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Consolidated UA PlusPoints Question & Answer Thread

Old Sep 24, 2019, 8:33 am
FlyerTalk Forums Expert How-Tos and Guides
Last edit by: WineCountryUA
Quick Summary

Starting on December 4, 2019 all existing and future upgrade instruments (RPU and GPU) will be changed into PlusPoints. There will be a straight equivalence: each RPU is 20 points and each GPU is 40 points. There will be no actual changes to the earning rates or expiration dates for Premiers, including Million Milers and bonus instruments (now points) for multiples of 25,000 PQM beyond the 1K requirements.

More from United: Upgrade Types: PlusPoints

Earning Rates
Premier Platinum: 40 points
Premier 1K: 320 points (includes the 40 points earned for reaching Platinum)
Premier 1K in 2019, earned for every 25,000 PQM beyond the 100,000-mile minimum (or every 30 PQS in excess of 120): 40 points
Premier 1K in 2020, earned for every 3,000 PQP beyond the 18,000 PQP minimum: 20 points

Upgrade Options
Short-haul flights (all non-Polaris marketed flights), Economy (all fare classes) to Premium Plus, Business, or First: 20 points
Short-haul flights, Premium Plus to Business or First: 10 points
Long-haul flights, Economy (all fare classes) to Premium Plus: 20 points
Long-haul flights, Economy (Y, B, M, E, U, H, Q, V, or W class) to Polaris: 40 points
Long-haul flights, Economy (S, T, L, K, or G class) to Polaris: 80 points
Long-haul flights, Premium Plus (all fare classes) to Polaris: 30 points
Long-haul flights, Economy (Y, B, M, E, U, H, Q, V, or W class) or Premium Plus (all classes) to Polaris ("skip the waitlist"): ?? points (must be Premier 1K or GS and 30+ days in advance, expected to be a dynamic price, details still TBA)
Economy or Premium Economy to Business, or Business to First on LH, NH, or CM: 40 points

Basic Economy (fare class N and -LGT TATL fares in N/S/T/L/K/G classes as of current writing) tickets are never eligible for any upgrade of any kind.


Changes from Current Program

Generally speaking, all current uses of RPUs and GPUs will be the same as before (same inventory requirements, costs, and procedures) except that 20 or 40 points will be used instead of an RPU or GPU. However, there are some additional options and prices:
  • A short-haul (formerly RPU-eligible) upgrade is now 20 points (always) -- there is no concept of using a GPU on a domestic route since there is no concept of a GPU as a distinct instrument. So a 1K could choose to effectively use all 320 points for 16 RPUs.
  • BOG, UIO, HNL-GUM, and HNL-MAJ are now effectively RPU-eligible and require only 20 points.
  • Upgrading from Economy to Premium Economy ("Premium Plus") is now 20 points (from any fare class), which is an RPU-equivalent instead of a GPU-equivalent before.
  • Upgrading from Premium Economy to Business ("Premium Plus" to "Polaris") is now 30 points (from any fare class), which is a new price level and less than the GPU-equivalent before.
  • You may upgrade a previously ineligible deep discount Economy fare (classes S, T, L, K, or G) to Polaris for 80 points (2x GPU equivalent). (Upgrading a W or higher Economy fare is still 40 points, as before.)
  • Premier 1K members will have the opportunity to pay additional points to confirm an upgrade even if the requisite class (PZ/PN) is not available via "SkipWaitlist". This carries a 30-day advance requirement, will be available "from time to time", and further details are TBA.
  • Points are not deducted when you list for the upgrade, only when some part of the upgrade clears. You can request an unlimited number of upgrades in parallel, and remaining (uncleared) requests will be canceled if your points are exhausted.
    • E.g., if you waitlist for PZ (or PN) and for RN, and later RN clears from the waitlist, the full total for PZ will be deducted at that time.
  • Changes to how partial clearance of upgrades works. You have two options:
    • List all segments. If at least one segment clears, you will ultimately be charged for the highest single cost among all cleared segments. Thus, you will "spend an RPU" (20 points) if only a domestic connector to a Polaris-marketed segment clears (previously there was no cost).
    • List only the Polaris-marketed segments (or any subset you wish). You can add more segments back in after the Polaris-marketed segment clears - but this will be considered a new upgrade request (and cost extra points).
  • You can no longer cancel and redeposit a confirmed upgrade, even if your fare class is available (or maybe not - see post, which would imply no change here). If still waitlisted, it can be withdrawn. If withdrawn within 24 hrs of flight you will have to call UA to have ticket cancelled and reissued, as withdrawals can no longer be automatically processed within this window. (You can probably still SDC to another flight and back if your fare class is available and get the points back.)
  • No change to
    • Expiration. Instruments expiring 31-Jan-2020 will become points expiring 31-Jan-2020, and ditto for 31-Jan-2021. (UA Insider separated the 2 GPU extension practice from this announcement)
    • Use of instruments on partners (LH, NH, etc). Points will be deducted at application, like before (unlike UA flights which are changing). (Except CM, which will now be billed as a 40-point upgrade per segment.)
    • Pretty much anything else not covered above.
  • PlusPoints upgrades can be requested all the way until the cut-off time to check in for your flight. Previously, UA only accepted new waitlist requests for Global Premier Upgrades and Regional Premier Upgrades up to 24 hours before departure. Waitlists for MileagePlus Upgrade Awards will continue to be accepted until 24 hours before departure.
UA Insider & other relevant post(s) noted below:

