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Consolidated UA PlusPoints Question & Answer Thread

Old Sep 24, 2019, 8:33 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:

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 Mar 3, 2023, 2:01 pm
  #106  
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: SAN
Programs: 1K (since 2008), *G (since 1990), 1MM
Posts: 3,185
Originally Posted by gmt4
The system does deduct the earliest expiring PP.
Well it did not for me.

January 2023 came out of January 2024 pool.
August 2023 came out of January 2024 pool.

I track my PlusPoints (and other things like PQP and PQF) on a spreadsheet and I definitely have 180 PlusPoints to use and currently United has that split 20 July 2023 and 160 January 2024.

YMMV
Aussienarelle is online now  
Old Mar 3, 2023, 2:07 pm
  #107  
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Programs: UA LT GS | UA LT Club | Marriott LT Titanium
Posts: 1,250
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.
The software does take from the 1st expiring lot. Few things to note:

1. Your Aug '23 upgrade must come from the '24 lot, as your '23 lot expires in July (so you can't use them in August)
2. The reason your '23 PPs were skipped is they were likely 'utilized' at the time on a cleared upgrade.
3. Either you or United must have changed or canceled that cleared upgrade -- thereby putting those PPs back in your account.
4. Your recourse is to call Mileage Plus, explain to them, and depending on the agent, they may extend the 20 PP by six months.

Good luck!
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spartacusmcfly is offline  
Old Mar 3, 2023, 2:27 pm
  #108  
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: ORF, RIC
Programs: UA LT 1K, 3 MM; Marriott Titanium; IHG Platinum
Posts: 6,739
Originally Posted by Aussienarelle
Well it did not for me.

January 2023 came out of January 2024 pool.
August 2023 came out of January 2024 pool.

I track my PlusPoints (and other things like PQP and PQF) on a spreadsheet and I definitely have 180 PlusPoints to use and currently United has that split 20 July 2023 and 160 January 2024.

YMMV
Did you have any request in the amount of 30/40/80 that was cleared? So, United did not take those 07/23-expiring 20 points when clearing your upgrade.
Kmxu is offline  
Old Mar 3, 2023, 3:24 pm
  #109  
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Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 11,269
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.
Originally Posted by Kmxu
Did you have any request in the amount of 30/40/80 that was cleared? So, United did not take those 07/23-expiring 20 points when clearing your upgrade.
I think this is the key question. It doesn't appear to be able to mix across expiry batches, so you can't get your 23-JUL points used up unless you request a 20 point upgrade.
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fumje is offline  
Old Mar 15, 2023, 9:06 pm
  #110  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Washington, DC, USA
Programs: HH Diamond, Marriott Titanium, UA 1k.
Posts: 292
Something I've been pondering about:

Flying TPAC on UA in economy. If I do a paid upgrade from Economy to Premium Plus, will I be able to apply for J upgrade using 30 PlusPoints?

I guess the question hinges on whether the paid upgrade goes to "R" or "RN" space? If in RN, can it be PlusPoint upgraded or is it a dead-end upgrade-wise?
vip66 is offline  
Old Mar 18, 2023, 9:47 pm
  #111  
 
Join Date: Sep 2022
Programs: United Mileage Plus
Posts: 655
Is the priority of PP upgrades the same as MUA, assuming same fare class and status?
frappant is offline  
Old Mar 18, 2023, 9:50 pm
  #112  
Moderator: United Airlines
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: SFO
Programs: UA Plat 1.98MM, Hyatt Discoverist, Marriott Plat/LT Gold, Hilton Silver, IHG Plat
Posts: 66,100
Originally Posted by frappant
Is the priority of PP upgrades the same as MUA, assuming same fare class and status?
Yes
WineCountryUA is offline  
Old Mar 19, 2023, 6:48 pm
  #113  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: DEN
Programs: UA Plat
Posts: 753
Had an interesting experience this week. Due to a change in plans I cancelled a domestic r/t UA cash fare ticket after flying the outbound route. Of course there was no refund of the unused portion of the fare per the rules of the nonrefundable fare. But the 20 PP that I used to upgrade from economy to business on the outbound flight were redeposited into my MP account.
economyplusfan is offline  
Old Mar 20, 2023, 12:10 pm
  #114  
 
Join Date: Dec 2021
Posts: 137
Whenever I apply PP (to waitlist) my seat assignments in E reset, known behavior?
Shaetan is offline  
Old Mar 20, 2023, 12:16 pm
  #115  
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Posts: 10,114
Originally Posted by Shaetan
Whenever I apply PP (to waitlist) my seat assignments in E reset, known behavior?
No. Your seat will only reset if there is an aircraft change with different seat configuration. It might just be a coincidence.
Repooc17 is offline  
Old Mar 20, 2023, 1:06 pm
  #116  
 
Join Date: Dec 2021
Posts: 137
Originally Posted by Repooc17
No. Your seat will only reset if there is an aircraft change with different seat configuration. It might just be a coincidence.
Would be quite the coincidence haha. Been dropping/reapplying on a segment 3-4 times to see the buy up price and it happens every time (on both segments of the itinerary even when applying PP to only 1).
Shaetan is offline  
Old Mar 20, 2023, 1:40 pm
  #117  
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Join Date: Feb 2010
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Posts: 4,166
Originally Posted by Shaetan
Whenever I apply PP (to waitlist) my seat assignments in E reset, known behavior?
Same thing happened to me.
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United747 is offline  
Old Mar 20, 2023, 8:56 pm
  #118  
 
Join Date: Dec 2021
Posts: 137
Didn't happen when I did it via the website (previous times was on the app).

edit: Nevermind, showed same seats on the site but when looking at app seats had shifted again!
Shaetan is offline  
Old Mar 20, 2023, 11:04 pm
  #119  
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Originally Posted by Shaetan
Whenever I apply PP (to waitlist) my seat assignments in E reset, known behavior?
It would seem so -- it happened t me just yesterday.
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Xyzzy is offline  
Old Mar 29, 2023, 3:31 pm
  #120  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: PIT
Programs: OZ Diamond, UA Gold
Posts: 9,793
Trying to burn through my PPs. In Feb I was lucky with my trip to BKK and getting upgrades from TYO. Now I have to go to SIN in June. The LH thread makes it seem that upgrades are a plenty, even if there's no upgrade space right now. I know that summer is a crazy time though, would FRA/MUC-SIN actually have any chance of clearing?

It seems NH is more stingy with upgrades, but is that assessment wrong? Could I clear an upgrade from the US or Europe to TYO? Or should I just try my luck again on UA via TYO. I know with the recent schedule cuts that will be less likely to clear.

I know that SFO-SIN is basically out of the question.

Unfortunately it seems there is no award space on LH or NH to, well, anywhere in Asia otherwise I'd feel more confident booking.
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