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Consolidated UA PlusPoints Question & Answer Thread

Old Sep 24, 2019, 8:33 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 Feb 7, 2023, 1:21 pm
  #91  
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Programs: UA 1K 1MM, AA Gold, Marriott Titanium, Hilton Diamond, Hyatt Discoverist
Posts: 672
Originally Posted by PHXonUA
Once I have applied PlusPoints, is there an easy way to see what the Cash Upgrade offer is? Or do I have to remove the PlusPoints request to see that again?

My apologies if this was covered before in this large thread. I search for "show cash" but and tried to use Google but was unable to find an answer.
Normally it still shows in the usual locations. You can force it usually by opening the seatmap and clicking on a premium seat.
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VWang1111 is online now  
Old Feb 7, 2023, 4:16 pm
  #92  
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 255
When applying UA plus pts to upgrade, is it possible to see the waitlist position ONLINE (if the flight is one week later) ?
dogfan is offline  
Old Feb 7, 2023, 4:19 pm
  #93  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 4,509
Originally Posted by dogfan
When applying UA plus pts to upgrade, is it possible to see the waitlist position ONLINE (if the flight is one week later) ?
On laptop/desktop, change the date to one day before flight. Then try and view WL the way one normally does. Usually works.
jamienbaker is offline  
Old Feb 7, 2023, 5:20 pm
  #94  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: PHX
Programs: UA 1KMM, Marriott Lifetime Titanium, AVIS President's Club
Posts: 100
Originally Posted by VWang1111
Normally it still shows in the usual locations. You can force it usually by opening the seatmap and clicking on a premium seat.
Odd. For me once I have applied the PointsPlus I no longer have the Upgrade Learn More button displayed at the top of the reservation details page. And when I open the seat map and try to choose a Polaris Seat the pop-up bubble says that upgrades are available to this type of seat and upon selection it will take me to the Upgrade page to view upgrade options. After clicking to go to that page all options listed show as No Upgrade Available (Money, Miles, PointsPlus). I get the PointsPlus not being available as I have already submitted a waitlisted request, but I wanted to see how much they are offering for the cash upgrade to Polaris to see if it is a good offer. For reference, this is an international long-haul flight with multiple people on the reservation, One 1K (me) and three Silvers (my children).

Maybe I will cancel the request and see if that causes the cash upgrade offer to display again.
PHXonUA is offline  
Old Feb 8, 2023, 6:20 am
  #95  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: PIT
Programs: OZ Diamond, UA Gold
Posts: 9,798
Well now I have another question! There’s PZ Space that just opened up on my IAH-PIT which I have PP applied as part of a larger trip where the other leg already upgraded. In the past I would have assumed the system wasn’t working and I’d call to get it manually processed. Is that still a thing? Should I just be patient and assume the computer will upgrade me?

Edit: I did call in, and the agent said there were 5 1Ks ahead of me so I’ll just let it lie, don’t want to steal an upgrade from someone else! I hate losing status

Last edited by dinoscool3; Feb 8, 2023 at 6:40 am
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Old Feb 8, 2023, 8:04 am
  #96  
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Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 20,928
Originally Posted by dinoscool3
Well now I have another question! Theres PZ Space that just opened up on my IAH-PIT which I have PP applied as part of a larger trip where the other leg already upgraded. In the past I would have assumed the system wasnt working and Id call to get it manually processed. Is that still a thing? Should I just be patient and assume the computer will upgrade me?

Edit: I did call in, and the agent said there were 5 1Ks ahead of me so Ill just let it lie, dont want to steal an upgrade from someone else! I hate losing status
By "calling in to get it processed," you were always potentially going out of order, which is why some agents refused to do it.

That said, as long as PZ is open, any new request that's made will jump the entire queue regardless, so your concerns about stealing upgrades, while noble, may ultimately be for naught. The problem is, with your other leg already upgraded, you're pretty much stuck. You can't cancel and reapply without risking losing the upgrade on the other leg.

BTW, it's not that the system is "broken" -- it works exactly as it's designed. It's just that the inventory management software is independent of the upgrade processing software, and it appears that there's no notification from the one to the other.
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jsloan is offline  
Old Feb 9, 2023, 6:19 pm
  #97  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: SFO
Programs: UA 1K MM
Posts: 86
One success, one failure this week for PlusPoints. Both using my points for my friends.
1) IAH->AMS - Successfully upgraded from PremiumPlus to Polaris. Very appreciative friend.
2) DEN->SFO - Fail, due to "You don't have enough available PlusPoints for this request". Pretty sure I have enough... United.com bug?


Screenshot of possible united.com bug
cardinal98 is offline  
Old Feb 9, 2023, 7:22 pm
  #98  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: IAH
Programs: Former UA1K transitioning to WFBF mentality
Posts: 761
Originally Posted by cardinal98
One success, one failure this week for PlusPoints. Both using my points for my friends.
1) IAH->AMS - Successfully upgraded from PremiumPlus to Polaris. Very appreciative friend.
2) DEN->SFO - Fail, due to "You don't have enough available PlusPoints for this request". Pretty sure I have enough... United.com bug?


