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"Upgrade certificates (GPUs & RPUs) are useless nowadays" {Archive}

"Upgrade certificates (GPUs & RPUs) are useless nowadays" {Archive}

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Old Dec 9, 13, 6:04 am
  #1  
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"Upgrade certificates (GPUs & RPUs) are useless nowadays" {Archive}

I was waiting to board the other day when the two 1K's in front of me began chatting about how United has gone downhill.

Now it's hard to argue that the UA world is fantastic but I had to laugh out loud at one thing these two vigorously agreed with:

"I don't know why they give us upgrade certificates anymore. Now that we get free unlimited upgrades they're totally useless. That must be some kind of leftover in the system."

I guess some people really don't know what their hard-earned status is worth. But at least this means they won't clear before me next time I use a cert!
pedxing is offline  
Old Dec 9, 13, 6:24 am
  #2  
 
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Originally Posted by pedxing View Post
"I don't know why they give us upgrade certificates anymore. Now that we get free unlimited upgrades they're totally useless. That must be some kind of leftover in the system."
Now, in fairness, there have been a few rare reports that people who used a certificate to sponsor an upgrade seemed to end up in the "CPU" section of the departure-management upgrade priority list.
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Old Dec 9, 13, 6:27 am
  #3  
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GPUs and RPUs aren't useless. They come in very handy when you can book far enough in advance to secure an upgrade at booking. Other than that, they have marginal utility.
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Old Dec 9, 13, 6:36 am
  #4  
 
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They are also great for upgrading friends or family. I just hit MM, but over the past 3 years my Silver wife has enjoyed 100% upgrades. She flies around 45K a year paid and another 40K on award tickets so that's no small feat.
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Old Dec 9, 13, 6:41 am
  #5  
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Originally Posted by halls120 View Post
GPUs and RPUs aren't useless. They come in very handy when you can book far enough in advance to secure an upgrade at booking. Other than that, they have marginal utility.
Even if not at booking, I've had luck clearing with R space. In fact, a couple of weeks ago, cleared an EWR-SFO for a flight in a couple of weeks that is now down to F1, so definitely not something that would've cleared as a CPU as a plat. R space somehow opened up a few days after booking. Since it was going to be my last chance for a good use of an RPU before they expired - I'm pretty happy.
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Old Dec 9, 13, 6:49 am
  #6  
 
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Originally Posted by halls120 View Post
GPUs and RPUs aren't useless. They come in very handy when you can book far enough in advance to secure an upgrade at booking. Other than that, they have marginal utility.
You're right.

Other than the fact that they can be incredibly valuable, they are useless...
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Old Dec 9, 13, 6:53 am
  #7  
 
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Originally Posted by LarkSFO View Post
Other than the fact that they can be incredibly valuable, they are useless...
Sure. They're a bit like "options".

I'd be delighted to see someone adapt the Black-Scholes calculation to compute the theoretical value of upgrade instruments.
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Old Dec 9, 13, 7:10 am
  #8  
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Originally Posted by LarkSFO View Post
You're right.

Other than the fact that they can be incredibly valuable, they are useless...
Well, they are useless when you get to the end of the year and have certs you haven't been able to use because they didn't clear.
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Old Dec 9, 13, 7:10 am
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Originally Posted by mherdeg View Post
Sure. They're a bit like "options".

I'd be delighted to see someone adapt the Black-Scholes calculation to compute the theoretical value of upgrade instruments.
Great, when you are in the money!
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Old Dec 9, 13, 7:15 am
  #10  
 
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Originally Posted by pedxing View Post
I was waiting to board the other day when the two 1K's in front of me began chatting about how United has gone downhill.

Now it's hard to argue that the UA world is fantastic but I had to laugh out loud at one thing these two vigorously agreed with:

"I don't know why they give us upgrade certificates anymore. Now that we get free unlimited upgrades they're totally useless. That must be some kind of leftover in the system."

I guess some people really don't know what their hard-earned status is worth. But at least this means they won't clear before me next time I use a cert!
You should have gotten their contact info.
If they don't want their cert's, I'd be happy to take them (or have them sponsor me)
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Old Dec 9, 13, 8:31 am
  #11  
 
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Originally Posted by halls120 View Post
Well, they are useless when you get to the end of the year and have certs you haven't been able to use because they didn't clear.
Too bad UA doesn't let us convert them to miles. I bet a lot of us would take that option.

Instead of letting 3 of my 8 GPUs go to waste, I gave them to coworkers. And two of those GPUs have had 2 or more attempts to clear and been moved to try for other flights that are upcoming so even then there is still the risk of being useles (besides giving people false hope).
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Old Dec 9, 13, 8:39 am
  #12  
 
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There should be a "people surprised at how much UA (upgrades, benefits, etc.) suck for some people" megathread.
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Old Dec 9, 13, 8:52 am
  #13  
 
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RPUs are also useful for flights which you can't get a CPU on. I heavily use my RPUs on p.s. flights from JFK<->SFO/LAX. I'm also 3/4 this year on getting GPUs to clear on transcons.
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Old Dec 9, 13, 9:45 am
  #14  
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The real message in the OP is how much most elites don't understand the system. The fact there is no/little relationship between CPU and GPU/RPUs. Or how GPU/RPU should be used.
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Old Dec 9, 13, 10:10 am
  #15  
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
The real message in the OP is how much most elites don't understand the system. The fact there is no/little relationship between CPU and GPU/RPUs. Or how GPU/RPU should be used.
Two years ago I was flying with my boss to a meeting in Florida. We were on AA, and both got upgraded. While killing time in the AC in MIA, I asked him how successful he was getting UGs on UA, and he told me he had no idea - he just accepted the UG if it happened, and never questioned how and why it happened. I then gave his a short tutorial, after which he confessed his embarrassment.
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