United Airlines used to have a reasonably customer-friendly expiry policy for the upgrade instruments earned by their top elite members: they were valid through the end of the year after they were earned. As part of the merger with Continental that policy changed to a slightly less friendly one year validity. As of tonight the policy has changed again to be even more friendly than the old one. Upgrades are now valid through the end of the following elite program year, meaning January 31. Here’s the announcement:
- Newly-earned GPUs and RPUs will be valid longer. Starting later this month, when newly earned GPUs and RPUs are deposited into your account, they will be valid through the end of the following Premier program year instead of just one year from the date of issue. So, for example, all GPUs and RPUs earned in 2012 will be valid through January 31, 2014; those earned in 2013 will be valid through January 31, 2015 and so on.
- Unused GPUs and RPUs earned in 2012 will also be extended. For those of you who currently have GPUs or RPUs in your account that were earned based on 2012 travel, these will also automatically be extended and will be valid through the end of the next Premier program year (January 31, 2014). This includes GPUs and RPUs that are waitlisted or redeposited. Upon redeposit, the extended validity date will be reflected.
These validity changes will take effect by the end of this month, and in the meantime, no action will be required on your part.
We know GPUs and RPUs are an important benefit and we hope this change will provide more flexibility in using your GPUs and RPUs. As always, thanks for the feedback and please let us know what questions you may have.
The one year rule didn’t really affect me too much personally but there were many who felt it was really, really bad. Hopefully this change will soften the pain a bit.