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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:

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}


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

Old Jun 13, 2024, 7:47 am
  #766  
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: ORF, RIC
Programs: UA LT 1K, 3 MM; Marriott Titanium, LTP; IHG Platinum
Posts: 7,172
Originally Posted by txaggiemiles
Maybe I should have put my story here. Mods move if able. Concerning to me that changing flights could trigger an upgrade / eliminate PZ space.

See: https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/36301610-post753.html
Originally Posted by txaggiemiles
On SFO>HKG yes, certainly. On OMA>IAH, just a good data point to guide future decisions.
I agree that one should be more careful in changing flights while holding upgraded segment. But if flights depart in a few weeks and one sees PZ spaces, it is relatively safe to change flights.

For OMA-IAH, your flight departs within a week. You probably did not do the flight change during the early morning hours (before 6 am EDT) when PZ space was just released. The system might clear three seats as soon as J8 became J9 and PZ1 became PZ0 afterwards.
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Old Jun 13, 2024, 2:12 pm
  #767  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: TX
Programs: UA 1K
Posts: 756
Originally Posted by Kmxu
For OMA-IAH, your flight departs within a week. You probably did not do the flight change during the early morning hours (before 6 am EDT) when PZ space was just released. The system might clear three seats as soon as J8 became J9 and PZ1 became PZ0 afterwards.
My original ticket was not an upgrade, it was paid J. When I switched, I landed into an economy bucket, I don't know which. Prior to the switch, the new flight was J8, PZ3 (or 1? I cant remember now). After the switch, it was J5, PZ0 (with three previously unselectable E+ seats suddenly open). I was expecting to immediately confirm my upgrade upon the switch but could not. Agree being within the week might have played a role in causing the system to run.
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Old Jun 13, 2024, 2:22 pm
  #768  
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: DEN
Programs: UA 1K 0.8MM (trying to get to 1MM!)
Posts: 1,275
I (1K member) used 40PP to waitlist my fiance for an international trip, AAA-BBB-CCC (where AAA-BBB is domestic, and BBB-CCC is long-haul international) in October. We purchased an economy ticket, and when I applied my PP, she was able to get an immediate upgrade into PremPlus from BBB-CCC. She's still on the waitlist for AAA-BBB, and for Polaris from BBB-CCC. I just looked, and the ticket price has decreased $120, so I'm thinking it may be worthwhile to cancel and then use the FFC to purchase the cheaper ticket. However, I'm wondering if there's any way that a UA agent can refund the fare difference through without actually canceling the flight (which would save the already upgraded PremPlus segment), or if there's any way to have them push the upgrade to PremPlus through again after canceling/rebooking.

The seatmap (I know, not a good indicator) shows 1 Polaris seat booked and no other PremPlus seats booked, if that's useful. More importantly, it does show RN1 when I search for BBB-CCC by itself, as shown below, so I believe that means that there's still 1 upgrade that would go through automatically using PP (without waitlisting), right? In that case, I wouldn't need any help from a UA agent, and can just cancel/rebook it myself, and then reapply the PP.



Is there anything else I should look for? Any hints as to getting the $120 refund (yes, I realize that the fare difference will end up being an FFC that expires in 1 year)?

UPDATE: From info I ended up finding online, I did learn that RN1 did indeed mean that the upgrade would get confirmed immediately. So, I canceled the flight, searched for the same flight again (noticing that the flight was RN2, which I assume is because the 1 PP upgrade I had used became available again, FYI), rebooked the flight, and was able to confirm the PP upgrade to PremPlus again. So, it all worked out.
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Last edited by mpiotrow; Jun 13, 2024 at 5:22 pm
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Old Jun 13, 2024, 3:48 pm
  #769  
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: ORF, RIC
Programs: UA LT 1K, 3 MM; Marriott Titanium, LTP; IHG Platinum
Posts: 7,172
Originally Posted by mpiotrow
I (1K member) used 40PP to waitlist my fiance for an international trip, AAA-BBB-CCC (where AAA-BBB is domestic, and BBB-CCC is long-haul international) in October. We purchased an economy ticket, and when I applied my PP, she was able to get an immediate upgrade into PremPlus from BBB-CCC. She's still on the waitlist for AAA-BBB, and for Polaris from BBB-CCC. I just looked, and the ticket price has decreased $120, so I'm thinking it may be worthwhile to cancel and then use the FFC to purchase the cheaper ticket. However, I'm wondering if there's any way that a UA agent can refund the fare difference through without actually canceling the flight (which would save the already upgraded PremPlus segment), or if there's any way to have them push the upgrade to PremPlus through again after canceling/rebooking.

