Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > United Airlines | MileagePlus
Reload this Page >

Consolidated UA PlusPoints Question & Answer Thread

Wikipost is Locked  
Old Sep 24, 2019, 7:33 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:

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
Print Wikipost

Consolidated UA PlusPoints Question & Answer Thread

Old Dec 30, 2023, 8:54 am
  #556  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: BOS/EAP
Programs: UA 1K, MR LTT, HH Dia, Amex Plat
Posts: 31,958
Originally Posted by mfirst
I got a reply back that I was able to understand

apparently, since my den-ogg flight was delayed for over an hour (we were already on board and this is the only flight of the delay) - it triggered their “stop over” exclusion policy for using PP on a multi-segment trip

she returned the extra 20
i asked for clarification on the details of the policy

looks like I need to read up on that a little more

hmmm
This doesn't make a lot of sense to me. Never seen UA use anything other than 'scheduled' flight times for MP purposes . Guess the OP got the +Ps back, so nothing to solve here.
SPN Lifer likes this.
cfischer is offline  
Old Dec 30, 2023, 9:20 am
  #557  
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Programs: United 1k, HH Diamond, Bonvoy Ambassador and LT-Gold
Posts: 1,632
While I am happy that I got my points back without too much effort, I am perplexed by the rule regarding layovers has I cannot find anything obvious on the website regarding that policy.
mfirst is offline  
Old Dec 30, 2023, 9:40 am
  #558  
 
Join Date: Dec 2023
Posts: 102
Originally Posted by mfirst
While I am happy that I got my points back without too much effort, I am perplexed by the rule regarding layovers has I cannot find anything obvious on the website regarding that policy.
I don't remember in which thread, but I saw some other reports here that people had their pluspoints double deducted in error, for example having 40 points deducted when clearing for Polaris weeks before the flight, then having 40 deducted again on the day of the flight when it departs. I will guess it is that same problem that occurred for you, and it's not related to a policy about layovers. The things the agent replied about were mixed up and not accurate. Having a delay that doesn't result in rebooking never should affect the upgrade request.
meijiem is offline  
Old Dec 30, 2023, 9:51 am
  #559  
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Programs: United 1k, HH Diamond, Bonvoy Ambassador and LT-Gold
Posts: 1,632
meijiem - I agree, but in my particular case the reply back from 1kV specifically commented about the delay in the flight (which was only about an hour) being considered, the system, a layover as the cause. I have seen some comments here (sorry, dont have the energy to go thru 184 pages of this thread) about layovers/stopovers - but cant find anything in the policy.
mfirst is offline  
Old Dec 30, 2023, 9:55 am
  #560  
Four Seasons Contributor BadgeShangri-La Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: ORD
Programs: UA 1K
Posts: 4,216
IIRC, any connection on a domestic itinerary over four hours is considered a “stopover”. Which would probably lead to 20+20 deduction. Why it took the delay into account, I have no idea.

I book these fairly often when I come back from Hawaii since I detest red eye flights and it always is 20+20 for me (HNL-SFO-ORD, for example, with 4+ hours in SFO).
United747 is offline  
Old Dec 30, 2023, 9:57 am
  #561  
 
Join Date: Dec 2023
Posts: 102
Originally Posted by mfirst
meijiem - I agree, but in my particular case the reply back from 1kV specifically commented about the delay in the flight (which was only about an hour) being considered, the system, a layover as the cause. I have seen some comments here (sorry, dont have the energy to go thru 184 pages of this thread) about layovers/stopovers - but cant find anything in the policy.
From my experience, usually it's just any scheduled break between flights of over 4 hours that will cause the system to want separate upgrade requests for them. Occasionally it messes that up, and you will see it when you put in the request, but almost always it uses that logic.

I don't think the agent replying knows exactly what happened and was just looking for some reason to give.
jsloan and SPN Lifer like this.
meijiem is offline  
Old Dec 30, 2023, 7:41 pm
  #562  
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 282
I used all of my PlusPoints this year(just counted again to make sure I'm not going crazy) and after my last return flight from Japan where 90 +Ps cleared for an R->J upgrade for three of us the request went from pending to gone and the +Ps are still showing up in the account(never deducted when the upgrade cleared)... Flight was on the 27th. Should I expect that to fix itself or is this a glitch I can take advantage of? I don't have any more flights before 1/31 but I'd happily give them away on FT.
CaptJOB is offline  
Old Dec 30, 2023, 9:36 pm
  #563  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Programs: UA 1K, Hyatt Globalist
Posts: 5,447
I think it's a glitch, but I'd forewarn any recipient(s) of your donation that there's a small chance the upgrades could get clawed back.
dkc192 is offline  
Old Dec 31, 2023, 10:30 am
  #564  
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: CLE
Programs: UA:1K 0.81M
Posts: 135
Plus points after using cash upgrade

I have a question about the impact of “upgrading” with cash then applying plus points.

