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Ways to upgrade Prem Economy Plus to Polaris

Ways to upgrade Prem Economy Plus to Polaris

Old Sep 7, 19, 6:44 pm
  #1  
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Ways to upgrade Prem Economy Plus to Polaris

Have 5 x paid tickets on UA Premium Economy Plus (R fare), SFO - TLV non-stop, in June 2020. Have United co-branded card and a silver status.
Would like to end up flying in Polaris.
Website offers an upgrade to Polaris each way for 35,000 miles + $450 ... OR ... $1,500.
Looking for alternatives ... any alternatives that include miles with little or no cash, and preferably much less miles.
uela is offline  
Old Sep 7, 19, 6:49 pm
  #2  
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Originally Posted by uela View Post
Ways to upgrade Prem Economy Plus to Polaris
...



Website offers an upgrade to Polaris each way for 35,000 miles + $450 ... OR ... $1,500.
Looking for alternatives ... any alternatives that include miles with little or no cash, and preferably much less miles.
Those are pretty much it.

The cash-only price might vary (up or down) between now and departure or at check in -- then again it may not.
The mileage offer with copay will not change.

If you have a friend with upgrade certs (GPU), that would be another option (DON'T try to buy those certs, the consequences can be severe).

Upgrades on that route are rare in the first place and Business is either purchased outright or folks paid the cash upgrade.
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Old Sep 7, 19, 9:04 pm
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Be sure to check that the mileage upgrade is actually available, if that's the path that you end up choosing. Mileage upgrades book into a special booking inventory (PZ) that is often nonexistent or has limited availability, especially on routes like SFO-TLV. If it isn't available at the time of request, you'll end up on the waitlist and out the 35k + $450 for each pax. It can clear at any time between request and travel, but as @WineCountryUA alluded to, there's a low likelihood of it clearing if the inventory isn't already there. Of course, if it doesn't clear ever, the miles and money will be refunded to you, but you'll have tied it up during the ~9 months you sit on the waitlist.

On the other hand, the cash-only upgrade will confirm right away.
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Old Sep 7, 19, 10:12 pm
  #4  
 
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$1500 for an upgrade is reasonable.
I am flying in a couple of weeks. Same situation as OP
I was offered an upgrade for around $1400 give or take and refused
Now the upgrade is up to $4000
The bed up front is very nice but a little too expensive for my taste.
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Old Sep 8, 19, 12:38 am
  #5  
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OP - would you mind what do you have in mind in term of this?
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Old Sep 8, 19, 1:26 am
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Originally Posted by uela View Post
Have 5 x paid tickets on UA Premium Economy Plus (R fare), SFO - TLV non-stop, in June 2020. Have United co-branded card and a silver status.
Would like to end up flying in Polaris.
Website offers an upgrade to Polaris each way for 35,000 miles + $450 ... OR ... $1,500.
Looking for alternatives ... any alternatives that include miles with little or no cash, and preferably much less miles.
What other option did you have in mind? For you specifically (in the absence of any GPUs), It's either miles, cash or a combination.
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Old Sep 8, 19, 9:15 am
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Originally Posted by malgudi View Post
What other option did you have in mind? For you specifically (in the absence of any GPUs), It's either miles, cash or a combination.
Ticket price paid + 1-way cash upgrade $1,500 x 2 is more than the current Polaris price, same flight/date.
Ticket price paid + 1-way points+cash upgrade ($450 + 35,000) x 2 is selling my points at a rate of 2.5 CPM based on current Polaris price, same flight/date.

Either way, I am looking for a better deal.
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Old Sep 8, 19, 9:21 am
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Originally Posted by dkc192 View Post
Be sure to check that the mileage upgrade is actually available, if that's the path that you end up choosing. Mileage upgrades book into a special booking inventory (PZ) that is often nonexistent or has limited availability, especially on routes like SFO-TLV. If it isn't available at the time of request, you'll end up on the waitlist and out the 35k + $450 for each pax. It can clear at any time between request and travel, but as @WineCountryUA alluded to, there's a low likelihood of it clearing if the inventory isn't already there. Of course, if it doesn't clear ever, the miles and money will be refunded to you, but you'll have tied it up during the ~9 months you sit on the waitlist.

