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1K rookie: looking for tips to make the most of GPUs and 1K benefits.

1K rookie: looking for tips to make the most of GPUs and 1K benefits.

Old Dec 17, 17, 7:24 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: TPA
Programs: UA 1K, Hertz PC
Posts: 35
1K rookie: looking for tips to make the most of GPUs and 1K benefits.

Iím sure thereís a more appropriate place to post this, so sorry.

first time qualifying for 1K. If there is any advice the 1K veterans out there would like to share itíd be much appreciated. Want to make the most of my GPUs despite the grumblings Iíve read of the difficulty.

Tips and tricks that might be under the radar are welcome

iamthematthew is offline  
Old Dec 17, 17, 8:12 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: SFO
Programs: UA 1k
Posts: 250
For me the biggest benefit is really the GPUs, they are great with Lufthansa especially. A bit hard though to get confirmed at booking when over to Europe with UA from SFO, but I've had a bit easier time finding availability to APAC.

As to CPUs, I rarely do domestic non-ps routes so I don't get to take advantage of that. I sometimes do non-ps but then hub-to-hub and even with instruments applied that usually doesn't work.

Also, the phone support for 1k is all US based and 5*, super friendly even with very complicated itins.
mrt88 is offline  
Old Dec 17, 17, 8:27 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: San Francisco
Programs: 1K 2.2MM
Posts: 2,008
Welcome to the ranks! I was around back in the day when 1K meant something, but hopefully without that point of comparison you may find that these perks are nice:

Easy 1k desk phone access
No SDC fees
no award cancel fees
and mainly the GPUs. I fly domestic and international every almost every month, so they get used up one way or another. I have mixed results with both Pacific and Atlantic routes, but being SFO based I have all the GS and Bay Area business fare corporate travelers to compete with.
1k-all-the-way is offline  
Old Dec 17, 17, 9:01 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: NYC (Primarily EWR)
Programs: UA 1K / *G; Le Club Accor Platinum; Marriott Bonvoy Gold; Hertz PC
Posts: 6,746
It depends on your needs. I'm the black swan of the bunch here (i.e. I fly almost exclusively for leisure, on my own dime)...the biggest perk would definitely be the GPUs and BG1 (although the latter is a perk shared by folks with Platinum status). I also take comfort in that if things go sideways, I will likely get the kind of service I need to be made whole / have the situation fixed.

If you're a more frequent flyer who won't always be at the front of the bus, don't forget the free food and drink in the back on domestic flights
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PsiFighter37 is online now  
Old Dec 17, 17, 9:08 pm
  #5  
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Join Date: Oct 2001
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Originally Posted by iamthematthew View Post
Iím sure thereís a more appropriate place to post this, so sorry.

first time qualifying for 1K. If there is any advice the 1K veterans out there would like to share itíd be much appreciated. Want to make the most of my GPUs despite the grumblings Iíve read of the difficulty.

Tips and tricks that might be under the radar are welcome

The more flexibility you have, the better use you'll be able to get from your GPUs. Activate expert mode, search only for the international legs, look for R space, and go from there. It's easier to find inventory at off-peak times (e.g., low season Tuesdays). Most of the frustration that you see comes from people who passed up a low fare to purchase W, only to have their upgrade request die on the waitlist. If you can avoid the waitlist, you'll also avoid most of the frustration.
jsloan is offline  
Old Dec 17, 17, 9:16 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Programs: UA 1K; *G, AA Plat
Posts: 1,685
IRROP service would be another to highlight. If delays / cancellations occur because of weather, GS and 1K members are often put up in hotels on UAís dime. Other premier members are more likely not.

if you get a gate agent or customer service agent that refuses, just send in the reimbursement via 1K Voice
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Old Dec 17, 17, 11:10 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Richmond, VA
Posts: 32
I am a 'domestic only' 1K and have been for 3 years. I usually get more CPU's than utilize the RPU/GPU for my business travel. I save the instruments for family trips. I finished 2017 with 225 PQS/$43K PQD/214K PQM, so I definitely earned it the hard way.