The seatmap (I know, not a good indicator) shows 1 Polaris seat booked and no other PremPlus seats booked, if that's useful. More importantly, it does show RN1 when I search for BBB-CCC by itself, as shown below, so I believe that means that there's still 1 upgrade that would go through automatically using PP (without waitlisting), right? In that case, I wouldn't need any help from a UA agent, and can just cancel/rebook it myself, and then reapply the PP.



Is there anything else I should look for? Any hints as to getting the $120 refund (yes, I realize that the fare difference will end up being an FFC that expires in 1 year)?
How about just change the connection flight while keep the international segment? The cleared RN should stay afterwards and you get $120 FFC. Then, you make another change to the connection flight. This assumes that there are multiple connections flights with the same prices and you do not mind not getting the upgrade on the connection flight.
If the above suggestion does not work, just gamble it (cancel and rebook) because your trip is four months away.
Good luck.
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Old Jun 13, 2024, 5:27 pm
  #770  
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: DEN
Programs: UA 1K 0.8MM (trying to get to 1MM!)
Posts: 1,275
Originally Posted by Kmxu
How about just change the connection flight while keep the international segment? The cleared RN should stay afterwards and you get $120 FFC. Then, you make another change to the connection flight. This assumes that there are multiple connections flights with the same prices and you do not mind not getting the upgrade on the connection flight.
If the above suggestion does not work, just gamble it (cancel and rebook) because your trip is four months away.
Good luck.
This may have worked, except that AAA-CCC was booked as a one way flight, and I never had the option to only change the first segment. Thanks for the idea, though! I ended up getting it to work (see my original post above) by cancelling and rebooking. 👍
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Old Jun 14, 2024, 2:24 am
  #771  
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Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 22,018
Originally Posted by mpiotrow
UPDATE: From info I ended up finding online, I did learn that RN1 did indeed mean that the upgrade would get confirmed immediately. So, I canceled the flight, searched for the same flight again (noticing that the flight was RN2, which I assume is because the 1 PP upgrade I had used became available again, FYI), rebooked the flight, and was able to confirm the PP upgrade to PremPlus again. So, it all worked out.
You should not draw any broad conclusions from the change in RN: yes, in this case, it seems that the RN seat you were using was returned to inventory as an RN seat, but there have been plenty of counterexamples. UA can make whatever modifications it chooses to its inventory at any time, and from txaggiemiless example, we can see that sometimes the changes dont seem to make intuitive sense.

Originally Posted by Kmxu
How about just change the connection flight while keep the international segment? The cleared RN should stay afterwards and you get $120 FFC.
That might work, I guess? But Id be surprised.
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Old Jun 14, 2024, 10:20 am
  #772  
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: ORF, RIC
Programs: UA LT 1K, 3 MM; Marriott Titanium, LTP; IHG Platinum
Posts: 7,172
Originally Posted by jsloan
That might work, I guess? But Id be surprised.
Unfortunately, mpiotrow did not try this. It would be an interesting data point to have if he did. He did gamble with RN spaces, which I would do if I were in his shoe.
Here is a similar data point. When PremPlus fare was changed to economy (W) fare for the same flights last year, the Polaris seat and E+ seat (traveler had no status with UA) were kept while Pluspoints were returned to my friend's account.
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Old Jun 14, 2024, 11:52 am
  #773  
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: San Antonio, USA
Programs: UA 1K, HHonors Diamond
Posts: 606
If I have a reservation where I cleared the outbound with PP, but waitlisted on the return, can I deselect only the waitlisted segment if needed if PZ (or RN) opens up? I'm a bit learly to click on the cancel upgrade fearing it will cancel all upgrades (just never having the need to do so).
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Old Jun 14, 2024, 12:01 pm
  #774  
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: ORF, RIC
Programs: UA LT 1K, 3 MM; Marriott Titanium, LTP; IHG Platinum
Posts: 7,172
Originally Posted by fed planner
If I have a reservation where I cleared the outbound with PP, but waitlisted on the return, can I deselect only the waitlisted segment if needed if PZ (or RN) opens up? I'm a bit learly to click on the cancel upgrade fearing it will cancel all upgrades (just never having the need to do so).
You should be a little bit braver.
You only cancel the upgrade request of the uncleared segments (return in your case). This would not impact your outbound at all. United would not let you cancel the cleared ones anyway (UA has taken your PPs ).
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Old Jun 14, 2024, 12:23 pm
  #775  
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: San Antonio, USA
Programs: UA 1K, HHonors Diamond
Posts: 606
Originally Posted by Kmxu
You should be a little bit braver.
You only cancel the upgrade request of the uncleared segments (return in your case). This would not impact your outbound at all. United would not let you cancel the cleared ones anyway (UA has taken your PPs ).
Thanks! That makes sense. My travel patterns seem to only result in upgrades in one direction - which is better than none, I suppose.
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Old Jun 16, 2024, 7:43 am
  #776  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: LAX IAH AMS
Programs: UA GS 1MM
Posts: 1,300
$6000 for additional PlusPoints, after meeting 1K requal