On the other hand, the cash-only upgrade will confirm right away.
dkc192, tried searching for PZ using ExpertFlyer - not possible. Short of using UA website, how do I search for this fare, and better yet, set an alert?
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Old Sep 8, 19, 9:52 am
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Originally Posted by uela View Post
Ticket price paid + 1-way cash upgrade $1,500 x 2 is more than the current Polaris price, same flight/date.
Ticket price paid + 1-way points+cash upgrade ($450 + 35,000) x 2 is selling my points at a rate of 2.5 CPM based on current Polaris price, same flight/date.

Either way, I am looking for a better deal.
I certainly understand your desire for a better deal, but I think it's highly unlikely a better one will arise. You can view PZ inventory by signing in on UA.com and choosing to view flight results in "expert mode" (see Expert Mode Update: better upgrade visibility and opt-in to see fare bucket data.)

United miles are increasingly being devalued and at this point in time, I think 2.5 cpm is a moderately good redemption value.
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Old Sep 8, 19, 10:02 am
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Originally Posted by uela View Post
Ticket price paid + 1-way cash upgrade $1,500 x 2 is more than the current Polaris price, same flight/date.
Ticket price paid + 1-way points+cash upgrade ($450 + 35,000) x 2 is selling my points at a rate of 2.5 CPM based on current Polaris price, same flight/date.

Either way, I am looking for a better deal.
PE fare plus cash upgrades both ways are rarely cheaper than buying J outright, on any airline. Itís pretty obvious why this is.

Perhaps youíre overvaluing your miles?

I donít mean to be flippant, but the better deal would have been to buy the cabin you wanted from the outset.
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Old Sep 8, 19, 11:08 am
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Originally Posted by uela View Post
dkc192, tried searching for PZ using ExpertFlyer - not possible. Short of using UA website, how do I search for this fare, and better yet, set an alert?
you cannot set alerts for UA in Expertflyer unfortunately
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Old Sep 9, 19, 10:32 am
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Originally Posted by uela View Post
Ticket price paid + 1-way cash upgrade $1,500 x 2 is more than the current Polaris price, same flight/date.
Ticket price paid + 1-way points+cash upgrade ($450 + 35,000) x 2 is selling my points at a rate of 2.5 CPM based on current Polaris price, same flight/date.

Either way, I am looking for a better deal.
If you like the current Polaris price, you can change to that without a change fee. Otherwise, 2.5 cpm would be considered a good deal on miles, although the miles+cash upgrade probably will not clear.

Originally Posted by krispy84 View Post
PE fare plus cash upgrades both ways are rarely cheaper than buying J outright, on any airline. Itís pretty obvious why this is.
I disagree - upgrades are almost always cheaper than buying the higher cabin outright, otherwise why would anyone upgrade? The upgrades are usually only granted if the airline feels like they want to throw a bone to people hoping for one.
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Old Sep 10, 19, 12:54 am
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2.5 cents per United mile is double the "going" value, and they are not going to become worth any more with time. Unfortunately it isn't 2012 anymore, and airlines seem to be trying pretty hard to drive their miles value down to about $0.01/mile.

$0.025 for your miles *IS* the good deal.

(But agree with others that the cash+miles are not likely to clear, and especially not for 5 people.)
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Old Sep 10, 19, 8:38 am
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Originally Posted by uela View Post
Ticket price paid + 1-way cash upgrade $1,500 x 2 is more than the current Polaris price, same flight/date.
Ticket price paid + 1-way points+cash upgrade ($450 + 35,000) x 2 is selling my points at a rate of 2.5 CPM based on current Polaris price, same flight/date.

Either way, I am looking for a better deal.
So why don't you buy the business ticket directly? Buying upgrades, as you have identified, is usually a bad deal.
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Old Sep 10, 19, 8:41 am
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Originally Posted by findark View Post
ably will not clear.

I disagree - upgrades are almost always cheaper than buying the higher cabin outright, otherwise why would anyone upgrade? The upgrades are usually only granted if the airline feels like they want to throw a bone to people hoping for one.
I very rarely find that to be the case. I find that cash upgrades that clear directly are either equivalent to an upfare, or taking the customer for a ride.

Miles+cash (subject to PZ/PN controls) *can* be cheaper in total cash outlay (but not always!), but are usually at a fairly poor to OK mileage CPM, if you expect it to clear.

Note: this is for international, domestic may be subject to completely different rules.
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