PQP without flying

Old Sep 19, 20, 6:57 pm
  #1  
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PQP without flying

Apology upfront if this is posted somewhere else, I searched on "PQP" and read through the listed threads but couldn't find this specific issue discussed.

For 2020 I have already flown the required 26 segments to make the reduced 1K PQF segment requirement, and now I only need to make the reduced PQP requirement to achieve 1K (I have about 2700 PQP to go). Due to COVID, I would prefer to minimize any additional flying for this year. I started to think of ways to fly a short flight at max cost, and that got me thinking. Could I purchase a fully refundable economy fare, pay the upgrade fee which I believe is not refundable and would credit to my current PQPs even if the flight itself isn't flown.

Would this allow me to not fly the flight, refund it and have the upgrade fee paid still contribute to my PQPs for 2020? Thus getting me to 1K status without additional flying for the rest of this calendar year?

Thank you all for your input and help!

PHXonUA

PS I realize not everyone will see it worth spending $2700 to get 1K status, but I find the perks worth the spend for the flying I will do post COVID.

Last edited by PHXonUA; Sep 19, 20 at 7:31 pm Reason: typo in Thread Title, should have been PQP
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Old Sep 19, 20, 7:08 pm
  #2  
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Originally Posted by PHXonUA View Post
Could I purchase a fully refundable economy fare, pay the upgrade fee which I believe is not refundable and would credit to my current PQPs even if the flight itself isn't flown.
No. The PQPs wouldn't credit until after the flight, and, if you didn't fly, they wouldn't credit at all; it's no different than buying a nonrefundable ticket and not taking it.

Premier Accelerator might meet your needs, however; and you will keep the PQP from Premier Accelerator even if you cancel the flight.

PS: I've manufactured some spending to make 1K in the past, but at $2700, with a floor of Gold, and as much uncertainty as there is right now? Personally, I'd pass.
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Old Sep 19, 20, 7:17 pm
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Thank you for the recommendation to use Premier Accelerator. I hadn't thought of that.

Agree there is a lot of uncertainty but I the Plus points alone would be worth it to me for the international upgrades late next year after we hopefully have a vaccine.

Regards,
PHXonUA
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Old Sep 19, 20, 8:27 pm
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Originally Posted by PHXonUA View Post
Thank you for the recommendation to use Premier Accelerator. I hadn't thought of that.

Agree there is a lot of uncertainty but I the Plus points alone would be worth it to me for the international upgrades late next year after we hopefully have a vaccine.

Regards,
PHXonUA
Honestly, I would expect United to further extend the July 2021 PlusPoints to January 2022. But, thatís speculation on my part, due to the anemic aviation demand right now.
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Old Sep 19, 20, 10:14 pm
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Originally Posted by PHXonUA View Post
Agree there is a lot of uncertainty but I the Plus points alone would be worth it to me for the international upgrades late next year after we hopefully have a vaccine.
How many international trips will you take late next year? If seats are available, one-way upgrades are often available on the day of travel for less than $1000. And you should price a significant discount into the value of PlusPoints because you may find that they expire unused. While I have been able to use all of my instruments (until 2020), not everyone is that lucky. How much flexibility do you have on these trips? Are you willing to make extra stops or take a creative routing? Start a vacation on a Tuesday instead of a Saturday? I've had to do all of the above

Originally Posted by sannmann View Post
Honestly, I would expect United to further extend the July 2021 PlusPoints to January 2022. But, thatís speculation on my part, due to the anemic aviation demand right now.
I thought the same thing, but it appears that OP is Gold this year and thus presumably doesn't have any PlusPoints to carry over.
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Old Sep 20, 20, 1:39 am
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
I thought the same thing, but it appears that OP is Gold this year and thus presumably doesn't have any PlusPoints to carry over.
OP's profile stats Plat, no? Either way, that is a small or zero amount of PlusPoints to carry over.
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Old Sep 20, 20, 1:53 am
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Originally Posted by dkc192 View Post
OP's profile stats Plat, no? Either way, that is a small or zero amount of PlusPoints to carry over.
Yep, sorry; I must have misread it earlier as "GoldMM." But, right, I was mostly looking for 1K or not.
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Old Sep 20, 20, 2:51 am
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Originally Posted by sannmann View Post
Honestly, I would expect United to further extend the July 2021 PlusPoints to January 2022. But, thatís speculation on my part, due to the anemic aviation demand right now.
Very likely, but realistically speaking at this point no one can say with certainty
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Old Sep 20, 20, 4:48 pm
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
And you should price a significant discount into the value of PlusPoints because you may find that they expire unused.
This. I'm in reach of 1K this year, already have the PQP, just need 7 more segments. While I may reach that naturally without a MR, so far it's not in the cards for planned travel the rest of the year. I've decided against a MR, because in my totally uninformed guess, I would imagine bookable PZ space will continue to be as elusive as ever (pre-COVID) since UA needs cash even more so. My trips are all transcon or longer, and I personally don't play the upgrade lottery for long haul. For me, 1K is not worth the extra PlusPoints if I can't redeem them at booking.

There have been plenty of upgrades this year, for sure, and probably into next year too. But consistently zero PZ space on the tix I have had to book.
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Old Sep 25, 20, 11:04 am
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Thank you all for your advice and input. I had to update my status after the first comment about it (I am currently Platinum but forgot to change that in my profile). I am very flexible on my international bookings as I only want to do one with my family (5 of us). If I could get us all upgraded on the way over that would be ideal and I believe using PlusPoints would be cheaper than paying for Polaris for all of us. I would be fine with flying in the cooler months when demand is usually low.

Thanks again for all your help.
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Old Sep 25, 20, 11:33 am
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Originally Posted by PHXonUA View Post
If I could get us all upgraded on the way over that would be ideal and I believe using PlusPoints would be cheaper than paying for Polaris for all of us. I would be fine with flying in the cooler months when demand is usually low.
The PlusPoints are probably cheaper, yes, assuming that you can find PZ>=5. But I'm not sure they're that much cheaper. The calculation gets complicated, because you won't have enough PlusPoints to upgrade 5 passengers from the least-expensive fare. (It's 80 points per passenger to upgrade from the cheapest non-Basic Economy fare, 40 points to upgrade from a W fare or higher, and 30 points to upgrade from Premium Economy, assuming we're talking about United-operated flights; you'd have 320). In some markets, there's basically no difference between the W fare and the cheapest; in other markets, you'll be paying hundreds of dollars in order to use your "free" upgrade.

If you decide to do this, note that in the past, Premier Accelerator has tended to get more expensive later in the year, especially after Thanksgiving -- so it behooves you to act by, say, mid-November at the latest. If I were you, I'd start pricing out potential flights at the end of the schedule to see (a) what the fare differences are for the cities you'd be interested in visiting, and (b) whether or not PZ space is available. Hopefully that should give you the information you need to judge whether or not the $2700 is a good investment.
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