agents, plan on 30-45 minutes to get this done. It may be simpler if you booked your Copa tickets through United.) Note that an RPU works anywhere on Copa that a GPU works, so don't waste GPUs unnecessarily.

On NH & LH, the process is completely different. See links above

I see GPUs for sale on Craigslist or eBay. May I buy them and use them? Should I offer my extra GPUs?
This is not recommended. If UA determines the GPU was sold, you risk having your M+ account terminated and loss of your miles, status, lifetime miles, etc.
Especially if you are the seller - MP Accounts Closed by UA Alleging Fraud/Misuse

If I have upgraded a flight with miles, cash, GPU, RPU, CPU, etc. from Y to J, may I upgrade to F with a GPU?
Policy does not allow this. However, once upgraded to business you may be offered a cash buy-up to F.

If I apply a GPU on a multi segment journey, what happens one or segments clear, and one or more do not?
The exact wording from united.com is:New wording --- In most cases, the Global Premier Upgrade will be considered used if any segment of an itinerary is upgraded or flown. However, for travel which includes segments in United Polaris business class or United Polaris first class, the Global Premier Upgrade will be re-deposited if the United Polaris business class or United Polaris first class segment(s) could not be upgraded.

Old wording -- In most cases, the Global Premier Upgrade will be considered used if any segment of an itinerary is upgraded or flown. However, for travel which includes segments in United BusinessFirst or United Global First, the Global Premier Upgrade will be re-deposited if the United BusinessFirst or United Global First segment(s) could not be upgraded.

The new wording seems to remove the uncertainty on PS flights as PS flights are not considered Polaris flights.

Redeposits don't always happen automatically, and when you call, you might find agents are trained to follow the longest segment interpretation, whereby if the longest segment is upgraded, even if not BF or GF, then the GPU will not be deposited. See http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/21138703-post394.html of push back and eventual capitulation by UA.

Can I add myself to the wait list within 24 hours of departure?
The published rules do not allow waitlisting within 24 hours of departure. A helpful agent may be willing to add you to the list, but it is against the rules (and you cannot apply the GPU online within 24 hours of departure).

Do the fare class restrictions apply to domestic flights?
No, you can use a GPU on any fare on any RPU eligible flights -- this included any domestic/ any CPU eligible flight.

Is there a maximum layover between segments of a journey?
the T&Cs say
Stopovers require multiple upgrade products. A stopover for a single, one-way trip within the U.S. or between the U.S. and Canada is defined as longer than 4 hours in the connecting city. A stopover for a single, one-way trip to or from all other destinations is defined as longer than 24 hours in the connecting city.
as long as a single ticket .
However http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/20453548-post221.html is an example of 38 hours, where the 1K desk applied it on behalf of the customer. What is interesting about this case is that 38 hours is well beyond a layover, which implies that in some cases, one GPU can be used for two journeys on the same ticket even if the two journeys are beyond 24 hours apart. Note12 hours was the pmUA rule fpr international flights , some agents mayclaim that is thepresent rule.

How is the waitlist prioritized?
United.com details the process in the "Upgrade confirmation priority" section of this page.
For non-CPU flightsIf an upgrade seat becomes available, waitlisted customers are confirmed automatically based on the Premier® status of the redeeming account***, then fare class, then time of request.
For CPU flights, GS and YBM fares will be handled before GPU/Miles/RPU users and finally CPU requests. Within these groups upgrades are prioritized based on Premier® status of the traveler, then fare class.
If not cleared until gate, it is believe the time factor is based on check-in time.

***On 4/15/15 travelers will no longer inherit the status of the redeeming account and will instead be prioritized by the status of the highest premier member on the PNR they are traveling on.

What is the relative waitlist priority of GPU vs Miles
Appears the use of GPU vs Miles has no impact on the waitlist priority.

May I cross two oceans with one GPU?
Yes if the entire journey is on one confirmation number and the max layover rule (above) is met.