Weve heard from MileagePlus Premier members that theyre interested in an upgrade program thats more customizable and with fewer restrictions. Introducing PlusPoints flexible points that can be used for upgrades anywhere we fly. Starting in December, the new program gives MileagePlus Platinum members and above a bank of points that they can use to upgrade on U.S. domestic and international flights where they previously would have used Regional Premier Upgrades (RPUs) and Global Premier Upgrades (GPUs). Complimentary Premier Upgrades wont change, so you will still get free upgrades on select flights when available.


FAQ with UA Insider (direct quotes in "quotes")

Will Global Services members have the same cost structure (in points) as 1K and Platinum? (link)
Yes.

How will the pricing of "Skip Waitlist" work? (link)
It is expected to be dynamic. "Availability and pricing ... will vary based on a number of factors."

Will 1K members still be able to extend 2 GPUs (or 80 PlusPoints) until April 30 of the following year, subject to re-qualification? (link)
Reports now show that you can extend up to 80 points, but only if you've requalified for 1K/GS and those 80 points were previously 2 GPUs. They know the difference and there are mixed reports of success extending former RPU points (but highly unlikely).

Will it still be possible to optionally list for both Premium Plus and Polaris (on an Economy fare)? (link)
"You will still be able to waitlist for both cabins. However, if you only clear into Premium Plus youll ultimately only pay for the highest upgrade you receive which in this example would be Premium Plus (20 PlusPoints). Keep in mind well deduct the full request price, equal to the highest price upgrade requested, whenever any upgrade clears and youll receive any difference in PlusPoints due back to you when landing at your destination."

What happens if only part of your itinerary is upgraded? (link)
You will be charged for the upgrade you received: "If you dont receive the highest-priced PlusPoints upgrade you requested, ... youll be due for a credit ... equal to the difference between the PlusPoints request price and the highest-priced PlusPoints upgrade you received."
You will not be able to cancel PlusPoints requests that have received upgrades. (link) Essentially burning 20 points in the event that only the domestic portion of your request clears.

If I don't want to risk a short connection clearing but not the long haul, can I request only the long haul? Can I add the short haul later?
Yes, you can limit the request to a specific segment.
But once a all or a portion or all the request has cleared, you can not change it to add another segment.

Will I get a refund if only the short segment clears but not the long haul / Polaris segment?
No, that is a change from the GPU days (but still true for mileage upgrades). But you will only be charged the amount for the cleared segment(s).

Is {anything else} changing? (link)
No, not really. "Million milers will receive the equivalent of what they receive today in PlusPoints. Classes of availability for upgrades are not changing. PlusPoints can be sponsored to other travelers in the same way GPUs and RPUs could be. For Skip Waitlist upgrades, the account holder must also be traveling."

I see PlusPoints for sale on Craigslist or eBay. May I buy them and use them?
We do not recommend this. If UA determines the PlusPoints was sold, you risk having your M+ account terminated and loss of your miles, status, lifetime miles, etc.

Do the fare class restrictions apply to domestic flights?
No, you can use a PlusPoints on any fare on any domestic/ any CPU eligible flight.
For non-CPU flights, the standard 40 PlusPoints is needs for W or higher. For lower fares it takes 80 PlusPoints.

