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Consolidated UA PlusPoints Question & Answer Thread

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Old Sep 24, 2019, 7:33 am
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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:

Weíve heard from MileagePlus Premierģ members that theyíre interested in an upgrade program thatís more customizable and with fewer restrictions. Introducing PlusPoints Ė flexible points that can be used for upgrades anywhere we fly. Starting in December, the new program gives MileagePlus Platinumģ 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 wonít 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 youíll ultimately only pay for the highest upgrade you receive which in this example would be Premium Plus (20 PlusPoints). Keep in mind weíll deduct the full request price, equal to the highest price upgrade requested, whenever any upgrade clears and youíll 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 donít receive the highest-priced PlusPoints upgrade you requested, ... youíll 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 GPUís and RPUís 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 Ė 4 hours for North American / ďdomesticĒ 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}


The prior GPU thread is now archived
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Consolidated UA PlusPoints Question & Answer Thread

Old May 9, 2023, 11:14 pm
  #181  
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
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Originally Posted by Repooc17
Have a domestic flight arriving at 820pm, and another domestic flight departing at 1145pm - all on one ticket but United wants 40 PP. I am not a math wiz but my rough calc has the layover under 4 hours, so should be 20PP all the way, no?
I would think so. Does it show up as one itinerary when viewing on the website (i.e. with a connection time)?

Sometimes I've had segments show up separately even though they are connecting flights (for example, if I used Multi-city to force a connection). Usually corrects itself eventually.

In either case, I'd think an agent would be able to apply 20 PP across both segments.
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Old May 9, 2023, 11:14 pm
  #182  
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Originally Posted by jsloan
Yes, unless you're returning back from whence you came.
Got it - thanks. Will ask UA to review further.
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Old May 10, 2023, 5:12 am
  #183  
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Originally Posted by fumje
This may not work the way it seems you hope it will. Most likely is the pluspoints have not been deducted and will still expire in July. Then if upgrade space opens, either you won't clear because you have no useable pluspoints, or you will clear by using later-expiring ones (hence jsloan's question above).
I would expect them to expire in July. And if the upgrade hasnít cleared by then, itís all over. But if they do happen to clear before JulyÖ that upgrade should stick, right?

Iíll report back whatever happens. Likely no PZ space anyway.
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Old May 10, 2023, 9:11 am
  #184  
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Originally Posted by Ericka
I would expect them to expire in July. And if the upgrade hasnít cleared by then, itís all over. But if they do happen to clear before JulyÖ that upgrade should stick, right?
To reiterate: You're not supposed to be able to do that, and I'm not convinced that you have. If you reached 1K last year, you have PlusPoints that expire in January, 2024. If you also have some that expire in July, 2023, the website will display "expiring in July, 2023" until you go further into the detailed view. In other words, it's just showing the nearest expiration date.
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Old May 10, 2023, 9:32 am
  #185  
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Originally Posted by jsloan
But, most importantly, UA has learned to price F in a way that people are buying it.
Yep. Two experiences. We're able to plan well in advance for a specific SFO-PHX flight in late July. UA P fare available for $268 in F. Done. I've paid close to that for Y inside of 7 days. Second example. I'm booked in Y for next week, waitlisted with PP. Just checked the waitlist - #3 with 4 unsold seats. That's essentially a zero percent chance of clearing. One P available for upgrade at lowest differential ($149). Done. Total cost to get into F about $100 less than it would have cost either at initial purchase or right now. Now only three F seats left, all bulkhead. My guess is that maybe one GS gets upgraded.

Originally Posted by jsloan
In many cases, it's easier to clear PlusPoints on international routes than it is on domestic routes; intercontinental business class pricing isn't using the fixed-differential-from-economy approach that has filled those seats domestically.
Absolutely. I had a good run with PP on domestic during Covid but that's over. And the problem with using them on long-haul is I'm not willing to risk sitting in Y for 10+ hours.
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Old May 11, 2023, 7:39 pm
  #186  
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
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I just switched a TYO flight to improve my UG chances. An additional 30 PPs were deducted but the original points showed up as a deduction too, not a credit. So they took an additional net 60 PPs. It's no big deal since I have so many, but I was wondering if this is a known glitch, or will the 60 pts be refunded in a few days?
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Old May 11, 2023, 7:47 pm
  #187  
 
Join Date: May 2012
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Originally Posted by zombietooth
I just switched a TYO flight to improve my UG chances. An additional 30 PPs were deducted but the original points showed up as a deduction too, not a credit. So they took an additional net 60 PPs. It's no big deal since I have so many, but I was wondering if this is a known glitch, or will the 60 pts be refunded in a few days?
They are not taking your PPs at request. Your PP balance will only change when you get upgrade cleared.
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Old May 11, 2023, 9:16 pm
  #188  
 
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Originally Posted by Kmxu
They are not taking your PPs at request. Your PP balance will only change when you get upgrade cleared.
Perhaps when they reissued the ticket, they had to re-take the PPs that had already cleared on one leg, and then adjust the refund for that leg.

Oh, I just realized that the domestic portion of my new routing cleared when PPs were applied, so that's where addition 30 pt deduction came from.