For me the single biggest perk is the 1K call line. Not only has it helped me when I get in a bind, but they way they helped my daughter travelling home from college a couple of weeks ago was nothing short of amazing. The agent worked some magic, and she allowed me to three-way the call so she could talk directly to my daughter and tell her exactly what to say to the gate agent.
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Old Dec 17, 17, 11:34 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: YYC
Programs: UA 1K
Posts: 505
1. Learn how to use expert mode well and to search by fare class
2. Always run your flight searches from a hub (to find R space). If you don’t get a result you like, try from another hub. Work out the connections to your starting point later
3. If you think you might want to travel somewhere using miles, just book it straight away and change it later if you change your mind
4. Be stingy with your RPU’s.. depending on the routes you are travelling your CPU percentage may be higher than you think. In any case, I save mine for Hawaii flights, or longer flights with connections in a hub (ie. getting two for the price of one)
david_oz is offline  
Old Dec 18, 17, 4:52 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Bangkok and Palm Coast, FL. Exiled, again, from the Bay Area.
Programs: Only the good ones
Posts: 4,620
I'm a 1K rookie as well, through a match from AA EXP, but have been following the "deterioration" (same with AA, et. al.,) over the past 24 months. Good advice about the expert mode, as it makes life easier and you can use the great phone CS more effectively. Stay off the waitlist as it's deep, so try to be selective about your segments and days of the week. SDC is great, as I've been able to book the lower cost alternatives and change to something better, even finding UPG space (an IAD-SFO with lie flats early Sat morning which came in handy.) Haven't used GPU's but same idea, look for R availability and low differential between W fare and lower coach. I've been pleasantly surprised with low price differential to P fares from FL (MCO was my best option.)

I'm requalifying AA EXP by the end on April, but I will still need to burn off some extra AA SWU's. I will see how UA may work out on my TPAC's the balance of the year with GPU's. But, since I have a BKK address, it may be premium cabin on partners for me, just like with AA (no waiver there for BKK address though.)

Good luck.
rbAA is offline  
Old Dec 18, 17, 6:03 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: NYC, LON
Programs: *
Posts: 2,011
Originally Posted by david_oz View Post
4. Be stingy with your RPUís.. depending on the routes you are travelling your CPU percentage may be higher than you think. In any case, I save mine for Hawaii flights, or longer flights with connections in a hub (ie. getting two for the price of one)
Not sure about this advice. I have never found a reason to be stingy with mine as I always end the year with expired RPUs. I suppose depends on how heavy a domestic flyer one is.
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Old Dec 18, 17, 7:31 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Cleveland, OH
Programs: UA-GS 1MM), Hertz Pres Circle, Starriott Titanium)
Posts: 1,706
I've had great success using GPUs if I'm a little flexible. When booking tickets for my wife to asia for example, I'll call United and ask them to help me find "confirmed" upgrade opportunities. Generally if I can't confirm at booking, I don't go for it.
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Old Dec 18, 17, 7:34 am
  #12  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: TPA
Programs: UA 1K, Hertz PC
Posts: 35
Thanks for the help!

Being an independent contractor that pays for his own travel. (INTL travel is paid Y). GPUs are the exciting part for me. Just booked a trip in Feb to Thailand/Singapore. Already had the first GPU on the way out clear, but I'm sure the other will be stuck (No R space).

Are there any routes anyone has had particular success with or is it all about being flexible?

Whats the difference with SDC that's different from being Plat?
iamthematthew is offline  
Old Dec 18, 17, 8:55 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: stuck with IAD
Programs: UA 1K, AA
Posts: 169
I will watch this with interest because I was pretty "so what" about my 1K traveling from IAD and not expecting ever to upgrade (have resorted to buying premium seat). Thanks!
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Old Dec 18, 17, 10:00 am
  #14  
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Join Date: May 2015
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Originally Posted by iamthematthew View Post
Whats the difference with SDC that's different from being Plat?
None, it's the same but a great UA feature.
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Old Dec 18, 17, 11:05 am
  #15  
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Originally Posted by iamthematthew View Post
Being an independent contractor that pays for his own travel. (INTL travel is paid Y). GPUs are the exciting part for me. Just booked a trip in Feb to Thailand/Singapore. Already had the first GPU on the way out clear, but I'm sure the other will be stuck (No R space).

Are there any routes anyone has had particular success with or is it all about being flexible?
Routes that are particularly successful are often on the chopping block. UA's current business model relies on selling those seats, not providing them as upgrades. For example, both SFO-HGH and SFO-XIY commonly had tons of open R space and even half-empty front cabins; both are now gone. I've seen reasonably good availability to Australia as well as to NRT, HND, and KIX. For something like NRT, though, it's can be a matter of trying each possible gateway until you find one that has R space.

Having said that -- with the pattern you described, sadly I wouldn't get my hopes up, and I'd instead watch the "Premium Fare Deals" forum and see if there are J fare sales that are worth paying for. I'm guessing that flying midweek, or flying through an out-of-the-way city, are going to be non-starters for you. So, you're likely to be on the waitlist along with all of the other international business travelers in Y. I'm not saying that you'll never clear -- obviously you're already 1/2, and there's always a chance you'll clear the one one -- but keep in mind that you may be paying a premium for W also, depending upon your destination.
jsloan is offline  

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