Can I avoid upgrade lottery by booking only flights that have upgrade inventory?
Yes, see Post 3-Mar-2012:How to find upgrade inventory [+how to see fare bucket availability]. Note that you have to wait for the flight to ticket, by which time upgrade inventory can disappear. If so, cancel (within 24 hours of booking, so no penalty) and try again.

My GPU is still valid, but my journey starts after the GPU expires. Can I use the GPU for that journey?
No.

My GPU is still valid, but my journey starts before the GPU expires, and ends after the GPU expires. Can I use the GPU for that journey?
Yes if the initial flight scheduled departure is prior to expiration.

Can I let someone else use my GPU?
Yes. They will be prioritized on the waitlist based on their own status (or lack thereof).

If I let someone else use my GPU, do I have to be on the same reservation, same journey and/or same flight?
No to all.

What happens if there are multiple pax on the same reservation confirmation number and the reservation is split; will the GPU(s) that is(are) waitlisted on one or more pax stay with the new reservation?
Yes.

Why do Non-Revs get assigned seats in First/Business instead of upgrading paying customers?
UA’s policy is paying customers have priority for upgrades. However, per UA’s employee benefit package, Non-Revs can have access to unassigned seats if there are no waitlisted paying customers. This Non-Rev benefit is part of the negotiated employee compensation.

Earlier threads
Consolidated Global Premier Upgrade (GPU) Questions Thread [Archive]
United SWUs {GPUs} refunded if only domestic leg clears [policy change Sept 2011]
Specific GPU and RPU usage questions thread

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Old Jan 4, 16, 12:17 am
  #1  
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General PlusPoints (was GPU) earning & usage questions [Consolidated]

Has anyone been able to apply a GPU within 24hrs? Every time R > 0, I do not have an option to upgrade the flight (no online upgrade available) either before OLCI or after OLCI. Calling UA always results in being told to ask the gate agent at the airport. Is this still possible?
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Old Jan 4, 16, 12:31 am
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Originally Posted by johnden View Post
Has anyone been able to apply a GPU within 24hrs? Every time R > 0, I do not have an option to upgrade the flight (no online upgrade available) either before OLCI or after OLCI. Calling UA always results in being told to ask the gate agent at the airport. Is this still possible?
I believe that yes, asking the GA is the right way to go.
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Old Jan 4, 16, 12:57 am
  #3  
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Originally Posted by johnden View Post
Has anyone been able to apply a GPU within 24hrs? Every time R > 0, I do not have an option to upgrade the flight (no online upgrade available) either before OLCI or after OLCI. Calling UA always results in being told to ask the gate agent at the airport. Is this still possible?
How many times did you try calling? Although I have not done this recently, I would expect eventually to find an agent willing to confirm the upgrade into open R, even if it looks like queue jumping.

Originally Posted by joseeantonior View Post
I believe that yes, asking the GA is the right way to go.
It's really not.
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Old Jan 5, 16, 3:56 pm
  #4  
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General GPU usage questions [Consolidated 2016 onward]

I have one GPU left and looking to use it on an international flight (ewr-delhi) before it expires on 1/31/16. I found outbound R upgrade space in W fare, so can use my GPU on the outbound. For the return, purchasing business class is extremely expensive, but I want to be in a premium cabin. I can easily find mileage space on the return though. But am I able to split the ticket like this (purchase a W fare on the outbound, apply my GPU, and then for the return I utilize miles)? Or will it not allow since it is not pricing a roundtrip fare and it will instead price it as a one-way fare (the one-way fare on the outbound is also extremely expensive). Any other options for the return that I could do?
I looked into purchasing economy on the return and using miles + copay to upgrade, but did not find any upgrade space available. Thanks!