Last edited by zombietooth; May 12, 2023 at 12:17 pm Reason: Edited to remove incorrect PPs deduction info.
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Old May 11, 2023, 9:39 pm
  #189  
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Originally Posted by zombietooth
Perhaps when they reissued the ticket, they had to re-take the PPs that had already cleared on one leg, and then adjust the refund for that leg.

Oh, I just realized that the domestic portion of my new routing cleared when PPs were applied, but still, it should only be -50 net for this itinerary at this point. And then, another 10 pts if the international leg clears, correct?
I've had to reach out to UA twice so far this year for getting PlusPoints refunded after canceling / changing a confirmed itinerary. In your case, since you made a change, I'd leave it alone until after my travel on that ticket was complete, and then I'd write to 1KVoice if they haven't reappeared within a suitable amount of time (say, a week).

It's a pain, but so far I haven't had any issues getting them back upon request. It's just, we shouldn't have to request.
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Old May 12, 2023, 12:05 pm
  #190  
 
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Originally Posted by jsloan
I've had to reach out to UA twice so far this year for getting PlusPoints refunded after canceling / changing a confirmed itinerary. In your case, since you made a change, I'd leave it alone until after my travel on that ticket was complete, and then I'd write to 1KVoice if they haven't reappeared within a suitable amount of time (say, a week).

It's a pain, but so far I haven't had any issues getting them back upon request. It's just, we shouldn't have to request.
I think that UA made a mistake with what happened (there was agent intervention which could've messed things up):

I had to pay an upcharge to switch flights but remained in R. When I paid for the flight change/upcharge, I was booked in R international and B domestic. So, shouldn't I've gotten the domestic UG for free as a Y/B/M UG because there was PN3 PZ1 showing on the domestic leg? The agent then intervened and applied PPs, which I assume UG'd me based on the PZ1 avail. So, shouldn't I, at this point, have had no PPs deducted because the international leg hasn't cleared and there was PN3 avail?
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Old May 12, 2023, 12:16 pm
  #191  
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Originally Posted by zombietooth
....So, shouldn't I, at this point, have had no PPs deducted because the international leg hasn't cleared and there was PN3 avail?
That seems that should be correct. I bet one has to point out to the agent the difference between upgrades, YBM-up vs instrument, because I bet the default reaction (based on familiarity) is to the latter.
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Old May 12, 2023, 12:41 pm
  #192  
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Originally Posted by zombietooth
I had to pay an upcharge to switch flights but remained in R. When I paid for the flight change/upcharge, I was booked in R international and B domestic. So, shouldn't I've gotten the domestic UG for free as a Y/B/M UG because there was PN3 PZ1 showing on the domestic leg? The agent then intervened and applied PPs, which I assume UG'd me based on the PZ1 avail. So, shouldn't I, at this point, have had no PPs deducted because the international leg hasn't cleared and there was PN3 avail?
Unfortunately, it's not against the rules to apply PlusPoints pointlessly. So, yes, you could have gotten an instant upgrade, but there's nothing in the system that would prevent you (or an agent) from putting PlusPoints on a flight that didn't need them.
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Old May 15, 2023, 12:24 am
  #193  
 
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Quick question, sorry if thereís another place. Flying CRP-IAH-EZE next Saturday. When I booked CRP-Iah was PZ4 and IAH-EZE was PZ1. I applied my 40 plus points at booking (itís a CRP-IAH-EZE-IAH) round trip and my IAH-EZE cleared at booking. I have called 1K line to try and clear the CRP segment but they tell me I didnít apply the upgrade to domestic. Anyway, itís doesnít matter bc I have the main upgrade, but did I do something wrong to not get the domestic upgraded once the Polaris cleared?
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Old May 15, 2023, 1:21 am
  #194  
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Originally Posted by txaggiemiles
Quick question, sorry if thereís another place. Flying CRP-IAH-EZE next Saturday. When I booked CRP-Iah was PZ4 and IAH-EZE was PZ1. I applied my 40 plus points at booking (itís a CRP-IAH-EZE-IAH) round trip and my IAH-EZE cleared at booking. I have called 1K line to try and clear the CRP segment but they tell me I didnít apply the upgrade to domestic. Anyway, itís doesnít matter bc I have the main upgrade, but did I do something wrong to not get the domestic upgraded once the Polaris cleared?
This makes no sense. If both segments were available at booking then both segments should have cleared. Unless of course you elected to not apply +Ps to the CRP-IAH segment; did you include that segment in the UG request? If not, then of course you don't get it. Adding it after the fact is no longer possible with the new system.
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Old May 15, 2023, 5:40 am
  #195  
 
Join Date: May 2012
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Originally Posted by txaggiemiles
Quick question, sorry if thereís another place. Flying CRP-IAH-EZE next Saturday. When I booked CRP-Iah was PZ4 and IAH-EZE was PZ1. I applied my 40 plus points at booking (itís a CRP-IAH-EZE-IAH) round trip and my IAH-EZE cleared at booking. I have called 1K line to try and clear the CRP segment but they tell me I didnít apply the upgrade to domestic. Anyway, itís doesnít matter bc I have the main upgrade, but did I do something wrong to not get the domestic upgraded once the Polaris cleared?
Most likely, OP did not select the CRP-IAH segment. A maximum of 40 PPs would be charged if both segments (W fare or above) were selected.
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