Itinerary flying SFO to SYD round trip.
For the return, saw PZ space, applied plus points and cleared immediately. WooHoo!
For the outbound, currently booked in Economy, but thinking I would like to fly in PE and apply PP for Polaris. I can cash upgrade for $825.



United T&C say that “…flights that have already been upgraded… are not eligible for PlusPoints upgrades.”
https://www.united.com/en/us/fly/mil....html#upgrades

There are ample posts here that help explain that PP upgrades need to be PE & Polaris at the same original request - that you can't win a PE upgrade then go back and try again for Polaris.
Originally Posted by leftysauce
short answer is no. once you are in RN, you won't even be able to waitlist for Polaris with miles or PP
which aligns with the T&C.

However, there are other posts that talk about cash upgrading award tix then using PP.

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?
Originally Posted by Lux Flyer
It's not new, it's been discussed multiple times here and is published as being allowed.
which seem to contradict the T&C?

Should I be able to cash upgrade for $825 then apply PP for Polaris?

Thanks a ton!
50Kthehardway is offline  
Old Dec 31, 2023, 11:37 am
  #565  
 
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 2,277
Originally Posted by 50Kthehardway
.

Should I be able to cash upgrade for $825 then apply PP for Polaris?

Thanks a ton!
Yes.
50Kthehardway likes this.
Lux Flyer is offline  
Old Dec 31, 2023, 11:56 am
  #566  
Moderator: United Airlines
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: SFO
Programs: UA Plat 1.99MM, Hyatt Discoverist, Marriott Plat/LT Gold, Hilton Silver, IHG Plat
Posts: 66,756
Originally Posted by 50Kthehardway
...which seem to contradict the T&C? ....
Cash upgrades have never been considered the same a PlusPoints / Miles+copay upgrade. The T&Cs on double upgrades are referring to the latter not the former. It has always been that way.
SPN Lifer likes this.
WineCountryUA is offline  
Old Dec 31, 2023, 2:59 pm
  #567  
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: CLE
Programs: UA:1K 0.81M
Posts: 135
Originally Posted by WineCountryUA
Cash upgrades have never been considered the same a PlusPoints / Miles+copay upgrade. The T&Cs on double upgrades are referring to the latter not the former. It has always been that way.
A nuance that I didn't realize. thanks to you and Lux Flyer.
50Kthehardway is offline  
Old Jan 2, 2024, 4:30 pm
  #568  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: PHX
Programs: UA 1KMM, Marriott Lifetime Titanium, AVIS President's Club
Posts: 100
Need some help from the experts on this forum.

Currently have a flight ZRH to IAD to PHX, party of 2 and we are ticketed in Premium Economy (R). We show as #5 and #6 on the upgrade list to Polaris.

Based on some flight checking using the Flight Status tool, I knew there were many free seats on the ZRH to ORD flight for the same day we are currently traveling and when I checked it today via expert mode I get:
  • J9
  • JN9
  • C9
  • D9
  • Z9
  • ZN9
  • P9
  • PN7
  • PZ7
However, when I check the full routing ZRH to ORD to PHX it shows:
  • J3
  • JN3
  • C3
  • D3
  • Z3
  • ZN3
  • P3
  • PN0
  • PZ0
And the same above numbers for the connecting flight.

My question, can I change my flight to the new routing (ual.com actually will give me a travel credit to do this booking into S bucket), then apply the PlusPoints (I know it will take more PlusPoints since we would not be in Premium Economy) and the upgrade will be confirmed then and there? Or are the segments married in such a way that the Polaris portion won't clear immediately and I will stay on the waitlist until closer to departure?

Thank you for anyone who can provide some advice or learned knowledge on this.

Last edited by PHXonUA; Jan 2, 2024 at 4:33 pm Reason: Used wrong words, and left out information about booking into Y for new route
PHXonUA is offline  
Old Jan 2, 2024, 4:43 pm
  #569  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Honolulu Harbor
Programs: UA 1K
Posts: 14,991
The upgrade would clear to ORD immediately on application of PPs.
IAH-OIL-TRASH is offline  
Old Jan 2, 2024, 5:13 pm
  #570  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Programs: AS 75K, DL Silver, UA Platinum, Hilton Gold, Hyatt Discoverist, Marriott Platinum + LT Gold
Posts: 10,451
Don't even need to be in premium economy. Even cheapest economy fare would get you instantly upgraded to business class.
Repooc17 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

This site is owned, operated, and maintained by MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Designated trademarks are the property of their respective owners.