Is there a maximum layover between segments of a journey?
Unclear. 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 PlusPoints can be used for two journeys on the same ticket even if the two journeys are beyond 12 hours apart (12 hours being the pmUA rule 4 hours for North American / domestic only flights).
Lots of uncertain still exists on this issue.

What is the relative waitlist priority of PlusPoints vs Miles
The use of PlusPoints vs Miles has no impact on the waitlist priority, they have the same priority as a supported upgrade

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

My PlusPoints ares still valid/unexpired, but my journey starts after the PlusPoints expires. Can I use them for that journey?
No.

Can I use my PlusPoints for another traveler? Do I have to be traveling with them?
You can use your PlusPoints for another traveler. If on the same PNR, it will be done as you do yourself. When on a common PNR, you can only request upgrades for everyone, not just some -- to do that you need to split the PNR.
If the other traveler is on a separate PNR, you pull up their PNR in your account (via My Trips), you will need their PNR id and their bass name as on the reservation. Then go to the upgrade tab and proceed as if it was your reservation
When on a common PNR, the other travelers will have the same waitlist priority as you (this should continue even if the PNR is split after requesting the upgrade).
When on a separate PNR, they will be prioritized based on their status.

If my status changes, will I lose my PlusPoints?
No, PlusPoints, once granted, are good until they expire. You could conceivably drop to general member and maintain your PlusPoints. When you use the PlusPoints, you'll be prioritized based on your present status.

Archive:Consolidated UA PlusPoints Question & Answer Thread {Archive}


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Consolidated UA PlusPoints Question & Answer Thread

Old Apr 24, 2023, 10:45 am
  #136  
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I'm due to fly RDU - LHR for an upcoming work trip and the PZ space cleared at booking for LHR - EWR - RDU on the return.

As things tend to go, my outbound destination and date have changed by 1 day (now going to BUD first and leaving a day earlier). My return is still the same but there is no longer PZ space available on that date. I can't change the flight online (due to being waitlisted on the outbound RDU - LHR flight which is screwing the booking engine up).

My question is will a competent agent be able to change just the outbound and re-price accordingly without having to remove my PZ on the LHR - EWR - RDU return? Since is no PZ space at the moment on the LHR - EWR flight if the agent has to re-book the entire thing I'll lose the space.

My other option would be to just have them change the outbound RDU - LHR by 1 day and then just separately book an LHR - BUD flight
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Old Apr 24, 2023, 10:54 am
  #137  
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Originally Posted by Duke787
I'm due to fly RDU - LHR for an upcoming work trip and the PZ space cleared at booking for LHR - EWR - RDU on the return.

As things tend to go, my outbound destination and date have changed by 1 day (now going to BUD first and leaving a day earlier). My return is still the same but there is no longer PZ space available on that date. I can't change the flight online (due to being waitlisted on the outbound RDU - LHR flight which is screwing the booking engine up).

My question is will a competent agent be able to change just the outbound and re-price accordingly without having to remove my PZ on the LHR - EWR - RDU return? Since is no PZ space at the moment on the LHR - EWR flight if the agent has to re-book the entire thing I'll lose the space.

My other option would be to just have them change the outbound RDU - LHR by 1 day and then just separately book an LHR - BUD flight
If you leave the inbound the same and you only change the outbound then a competent agent should be able to preserve PZ ... don't try and do this online!
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Old Apr 24, 2023, 4:34 pm
  #138  
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Originally Posted by cfischer
If you leave the inbound the same and you only change the outbound then a competent agent should be able to preserve PZ ... don't try and do this online!
Sounds good -- this looks like a potential HUCA so we'll see how it goes. The underlying fare for this ticket is O on the outbound and M on the return (which already cleared) though still at $2600 ticket.

When I called in the first time they wanted to re-price the whole itinerary for an add/collect of $750 which appears to be them trying to re-price the whole itinerary to an O fare -- but you can reprice it to be just about what I paid (plus or minus $20) if you re-book the outbound in O (as before) and the return just goes to H instead of M.

So I'm unclear why pricing is trying to add/collect and force this to an O fare the whole way. The underlying M on LHR - RDU on the return is still at M9 so they should be able to just re-price this based on only changing the outbound not to mention the underlying M is a higher fare class than H anyway. Any pointers on this one -- just a matter of getting to the right agent who gets pricing to keep the return in M instead of trying to change the whole ticket to O?

