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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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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:

We’ve heard from MileagePlus Premier® members that they’re interested in an upgrade program that’s 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 won’t 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 you’ll ultimately only pay for the highest upgrade you receive which in this example would be Premium Plus (20 PlusPoints). Keep in mind we’ll deduct the full request price, equal to the highest price upgrade requested, whenever any upgrade clears and you’ll 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 don’t receive the highest-priced PlusPoints upgrade you requested, ... you’ll 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 GPU’s and RPU’s 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}


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

Old Nov 10, 2023, 5:29 pm
  #481  
 
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 2,277
Originally Posted by Continental_Drift
Thanks KMXU. That is definitely not what they have written, but it does explain why another poster on another thread was asking why his "next threshold" was showing 27,000 PQPs. Must be exactly as you say. So those who earn 1k with PQP + PQF earn an extra 20 PlusPoints at 21,000, 24,000, etc. But if you earn 1k through PQP alone, you only get the 20 extra PlusPoints at 27,000, 30,000, etc. Do I have that right?
No. You'll get the 280 for hitting 1k qualifying for a total of 320 from qualifying for 1k (40 already earned from plat), and an additional 40 for having hit the 21,000 and 24,000 thresholds. If you have qualified from getting 24,000 PQPs, you should have earned a total of 360 PPs for the year.
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Old Nov 12, 2023, 10:36 am
  #482  
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 479
Originally Posted by Kmxu
What if UA IT messes up and post your flight credit as ZK, instead of ZO?
Originally Posted by Kmxu
I was not concerned with PQP. If the flight credit is posted as ZK and 80 PPs are deducted, the screen shot may help to get back 50 PPs. The chance for this to happen is very low.

Unrelatedly, it took UA 3 days to deduct PPs from my account after the upgrade of my colleague’s flight was cleared. Both of us thought that UA would not take the PPs. We were wrong! 😟
Hi FT,



This is exactly what happened.



Booked K fare, did Day of Departure Upgrade to O, and then cleared into Polaris at T-24 after 80 Plus Points were deducted.

As we kind of talked about above…since at time of upgrade into Polaris, shouldn’t it have processed as an O-J upgrade for 30 and not 80 PP?

Similarly, my miles posted were ZK. Should it have been a ZO amount?

Then return for this leg was XN-R-J. Did cash buy up to Premium Economy immediately after booking (so not DOD), and this placed me into R fare. It took only 30 PP. No RDM were given but (obviously) base fare was award. Seems to be what I was expecting.
  1. How many Plus Points should outbound ORD FRA have cost?
  2. What fare class miles should I have been awarded?
I appreciate your insight.

Thanks all!
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Old Nov 12, 2023, 10:48 am
  #483  
 
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 2,277
Originally Posted by purdue1015
Hi FT,



This is exactly what happened.



Booked K fare, did Day of Departure Upgrade to O, and then cleared into Polaris at T-24 after 80 Plus Points were deducted.

As we kind of talked about above…since at time of upgrade into Polaris, shouldn’t it have processed as an O-J upgrade for 30 and not 80 PP?

Similarly, my miles posted were ZK. Should it have been a ZO amount?

Then return for this leg was XN-R-J. Did cash buy up to Premium Economy immediately after booking (so not DOD), and this placed me into R fare. It took only 30 PP. No RDM were given but (obviously) base fare was award. Seems to be what I was expecting.
  1. How many Plus Points should outbound ORD FRA have cost?
  2. What fare class miles should I have been awarded?
I appreciate your insight.

Thanks all!
30 PlusPoints because you upgraded to O. The amount that gets deducted automatically is set at time of request when it was put into the upgrade orchestration. If the upgrade wasn‘t undone/rerequested after doing the paid buy up it still pulls the original amount and you have to ask to get the difference back.

Your miles should post based on the underlying K-fare you paid (which is based on price, not fare class). There should be a separate PQP-only entry for the DoD upgrade cost
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Old Nov 12, 2023, 11:46 am
  #484  
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 479
Originally Posted by Lux Flyer
30 PlusPoints because you upgraded to O. The amount that gets deducted automatically is set at time of request when it was put into the upgrade orchestration. If the upgrade wasn‘t undone/rerequested after doing the paid buy up it still pulls the original amount and you have to ask to get the difference back.

Your miles should post based on the underlying K-fare you paid (which is based on price, not fare class). There should be a separate PQP-only entry for the DoD upgrade cost
Fantastic, thank you!

EDIT: How did it decide to place me into O upon DOD? Just curious. Thanks!

