United Airlines’ New PlusPoints Upgrade System – One Mile at a Time
United Airlines has just announced a significant adjustment to how their upgrades work for Premier Platinum and Premier 1K members. On the surface these sound like incredibly positive changes, but is there a catch? How United Airlines Upgrades Currently Work Currently all United MileagePlus elite members receive complimentary upgrades on most domestic and select international…
United Airlines has just announced a significant adjustment to how their upgrades work for Premier Platinum and Premier 1K members. On the surface these sound like incredibly positive changes, but is there a catch? How United Airlines Upgrades Currently Work Currently all United MileagePlus elite members receive complimentary upgrades on most domestic and select international flights. These are subject to availability at the upgrade window, which is at most several days before departure. On top of that, those with Platinum Premier and Premier 1K status (which requires 75,000 and 100,000 elite qualifying miles, respectively) receive further confirmed upgrades: Premier Platinum members receive two Regional Premier Upgrades per year Premier 1K members receive an additional six Global Premier Upgrades and two Regional Premier Upgrades per year These upgrades can be confirmed at the time of booking pending upgrade availability, which can be tough to come by. It’s these Regional Premier Upgrades and Global Premier Upgrades that are being adjusted with United’s changes.
What Are United Airlines PlusPoints? Today United Airlines has announced that as of December 4, 2019, they’ll replace Global Premier Upgrades and Regional Premier Upgrades with PlusPoints. PlusPoints is a new system that’s intended to give members a lot more flexibility, and on the surface it’s actually incredibly positive. Rather than giving Platinum Premier and Premier 1K members a certain number of Global Premier Upgrades and Regional Premier Upgrades, United is instead giving members the flexibility to choose the rewards they value most. Members will receive a certain number of PlusPoints, and they can redeem them however they want. United’s VP of Loyalty and President of MileagePlus, Luc Bondar, had the following to say: “We’re making it even easier for our Premier members to use upgrades when and how they want. The new PlusPoints program increases the overall number of upgrade opportunities for top tier Premier members, expands the fare classes where they can be used, and lets members request upgrades on multiple flights all at once.
We already make it easy for members to manage all of their upgrades online, and the move to PlusPoints is yet another way we are making MileagePlus the best loyalty program in the industry.” How Do You Earn United Airlines PlusPoints? With United Airlines’ new PlusPoints system: MileagePlus Platinum members will receive 40 PlusPoints MileagePlus 1K members will receive an additional 280 PlusPoints (for a total of 320) For any existing confirmed upgrade instruments, on December 4, 2019: Each Regional Premier Upgrade will be converted into 20 PlusPoints Each Global Premier Upgrade will be converted into 40 PlusPoints Members can choose whether they value domestic or international upgrades more The expiration policy for PlusPoints will mirror that of GPUs and RPUs. They’ll still expire in January one full year after they’re earned. How Do You Redeem United Airlines PlusPoints? With the way PlusPoints upgrades work, no one should be losing out here, at least with how things are currently set up: Flights that were previously upgradeable with Regional Premier Upgrades will require