This is also a corporate ticket so the other option is to go to my OTA (AMEX GBT) but I'm not confident they will change the outbound without screwing up the cleared J on the return flight.

I don't really want to risk have to try and get the upgrade to clear again since right now it's Z5P0. I guess the other option would be cancel the whole thing and take the 8am LHR - IAD flight which is showing P9PN9 (but PZ0) and gamble that will clear since it's only a few weeks out but that seems unnecessarily risky too
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Old Apr 24, 2023, 5:47 pm
  #139  
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Originally Posted by Duke787
This is also a corporate ticket so the other option is to go to my OTA (AMEX GBT) but I'm not confident they will change the outbound without screwing up the cleared J on the return flight.

I don't really want to risk have to try and get the upgrade to clear again since right now it's Z5P0. I guess the other option would be cancel the whole thing and take the 8am LHR - IAD flight which is showing P9PN9 (but PZ0) and gamble that will clear since it's only a few weeks out but that seems unnecessarily risky too
Amex can't do this (preserve PZ) in my experience. Call UA to make the change. They will have to re-price the entire ticket; is the fare available? If you now book O out and M in ... does it price?
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Old Apr 24, 2023, 6:11 pm
  #140  
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Originally Posted by cfischer
Amex can't do this (preserve PZ) in my experience. Call UA to make the change. They will have to re-price the entire ticket; is the fare available? If you now book O out and M in ... does it price?
Yeah if I force it on UA.com into O/M it actually prices out ~$250 cheaper than what I paid.

I guess Ill have to HUCA and this time just feed the agent the flights and fare codes and see what happens
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Old Apr 24, 2023, 6:22 pm
  #141  
 
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Originally Posted by Duke787
Yeah if I force it on UA.com into O/M it actually prices out ~$250 cheaper than what I paid.

I guess Ill have to HUCA and this time just feed the agent the flights and fare codes and see what happens
Been here before a few times and as cfischer stated above the UA agent should be able to preserve the upgraded segment. Having said that I have had to HUCA.
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Old Apr 24, 2023, 6:44 pm
  #142  
 
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Originally Posted by cfischer
Amex can't do this (preserve PZ) in my experience. Call UA to make the change. They will have to re-price the entire ticket; is the fare available? If you now book O out and M in ... does it price?
I recently had a similar scenario with Amex GBT. When they reticketed for an outbound change it lost the confirmed upgrade on the return leg. However I got a very helpful agent with Amex who called United support and they reinstated the upgrade even though upgrade space had gone. Only took 10 mins and was frankly pretty surprised they managed to do it, but this may be the exception rather than the rule!
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Old Apr 24, 2023, 8:01 pm
  #143  
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Geez attempt #2 was a fail too. Spent 50 minutes on the phone with UA with an agent who was working with pricing/ticketing and this time they came back and said that the add/collect would be $2000 (?) and then when I asked about putting it just into O/M, they put me back on hold and transferred me over to AMEX GBT.

AMEX GBT then said they could do it with an add/collect of $200 but I would lose the upgrade (and my flight is at Z5 so no way that is clearing again).

Geez what a mess -- I may be better of just canceling the whole thing and just rebooking it onto the 8am LHR - IAD and take my chances that P9PN9 will eventually open up a PZ for that return
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Old Apr 26, 2023, 11:32 am
  #144  
 
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Have economy tickets booked EWR-PMI for the fall. The plane was upgraded to high J with Premium Plus in line with United's 767 refurbishments. However, I'm unable to waitlist Plus Point (nor miles) upgrade to Premium Plus, only Polaris. I'm able to upgrade with cash. Is this a situation where I should call in, or that it will eventually open up, or just never work?
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Old Apr 26, 2023, 12:18 pm
  #145  
 
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Originally Posted by BTMaximus
Have economy tickets booked EWR-PMI for the fall. The plane was upgraded to high J with Premium Plus in line with United's 767 refurbishments. However, I'm unable to waitlist Plus Point (nor miles) upgrade to Premium Plus, only Polaris. I'm able to upgrade with cash. Is this a situation where I should call in, or that it will eventually open up, or just never work?
Call in is the best solution.
Did you request for Polaris already before trying to request for Premium Plus due to aircraft change? If so, you will have to call United to add Premium Plus upgrade request.
Good luck.
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Old Apr 30, 2023, 10:55 am
  #146  
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Cleared PP upgrade on an United domestic flight. However, I had to change to a different flight.