Last edited by purdue1015; Nov 12, 2023 at 12:45 pm
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Old Nov 12, 2023, 11:50 am
  #485  
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Originally Posted by purdue1015

Then return for this leg was XN-R-J. Did cash buy up to Premium Economy immediately after booking (so not DOD), and this placed me into R fare. It took only 30 PP. No RDM were given but (obviously) base fare was award. Seems to be what I was expecting.
  1. How many Plus Points should outbound ORD FRA have cost?
  2. What fare class miles should I have been awarded?
Originally Posted by Lux Flyer
30 PlusPoints because you upgraded to O. The amount that gets deducted automatically is set at time of request when it was put into the upgrade orchestration. If the upgrade wasn‘t undone/rerequested after doing the paid buy up it still pulls the original amount and you have to ask to get the difference back.
Is this the new way to get J upgrade from X/XN ticket (for non-GS pax)?

Grab the upgrade offer (if it shows up) to P+, then use 30 PP to upgrade to J?

I am curious about X/XN -> P+ upgrade cost for ORD-FRA or EWR-NRT. Is $700 reasonable or common?

Does the cash upgrade always clear to O?
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Old Nov 12, 2023, 1:27 pm
  #486  
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 479
Originally Posted by kb1992


Is this the new way to get J upgrade from X/XN ticket (for non-GS pax)?

Grab the upgrade offer (if it shows up) to P+, then use 30 PP to upgrade to J?

I am curious about X/XN -> P+ upgrade cost for ORD-FRA or EWR-NRT. Is $700 reasonable or common?

Does the cash upgrade always clear to O?
My recent experience with cash upgrades with XN —> R, K—> O. 🤷‍♂️
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Old Nov 12, 2023, 3:10 pm
  #487  
 
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 2,277
Originally Posted by kb1992
Is this the new way to get J upgrade from X/XN ticket (for non-GS pax)?
It's not new, it's been discussed multiple times here and is published as being allowed.

Originally Posted by purdue1015
EDIT: How did it decide to place me into O upon DOD? Just curious. Thanks!
No idea, usually with the buy-ups prior to check in, it's based on whatever the lowest available booking code is in the cabin as that is what appears to drive the pricing of the offer. But your price would seem really low for only "O" being available, so I'm guessing the DoD within the check in pathway use some other logic.
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Old Nov 12, 2023, 5:20 pm
  #488  
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Originally Posted by Lux Flyer
It's not new, it's been discussed multiple times here and is published as being allowed.
Huh, can you please post that 'publication'? It is IMO a glitch.
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Old Nov 12, 2023, 6:04 pm
  #489  
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Originally Posted by cfischer
Huh, can you please post that 'publication'? It is IMO a glitch.
I have never heard of that "published" XN->O->PZ scheme.....

Maybe it's something new to learn?
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Old Nov 12, 2023, 7:06 pm
  #490  
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 479
Originally Posted by Lux Flyer
It's not new, it's been discussed multiple times here and is published as being allowed.



No idea, usually with the buy-ups prior to check in, it's based on whatever the lowest available booking code is in the cabin as that is what appears to drive the pricing of the offer. But your price would seem really low for only "O" being available, so I'm guessing the DoD within the check in pathway use some other logic.
Thanks. Seems reasonable to me. Appreciate your thoughts!
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Old Nov 17, 2023, 12:02 pm
  #491  
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 3
Points Plus change flight

Have some PP to burn, plan to transfer to my son. He can see PZ > 0 on SFO-LHR route but the date is not ideal. My question is if PZ space becomes available on a more desirable day, can he simply initiate the change and the PP/upgrade will clear, automatically or will the PP come back to me and I have to go through the process again?
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Old Nov 17, 2023, 2:40 pm
  #492  
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Originally Posted by gordeaux
... will the PP come back to me and I have to go through the process again?
That is the normal process
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Old Nov 18, 2023, 11:39 am
  #493  
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
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Fascinating discussion re this "back door" to what I understand is a "less PP; more likely" Polaris UG. Have I got that right?

So, I ran a couple of test bookings and found HUGE variation in the $$ price for a paid UG from YN > PE (did not see fare class). For example, LAX-MEL: only ~ $800 vs. BNE-SFO ~$3,600. But I had to do fake bookings and then cancel (inside 24 h of course) to see these. Obviously, it would be nice not to have to do that and choose the transpac leg based on what the ultimate PE UG will cost.

Is there any way to find out what the PE UG will price at PRIOR to purchasing?

Thanks as always for the FT wisdom.

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Old Nov 18, 2023, 12:31 pm
  #494  
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Cheapest flights should have R space available, and I am fairly sure the offer price depends only on the specific segment you are upgrading and its inventory (i.e. if LAX-MEL is $800, it will be $800 whether flying nonstop or part of DEN-LAX-MEL).

However, I believe you have to buy a ticket to see - which you can refund of course.
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Old Nov 18, 2023, 2:02 pm
  #495  
 
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Thanks Findark, I dug a bit deeper based on your proposal.

Both the MEL-LAX leg for $800 and the SFO-BNE for $3600 have similar space in PE (R9; A9; O9; ON9; RN0).
They are also very similar prices if bought outright (2k) so we're going to need another way to try to sort out the likely price of an XN/YN to R UG

(And I'm looking only at the TransPac legs in each case)

??

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