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The way of the Dodo? - 1K upgrades, PP or CPU

Old Jan 27, 2024, 4:51 pm
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The way of the Dodo? - 1K upgrades, PP or CPU

Old Feb 16, 2023, 1:21 am
  #661  
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Programs: UA, Some Others
Posts: 286
Plus Points are worthless. It is complete "bait and switch". I have 1,000 PP in my account. I dutifully apply 10 or 20 to each flight, and then they get redeposited. I guess, it's shame on me for continuing to play along.

I become 1K every year between Denver and OGG. It's the only non stop. But with the increased threshold for 1K, and the reedickulos upgrade potential for either direction, I am done. Its mid Feb, and I have spent a total of $400 with United in 2023. My United Brand Chase credit cards are in a drawer and I am using an AMEX for those 40,000 points per month. It's been a good run; from time to time being 1K has been good but flying in coach on red eyes isn't appealing.

I'd rather shop around for a first class ticket, even if that means going through Phoenix or Seattle, or LA, than be loyal to any program. I am not loyal. It is a pure quid pro quo: I'll spend $$ with you, and you will upgrade me. Plus Points DO NOT upgrade me. So I am a free agent.
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Old Feb 16, 2023, 8:25 am
  #662  
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Canada
Programs: UA*1K MM SK EBG LATAM BL
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Originally Posted by denver19
Plus Points are worthless. It is complete "bait and switch".
They are not. I've burned through both of mine and wife's stash of 7/31 expiring ones in the half year. Routes such as SIN,NRT,BCN (from K fare) JNB,LHR (from R fare) among others, even EWR-SFO.

All you gotta do is fly during times of the day/week that are lite in OPM traffic.

The only ones with issues are obviously hub to hub domestic flights, where F is full before upgrades even happen.
I also made the mistake of doing one JNB on an OPM busy day, and it didnt clear from an O fare
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rankourabu is offline  
Old Feb 16, 2023, 8:56 am
  #663  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: SAN
Programs: UA 1MM/1K, HH Diamond
Posts: 6,857
Originally Posted by rankourabu
All you gotta do is fly during times of the day/week that are lite in OPM traffic.
People keep saying this - and of course WFBF - and I do get it...but this doesn't really help those of us who have to fly at those times but aren't flying on OPM.
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Old Feb 16, 2023, 9:13 am
  #664  
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Originally Posted by as219
People keep saying this - and of course WFBF - and I do get it...but this doesn't really help those of us who have to fly at those times but aren't flying on OPM.
1 - It's clear that there has been a material reduction in the amount of PZ space available in advance. It was already true prior to COVID and it's accelerated within the last year. That's not to say that none exists, or that it consists solely of upgrades to Zurich in February, but as someone who routinely searches for upgrade opportunities and is extremely flexible, it's gotten tough.

2 - That said, I think most of the issues with PlusPoints stem from a difference of perspective. Many travelers expect PlusPoints to allow them to upgrade the flights they're already taking. United wants to use PlusPoints to fill seats that would otherwise go empty -- preferably on trips that you might not otherwise take.

The value a traveler gets from PlusPoints is likely very much tied to these expectations.
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Old Feb 16, 2023, 9:14 am
  #665  
hch
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: INN
Posts: 2,947
Originally Posted by as219
People keep saying this - and of course WFBF - and I do get it...but this doesn't really help those of us who have to fly at those times but aren't flying on OPM.
It's called revenue management. United knows how to milk those that have no other choice..
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Old Feb 16, 2023, 9:59 am
  #666  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: NYC, FLL
Programs: UA PP 1MM, Marriott Bonvoy LTTE, BA Gold
Posts: 6,478
Originally Posted by jsloan
1 - It's clear that there has been a material reduction in the amount of PZ space available in advance. It was already true prior to COVID and it's accelerated within the last year. That's not to say that none exists, or that it consists solely of upgrades to Zurich in February, but as someone who routinely searches for upgrade opportunities and is extremely flexible, it's gotten tough.

2 - That said, I think most of the issues with PlusPoints stem from a difference of perspective. Many travelers expect PlusPoints to allow them to upgrade the flights they're already taking. United wants to use PlusPoints to fill seats that would otherwise go empty -- preferably on trips that you might not otherwise take.

The value a traveler gets from PlusPoints is likely very much tied to these expectations.
Very well said. I agree that many people are complaining about PlusPoints because they view them more like SkipTheWaitlist or some form of BA GGL Joker. If STW was available for all flights (at variable rates, which we'd also complain about), I think the "they're worthless!" posts would die down a little. But that's never going to happen...
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Old Feb 16, 2023, 10:03 am
  #667  
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Originally Posted by seanp7
If STW was available for all flights (at variable rates, which we'd also complain about), I think the "they're worthless!" posts would die down a little. But that's never going to happen...
Of course not - then United would fill the seats with everyone who is sitting on hundreds of PPlus and never get to charge/milk OPM the outrageous prices that they are for their front cabins on some routes.
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Old Feb 16, 2023, 11:01 am
  #668  
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Originally Posted by seanp7
My April 4 EWR-LHR flight selection was PZ=9 nearly across the board (all six flights) 3 weeks ago, now it's dwindling but 3 flights still have 1K upgrade availability. They might sell it all; who knows, but with 6 flights a day, it's not like they are completely not offering upgrades.
No such thing as "1K upgrade availability" on a flight like EWR-LHR. GS will clear into PN, all others will clear into PZ (1K/Plat/Gold/Silver/no status -- assuming not using GS PPs).