I didn't think I would be getting the 20PP back for the voluntary change, however, the website displayed refund of PP after the change. Unfortunately, the website was buggy, and I couldn't complete the transaction, so had to call in.

What is the current protocol?
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Old Apr 30, 2023, 11:10 am
  #147  
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Originally Posted by Repooc17
Cleared PP upgrade on an United domestic flight. However, I had to change to a different flight.

I didn't think I would be getting the 20PP back for the voluntary change, however, the website displayed refund of PP after the change. Unfortunately, the website was buggy, and I couldn't complete the transaction, so had to call in.

What is the current protocol?
Yes, you get the +P back if you change the flight. The only reasons you wouldn't get them back were if you changed into PZ (requires agent, as far as I know), or if you used skip waitlist (although some reports of people getting them back anyway then).
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Old Apr 30, 2023, 2:53 pm
  #148  
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Originally Posted by Duke787
Geez attempt #2 was a fail too. Spent 50 minutes on the phone with UA with an agent who was working with pricing/ticketing and this time they came back and said that the add/collect would be $2000 (?) and then when I asked about putting it just into O/M, they put me back on hold and transferred me over to AMEX GBT.

AMEX GBT then said they could do it with an add/collect of $200 but I would lose the upgrade (and my flight is at Z5 so no way that is clearing again).

Geez what a mess -- I may be better of just canceling the whole thing and just rebooking it onto the 8am LHR - IAD and take my chances that P9PN9 will eventually open up a PZ for that return
Just to close this out.

Online actually ended up being the best route though only because LHR - IAD - RDU opened up with PZ for the 440pm flight on the same day. The agents were never able to figure out how to keep PZ on my original booking without charging me an arm and a leg (because pricing kept trying to re-price the LHR - RDU leg into either O/A or Y/B instead of keeping it in M).

I ended up doing a change flight forcing it into A for the RDU - BUD flight and then U for the return LHR - IAD - RDU. It came back as an even exchange (as I expected), processed the upgrade refund, and then re-issued the ticket.

I then just reapplied for the upgrade on LHR - RDU and it cleared all the way through and now I'll just keep an eye on the earlier flights opening back to up to either make a full change or do a SDC on LHR - RDU (by that point in the ticket it will be just UA flights left so might be doable).

Morale of the story it was a mess and they weren't able to preserve the original PZ but thankfully PZ opened up on a different flight on the same day so I was able to just process the whole thing myself and will just monitor in case I can get back onto the early morning LHR - IAD/EWR - RDU flight
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Old May 1, 2023, 2:57 am
  #149  
 
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Originally Posted by Duke787
I'm due to fly RDU - LHR for an upcoming work trip and the PZ space cleared at booking for LHR - EWR - RDU on the return.

As things tend to go, my outbound destination and date have changed by 1 day (now going to BUD first and leaving a day earlier). My return is still the same but there is no longer PZ space available on that date. I can't change the flight online (due to being waitlisted on the outbound RDU - LHR flight which is screwing the booking engine up).

My question is will a competent agent be able to change just the outbound and re-price accordingly without having to remove my PZ on the LHR - EWR - RDU return? Since is no PZ space at the moment on the LHR - EWR flight if the agent has to re-book the entire thing I'll lose the space.

My other option would be to just have them change the outbound RDU - LHR by 1 day and then just separately book an LHR - BUD flight
Glad it worked out for you in the end. I just had a similar issue and spoke to a seasoned agent. She said that anytime there is a change to the outbound segment things get messy and it may be impossible to keep the fare (even if the inventory is there) or upgrades on the return. The opposite is much easier for them, e.g. changing the return without changing the outbound. FWIW.
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Old May 1, 2023, 4:06 am
  #150  
 
Join Date: Mar 2023
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Weird one yesterday. Sponsored non status wife and gold sister in law on separate PNRs on the same flight using my GS PP. Sister in law ticketed in YN. Wife in W. Sister in law not surprisingly number 1 in list from two days iut until sometime well after check in when they flipped and my wife went to number 1 and she dropped to number 2. Why would it switch like that?

No one cleared of course.
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