Last edited by ray1022; Jan 5, 16 at 9:07 pm
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Old Jan 7, 16, 4:26 pm
  #5  
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Originally Posted by ray1022 View Post
I have one GPU left and looking to use it on an international flight (ewr-delhi) before it expires on 1/31/16. I found outbound R upgrade space in W fare, so can use my GPU on the outbound. For the return, purchasing business class is extremely expensive, but I want to be in a premium cabin. I can easily find mileage space on the return though. But am I able to split the ticket like this (purchase a W fare on the outbound, apply my GPU, and then for the return I utilize miles)? Or will it not allow since it is not pricing a roundtrip fare and it will instead price it as a one-way fare (the one-way fare on the outbound is also extremely expensive). Any other options for the return that I could do?
I looked into purchasing economy on the return and using miles + copay to upgrade, but did not find any upgrade space available. Thanks!

You have to look at the fare rules.

To book an outbound with cash and a return with miles, you'd need a one-way fare. Internationally, that often prices prohibitively, as one-way fares are often much more expensive than RTs.

So you have to get creative.

Maybe get a one-way from a market that prices favorably (e.g., PHL-DEL is cheaper than EWR-DEL for one-ways).

Or, book a RT and figure out how to upgrade (e.g., maybe miles + copay on return vs. just miles).

Or, book an open jaw with the return to a cheaper destination (e.g., PHL: EWR-DEL, DEL-EWR-ZFV).

Or, pay for Business on the return only, in conjunction with the outbound coach upgradeable ticket, to leverage the RT fare. Maybe even on a different route or to a nearby city.
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Old Jan 11, 16, 12:26 pm
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Will UA allow using a GPU on non-eligible fare classes if flight is very empty in C?

Hi,

anybody has experience in using a GPU on a non-eligible fare class when the flight is particularly empty in C-class? I have a K-class ticket on a transatlantic flight where the current booking-situation is 8/39, so would offering the use of a GPU make any sense at check-in? Or should I just have my UA-number removed from my reservation and hope for a very low TOD?

Greetings - Dirk
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Old Jan 11, 16, 12:29 pm
  #7  
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It will not be able to be applied, unless someone comes up with a very good reason for it.

Not sure why you would need to remove your UA # to get a TOD offer.
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Old Jan 11, 16, 12:43 pm
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No GPU but you can upgrade with miles + cash option
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Old Jan 11, 16, 12:47 pm
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Originally Posted by TA View Post
Not sure why you would need to remove your UA # to get a TOD offer.
Because the offer will (most likely) be substantially lower if there is no 1K account on the reservation...

But thanks for confirming that the GPU will not work this time - Miles and money will not be attractive as the co-pay would be ~double the upcharge for upfaring to W-class.

Greetings - Dirk
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Old Jan 11, 16, 12:48 pm
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Will UA allow using a GPU on non-eligible fare classes if flight is very empty in C?

It's a firm policy. In my years following Flyertalk, not once do I recall hearing this policy waived. Pretty certain it is hard coded into the computer system, too.
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Old Jan 11, 16, 12:50 pm
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You would have a lot of people very interested if you figure out how to do that. The only GPU option I have heard of is buying up to W fare.
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Old Jan 11, 16, 12:59 pm
  #12  
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No. They won't even do this for GS.
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Old Jan 11, 16, 1:09 pm
  #13  
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No. It defeats the entire purpose of the faring system. UA would far prefer that the seats go out empty.
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Old Jan 11, 16, 1:13 pm
  #14  
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Originally Posted by sannmann View Post
It's a firm policy. In my years following Flyertalk, not once do I recall hearing this policy waived. Pretty certain it is hard coded into the computer system, too.
About 12 years ago, I was on a Z fare ORD-FRA-ORD. I asked at check in if upgrades to F were available. They op-upped me on the spot.

On the return, I asked if I could use an SWU. Mind you, things were different 12 years ago. The agent in FRA was not a UA agent. They upgraded me in exchange for the paper SWU.
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Old Jan 11, 16, 1:21 pm
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No, UA will use those up with non revs
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