Readers and friends, I have 220 PlusPoints good for United Airlines flights in the next two days. If you want your trip upgraded, let’s make it happen.
Let’s Get You Upgraded
Fair readers, I would hate to waste PlusPoint upgrades and would rather treat someone else instead than let them die on the vine. If you are flying today or tomorrow and have confirmed upgrade space on your flight, I have 220 PlusPoints that expire July 31st at midnight with your name(s) on them.
Here are the only criteria:
- Flying United before or on July 31st, 2023.
- Confirmed upgrade space preferred (but not required.)
- International confirmed upgrade space (or US-transcontinental) moves to the top of the list because of the value it delivers.
- First come, first served
If you have a domestic flight, you should still reach out (or international waitlist only) because depending on who emails me, you may still be on the list. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Everyone flying who wants an upgrade should let me know, and I will delete my email address from this once they are assigned. There’s no cost, no obligation, I simply want to see them go to someone who can use them.
What Are United PlusPoints?
United PlusPoints are a flexible points currency applied to elite status holders within Mileage Plus member accounts. The lowest two levels don’t earn any PlusPoints, Premier Silver, Premier Gold; Premier Platinum status and 1K holders do. Here are the terms:
Once you reach Premier Platinum or Premier 1K, you’ll immediately receive PlusPoints based on your status: 40 PlusPoints when you reach Premier Platinum and 280 more when you reach Premier 1K.
You can earn even more PlusPoints after you reach Premier 1K status. For every 3,000 Premier qualifying points (PQP) you get beyond 18,000, you’ll earn 20 more PlusPoints.*
*Any PQP you got for using your United MileagePlus credit card doesn’t count toward earning more PlusPoints, unless you have the United Presidential PlusSM card or the United Presidential Plus business card.” United Airlines
For some partner airlines, PlusPoints can be applied to economy tickets, premium economy tickets, and business class fares. I have found the most value in the past by booking Premium Economy tickets and then using just 20 to upgrade to business class (though the latest chart shows 30 points are required.) Here’s the redemption breakdown:
Why Can’t I Use Them?
In the past, I was a proud United MileagePlus Premier 1K member from flying and earning the required Premier-Qualifying points. Earning elite status with United has been easier in the last couple of years due to status carry-overs during COVID and then premier-qualifying points (PQP) headstarts (deposited in a member’s account at the start of the year) and reduced requirements for premier-qualifying flights (PQF.)
Despite that, I wasn’t able to retain or earn Platinum or Premier 1K status – both are now eligible to earn and use Plus Points. In fact, I only earned Premier Silver; Premier Gold was out of reach last year.
I have one United flight in early August and thanks to a generous friend, I was able to use his PlusPoints to upgrade my one-way domestic segment… on waitlist. United declined to extend just 20 points for this particular flight.
I would have applied them to my business partner and his family’s flights home from Europe on July 30th, however, they were waitlist only and they chose another carrier that had a cheaper business class option than United’s coach + my PlusPoints only to risk the waitlist anyway.
Benefits and Drawbacks of United Upgrades “Waitlist”
Without dedicating an entire post to the topic, I will say that United’s waitlist functionality has benefits and drawbacks but I personally loathe the system. The benefit is that near every flight is technically possible to upgrade on PlusPoints but as such it’s harder to find flights that have confirmed upgrades available. I’ll add that in my experience, fewer confirmed upgrades are offered than at competitor airlines which do not offer the waitlist system.
Much like United’s now retired fare class requirements for upgrading flights in which one attempting to apply a Systemwide Upgrade had to buy at least a “W” fare just to be eligible, it seems to me that the entire system feels like a it’s a false sense of hope that makes travelers pay for higher fare classes than they normally would to get an upgrade. It’s true that you can now upgrade from any class and skip the waitlist for 80 points each way – however, these still aren’t universally available. In fact, they are rather limited, so the promise of making all fares and flights upgradable is quickly dashed by the reality that few “skips” are ever released. If a Skip was available, one would have to spend 57% of their points for the year for a single roundtrip, something that family travelers are unlikely to do.
I failed to re-qualify for either Platinum or 1K status last year and as such, my United PlusPoints expire at the end of July, 2023. If a reader has a flight in the next two days and can utilize them, I would be happy to apply them to their reservation so someone can get use out of them rather than going to waste. If that’s you, I look forward to your email.
What do you think?