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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 Jan 3, 2023, 8:13 am
  #1  
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Consolidated UA PlusPoints Question & Answer Thread

Hi all, first "post-Covid" post so forgive me if this has been answered already. I just tried to use PlusPoints for an economy-Polaris upgrade and was asked to pay an extra $70 or so airport tax in order to waitlist (the explanation being that Polaris tickets incur that extra tax). I don't remember this being done pre-Covid. Is this a new "benefit" for PlusPoints usage? Is it a mistake? Any way to avoid it? It was for a CDG-EWR flight if that makes a difference. Thanks in advance.
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Old Jan 3, 2023, 8:22 am
  #2  
 
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Originally Posted by alexperi
Hi all, first "post-Covid" post so forgive me if this has been answered already. I just tried to use PlusPoints for an economy-Polaris upgrade and was asked to pay an extra $70 or so airport tax in order to waitlist (the explanation being that Polaris tickets incur that extra tax). I don't remember this being done pre-Covid. Is this a new "benefit" for PlusPoints usage? Is it a mistake? Any way to avoid it? It was for a CDG-EWR flight if that makes a difference. Thanks in advance.
CDG and LHR impose an additional tax on travelers departing in a premium cabin, but UA has always charged taxes that are the passenger's responsibility, even when using instruments. Most likely you don't remember it if you either didn't upgrade departing CDG/LHR or were already in premium economy cabin and were upgrading from there (in which case the tax was already paid as part of being in premium economy).
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Old Jan 3, 2023, 9:18 am
  #3  
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Thanks!
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Old Jan 5, 2023, 9:51 pm
  #4  
 
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Can you apply Plus Points on NZ?

What is a good Premium Economy fare for SFO-AKL?

I'm looking at mid to end of November for SFO-AKL and the NZ fares are lower than the UA flight on the same nonstop route.

And the Premium Econ is approximately 3X the Economy fare of the NZ flight and just under 2X of the UA flight. (I would think NZ has the better soft product?)

Mind you this is suppose to be a New Zealand sale through end of November.
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Old Jan 5, 2023, 10:48 pm
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Originally Posted by frappant
Can you apply Plus Points on NZ?

What is a good Premium Economy fare for SFO-AKL?

I'm looking at mid to end of November for SFO-AKL and the NZ fares are lower than the UA flight on the same nonstop route.

And the Premium Econ is approximately 3X the Economy fare of the NZ flight and just under 2X of the UA flight. (I would think NZ has the better soft product?)

Mind you this is suppose to be a New Zealand sale through end of November.
Speaking of sales to New Zealand...have you seen this that seems to have just started today? https://www.united.com/en-us/new-zealand-sale
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Old Jan 5, 2023, 11:07 pm
  #6  
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Originally Posted by frappant
Can you apply Plus Points on NZ?
No; PlusPoints can be used on UA, NH, LH, and CM only.

Originally Posted by mpiotrow
Speaking of sales to New Zealand...have you seen this that seems to have just started today? https://www.united.com/en-us/new-zealand-sale
I believe it's the same sale. UA and NZ operate a JV on those routes. The fare should be the same on either carrier, but there may be differences due to inventory.
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Old Jan 6, 2023, 9:53 pm
  #7  
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PP expires 1/31/2023

Booked a ticket one way

1/31 BOS-SFO
2/1 SFO-NRT

The layover at SFO is 20 hours.

It appears that I can use 40 PP to upgrade the whole trip, even though PP should expire on 2/1 for the second segment SFO-NRT flight.

Anyone has any thoughts?
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Old Jan 6, 2023, 10:48 pm
  #8  
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Originally Posted by kb1992
PP expires 1/31/2023

Booked a ticket one way

1/31 BOS-SFO
2/1 SFO-NRT

The layover at SFO is 20 hours.

It appears that I can use 40 PP to upgrade the whole trip, even though PP should expire on 2/1 for the second segment SFO-NRT flight.

Anyone has any thoughts?
If you got the points, spend the points.

ETA: Which ever PPs are available at the time of the upgrade, UA's systems will extract. So, if your upgrade doesn't happen until 02/01/23, they'll pull what other PPs are there (or not which would mean no SFO-NRT upgrade).

David

Last edited by DELee; Jan 6, 2023 at 11:49 pm
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Old Jan 7, 2023, 7:27 pm
  #9  
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Originally Posted by DELee
If you got the points, spend the points.

ETA: Which ever PPs are available at the time of the upgrade, UA's systems will extract. So, if your upgrade doesn't happen until 02/01/23, they'll pull what other PPs are there (or not which would mean no SFO-NRT upgrade).

David
There are no PP valid after 1/31/2023 in the account.

IME, if you don't have PP valid for the date of travel, the system won't allow you to apply waitlist.

This is a special case BOS-SFO-NRT as a one ticket and UA gives me the option 20 PP for BOS-SFO or 40 PP for 1/31 BOS-SFO-NRT even though SFO-NRT is on next day 2/1.

Somehow in this case I think UA system considers the whole itinerary as one-way BOS to NRT departing 1/31 and allows me to use PP expiring on 1/31.

Even though, the 2nd flight departs on 2/1.
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Old Jan 7, 2023, 7:45 pm
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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.
if someone is GS, has PlusPoints, then drops below GS, but still has unexpired PlusPoints, do they still clear into/waitlist for PN or does it depend on when PlusPoints are applied?
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Old Jan 7, 2023, 11:17 pm
  #11  
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Originally Posted by kb1992
There are no PP valid after 1/31/2023 in the account.

IME, if you don't have PP valid for the date of travel, the system won't allow you to apply waitlist.

This is a special case BOS-SFO-NRT as a one ticket and UA gives me the option 20 PP for BOS-SFO or 40 PP for 1/31 BOS-SFO-NRT even though SFO-NRT is on next day 2/1.

Somehow in this case I think UA system considers the whole itinerary as one-way BOS to NRT departing 1/31 and allows me to use PP expiring on 1/31.

Even though, the 2nd flight departs on 2/1.
Then do it.

David
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Old Jan 8, 2023, 4:12 pm
  #12  
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Reaching 1K in 2022 at 13.5K PQP, at what level do the extra 20 PPs per each additional 2K PQP kick in?
e.g. addl 20 PP at 15.5 PQP, 17.5 PQP, or
addl 20 PP at 17K PQP, 19K PQP etc?
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Old Jan 8, 2023, 4:20 pm
  #13  
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Originally Posted by cesco.g
Reaching 1K in 2022 at 13.5K PQP, at what level do the extra 20 PPs per each additional 2K PQP kick in?
e.g. addl 20 PP at 15.5 PQP, 17.5 PQP, or
addl 20 PP at 17K PQP, 19K PQP etc?
17K
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Old Jan 8, 2023, 4:25 pm
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Originally Posted by Repooc17
17K
So, it kicks in from 15PQP forward, even though 1K could be reached at 13.5K PQP/36 PQF ?
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Old Jan 8, 2023, 4:28 pm
  #15  
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Originally Posted by kb1992
There are no PP valid after 1/31/2023 in the account.

IME, if you don't have PP valid for the date of travel, the system won't allow you to apply waitlist.

This is a special case BOS-SFO-NRT as a one ticket and UA gives me the option 20 PP for BOS-SFO or 40 PP for 1/31 BOS-SFO-NRT even though SFO-NRT is on next day 2/1.

Somehow in this case I think UA system considers the whole itinerary as one-way BOS to NRT departing 1/31 and allows me to use PP expiring on 1/31.

Even though, the 2nd flight departs on 2/1.
this has always been that way. Enjoy
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