So, I dont think I've seen much discussion on this topic. Gone are the days of racking up upgrades once you cross the 1K threshold. I remember having numerous GPU's back in the day that I had to give away or they'd expire. Somewhat the same after the PP program launched.

As I am on my journey for my 13th year in a row as GS next year (hopefully) I am in "bonusland" territory of PQD's..... which means you get a whopping 40 PP's for every $6,000 you spend (20 PP every $3k, technically). So, in a sense, spend $6k and get a free one-way international upgrade.

Now, being able to use PP these days is a different story, but you'd think they'd be a bit more generous than a "free" upgrade valued at $6k.
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Old Jun 16, 2024, 8:04 am
  #777  
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Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 22,018
Originally Posted by avi8tir
As I am on my journey for my 13th year in a row as GS next year (hopefully) I am in "bonusland" territory of PQD's..... which means you get a whopping 40 PP's for every $6,000 you spend (20 PP every $3k, technically). So, in a sense, spend $6k and get a free one-way international upgrade.
IIRC, after you hit 100K PQM, the old program would give you 2 additional RPUs every additional 25K PQM and 2 additional GPUs every 50K additional PQM.

UA believes that $6K in spending is approximately equivalent to 25K PQM hence, the 24K PQP threshold for 1K. So, in a sense, and with their math, they just dropped the RPUs and kept the GPUs.
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Old Jun 16, 2024, 8:14 am
  #778  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: LAX IAH AMS
Programs: UA GS 1MM
Posts: 1,300
Originally Posted by jsloan
IIRC, after you hit 100K PQM, the old program would give you 2 additional RPUs every additional 25K PQM and 2 additional GPUs every 50K additional PQM.

UA believes that $6K in spending is approximately equivalent to 25K PQM hence, the 24K PQP threshold for 1K. So, in a sense, and with their math, they just dropped the RPUs and kept the GPUs.
ya I dont recall the specifics of the PQM days.... been a while lol. and I know I had some 300k - 400k PQM years in the late 2010's so that could be part of my memory of the abundance of upgrades lol. Guess its just easier to do the cost analysis under the new program.

But, wasn't it a bit more generous in the first few years of the PP program?
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Old Jun 16, 2024, 8:36 am
  #779  
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Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 22,018
Originally Posted by avi8tir
But, wasn't it a bit more generous in the first few years of the PP program?
Looking back, it looks like the rules were changed for the 2019 status year, to remove the bonus RPUs and give one bonus GPU every 25K additional PQM instead of two every 50K. That changed into 40 PlusPoints per 25K PQM at the introduction of PlusPoints in December 2019, but the PQP era started in January 2020, and it looks like its always been 20 PlusPoints per 3K spending, which, at the rate UA wants people to spend, is half a GPU per 12.5K PQM.

Anything that might have happened later in 2020 or in 2021 should probably be considered a COVID sweetener and not a program change.
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Old Jun 16, 2024, 5:48 pm
  #780  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Global
Programs: United 1K, Qatar Gold, Etihad Gold, Hilton Diamond, InterCon RA, PC Plat, SPG Plat, Marriott Plat
Posts: 1,464
I value a Plus Point at about $.25 per point. The additional 20 plus points would be worth $5 to me.
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