Glad you were able to spot EWR-LHR PZ space and grab it. It will dwindle based on how many seats UA is actually selling or if there are many people grabbing them via upgrades.

-RM
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Old Feb 16, 2023, 11:08 am
  #669  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: NYC, FLL
Programs: UA PP 1MM, Marriott Bonvoy LTTE, BA Gold
Posts: 6,478
Originally Posted by RobOnLI
No such thing as "1K upgrade availability" on a flight like EWR-LHR.
You're right, apologies - not sure why I phrased it like that. I have edited the OP.
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Old Feb 16, 2023, 11:10 am
  #670  
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Programs: UA 1K, Hilton ♦ , Hyatt Carbonado, Wyndham ♦, Marriott PE, "Stinking Bum" elsewhere.
Posts: 5,105
Originally Posted by jsloan
1 - It's clear that there has been a material reduction in the amount of PZ space available in advance. It was already true prior to COVID and it's accelerated within the last year. That's not to say that none exists, or that it consists solely of upgrades to Zurich in February, but as someone who routinely searches for upgrade opportunities and is extremely flexible, it's gotten tough.

2 - That said, I think most of the issues with PlusPoints stem from a difference of perspective. Many travelers expect PlusPoints to allow them to upgrade the flights they're already taking. United wants to use PlusPoints to fill seats that would otherwise go empty -- preferably on trips that you might not otherwise take.

The value a traveler gets from PlusPoints is likely very much tied to these expectations.
You're absolutely correct. UA wants you to fly to someplace that you didn't really plan to go to, but will because you can get the UG. I'm way past flying for flying's sake and give my dollars to whichever carrier gives me the best deal for cash, miles, or cash plus miles/UG instruments. My last international flight was on AA because I wasn't going to get the UG on UA, so I canceled and flew AA. I am pretty sure that I'll end this year having used almost no PPs (and I do try the buy O and waitlist for PZ trick, but it's not working for Japan at this time).
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Old Feb 16, 2023, 11:21 am
  #671  
 
Join Date: Feb 2023
Posts: 5
Originally Posted by denver19
Plus Points are worthless. It is complete "bait and switch". I have 1,000 PP in my account. I dutifully apply 10 or 20 to each flight, and then they get redeposited. I guess, it's shame on me for continuing to play along.

I become 1K every year between Denver and OGG. It's the only non stop. But with the increased threshold for 1K, and the reedickulos upgrade potential for either direction, I am done. Its mid Feb, and I have spent a total of $400 with United in 2023. My United Brand Chase credit cards are in a drawer and I am using an AMEX for those 40,000 points per month. It's been a good run; from time to time being 1K has been good but flying in coach on red eyes isn't appealing.

I'd rather shop around for a first class ticket, even if that means going through Phoenix or Seattle, or LA, than be loyal to any program. I am not loyal. It is a pure quid pro quo: I'll spend $$ with you, and you will upgrade me. Plus Points DO NOT upgrade me. So I am a free agent.
I was familiar with the RPUs (which were already hard to use) back when I was lucky enough to have status through work. Are PPs much harder to use than that? I have a flight tomorrow and was considering finding someone to purchase PP from because I need to check bags and figured it would be a win-win if I got an upgrade that allowed for that. But it sounds like an upgrade is particularly unlikely? Does it help if I have a short connector (ORD->CLE) and only need one leg to upgrade to get the free checked bags? Sorry for the questions but thank you if you can help
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Old Feb 16, 2023, 11:43 am
  #672  
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Originally Posted by nsacmercury
I have a flight tomorrow and was considering finding someone to purchase PP from because I need to check bags and figured it would be a win-win if I got an upgrade that allowed for that. But it sounds like an upgrade is particularly unlikely? \
Purchasing PP is against MP rules.....
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Old Feb 16, 2023, 11:44 am
  #673  
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Originally Posted by nsacmercury
I was familiar with the RPUs (which were already hard to use) back when I was lucky enough to have status through work. Are PPs much harder to use than that? I have a flight tomorrow and was considering finding someone to purchase PP from because I need to check bags and figured it would be a win-win if I got an upgrade that allowed for that. But it sounds like an upgrade is particularly unlikely? Does it help if I have a short connector (ORD->CLE) and only need one leg to upgrade to get the free checked bags? Sorry for the questions but thank you if you can help
Welcome to FlyerTalk!

Yes, you only need to upgrade one leg to get a free bag. However, the purchase of PlusPoints is very much not a win-win -- it's expressly disallowed by the rules of both UA and FT.

If PlusPoints would have been successful, you'll likely get an ORD-CLE upgrade price of $150 or less.
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Old Feb 16, 2023, 12:54 pm
  #674  
 
Join Date: Feb 2023
Posts: 5
Originally Posted by jsloan
Welcome to FlyerTalk!

Yes, you only need to upgrade one leg to get a free bag. However, the purchase of PlusPoints is very much not a win-win -- it's expressly disallowed by the rules of both UA and FT.

If PlusPoints would have been successful, you'll likely get an ORD-CLE upgrade price of $150 or less.
Thanks for all the great info! That's bad luck about not being able to purchase PPs because it sounds like an upgrade would be pretty likely for me if I was able to apply points to it ($99 pricetag). But I appreciate you letting me know about that restriction.
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Old Feb 16, 2023, 1:30 pm
  #675  
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Originally Posted by nsacmercury
Thanks for all the great info! That's bad luck about not being able to purchase PPs because it sounds like an upgrade would be pretty likely for me if I was able to apply points to it ($99 pricetag). But I appreciate you letting me know about that restriction.
You can get them gifted tho.
Express your gratitude in non-monetary ways.
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