Screenshot of possible united.com bug
1.4m miles? Thats like hoarding Venezuelan or Zimbabwean currency. Spend it before its devalued (further)!
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marks88 is online now  
Old Feb 26, 2023, 7:07 am
  #99  
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Programs: United 1K, Lufthansa Senator *,Marriott platinum
Posts: 98
Codeshare change advice

Have bought a ticket on Lufthansa.com (220 stock) and want to use Plus Points to upgrade.
BER-EWR .. LH 7607 (actual UA963)
EWR - STL .. LH7658 (actual UA1799)
The return sectors are issued pure and no issues
STL-EWR ..UA451
EWR-FRA ..LH 413
As of now BER-EWR LH 7607 cannot be upgraded using plus points and how do I get this changed to UA963
As of now EWR-STL LH7658 cannot be upgraded using plus points and how do I get this changed to UA1799
Also want to upgrade STL-EWR UA 451 using plus points on United. My understanding is that once I apply online for upgrading the EWR-FRA flight United will not be be to upgrade this sector.
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Old Feb 26, 2023, 7:22 am
  #100  
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: BOS/EAP
Programs: UA 1K, MR LTT, HH Dia, Amex Plat
Posts: 31,588
Originally Posted by RAMSWISS
Have bought a ticket on Lufthansa.com (220 stock) and want to use Plus Points to upgrade.
BER-EWR .. LH 7607 (actual UA963)
EWR - STL .. LH7658 (actual UA1799)
The return sectors are issued pure and no issues
STL-EWR ..UA451
EWR-FRA ..LH 413
As of now BER-EWR LH 7607 cannot be upgraded using plus points and how do I get this changed to UA963
As of now EWR-STL LH7658 cannot be upgraded using plus points and how do I get this changed to UA1799
Also want to upgrade STL-EWR UA 451 using plus points on United. My understanding is that once I apply online for upgrading the EWR-FRA flight United will not be be to upgrade this sector.
you are posting this in the wrong thread. This is for LH flights to be upgraded ...

That said, you should be able to apply +Ps in your UA MP account. Does this not work? What is the error message?
cfischer is offline  
Old Feb 26, 2023, 7:37 am
  #101  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: BOM-SIN-EWR
Programs: UA*G (1K again), Sixt Plat, *was*: SQ QPP01 & SK EBS/EBG, LH SEN, AA EXP, 9wPlat
Posts: 8,605
Originally Posted by cfischer
That said, you should be able to apply +Ps in your UA MP account. Does this not work? What is the error message?
Yes, simply open the reservation on .bomb and upgrade the flights you want...it will work, despite the codeshares.
SuperFlyBoy is offline  
Old Feb 28, 2023, 3:54 pm
  #102  
 
Join Date: Sep 2022
Programs: United Mileage Plus
Posts: 661
Can you upgrade award tickets with Plus Points?

or at all?

Specifically international award tickets?
frappant is offline  
Old Feb 28, 2023, 4:18 pm
  #103  
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: Chicago
Programs: AA Gold
Posts: 536
Originally Posted by frappant
Can you upgrade award tickets with Plus Points?

or at all?

Specifically international award tickets?
only if the miles come from a GS account and using GS PlusPoints
leftysauce is offline  
Old Mar 3, 2023, 1:30 pm
  #104  
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: SAN
Programs: 1K (since 2008), *G (since 1990), 1MM
Posts: 3,188
So completely baffled by this and a bit miffed.

I have 20 PlusPoints expiring in July 2023. I have a whole lot expiring in January 2024.

My PlusPoints for my January 2023 upgrade came out of the January 2024 lot as did the August 2023 upgrades.

So the algorithm apparently does not take from the first expiring pool it takes from the larger pool. I do not have any 20 PlusPoints requests in so unless United does something proactively I am going to lose these points.

Yes I sent a note to 1K voice a few days ago but have heard nothing and they are still showing on my account as expiring. I have requests in for the use of 180 points with 20 expiring in July 2023 and 160 expiring in January 2024.

So why would United not write the program to take the PlusPoints from the first expiring pool of points before accessing the second pool? I cannot be the only MP member who has experienced this issue.

I read the T&Cs and see nothing that says I need to request only a 20 PlusPoints request in order to use the first expiring pool of PlusPoints.

End of rant.
Aussienarelle is offline  
Old Mar 3, 2023, 1:50 pm
  #105  
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Programs: UA 1K, AA EXP. Hilton Diamond
Posts: 1,105
Originally Posted by Aussienarelle
So completely baffled by this and a bit miffed.

I have 20 PlusPoints expiring in July 2023. I have a whole lot expiring in January 2024.

My PlusPoints for my January 2023 upgrade came out of the January 2024 lot as did the August 2023 upgrades.

So the algorithm apparently does not take from the first expiring pool it takes from the larger pool. I do not have any 20 PlusPoints requests in so unless United does something proactively I am going to lose these points.

Yes I sent a note to 1K voice a few days ago but have heard nothing and they are still showing on my account as expiring. I have requests in for the use of 180 points with 20 expiring in July 2023 and 160 expiring in January 2024.

So why would United not write the program to take the PlusPoints from the first expiring pool of points before accessing the second pool? I cannot be the only MP member who has experienced this issue.

I read the T&Cs and see nothing that says I need to request only a 20 PlusPoints request in order to use the first expiring pool of PlusPoints.

End of rant.
The system does deduct the earliest expiring PP.
gmt4 is offline  

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