United has made a few customer friendly changes over the past several days that are worth mentioning.
First of all, United is now offering Global Services members traveling BusinessFirst internationally (and business class on Premium Service) access to their seven Global First lounges. I’m surprised United didn’t have this feature earlier as a way to differentiate Global Services from 1K status. American, on the other hand, has long offered their Executive Platinum members access to their international first class lounges whenever traveling on an international ticket. If anything I’m kind of surprised by the restriction that Global Services members must be traveling BusinessFirst in order to access the Global First lounge. Either way, a great improvement.
The other two positive changes involve confirmed upgrades:
- 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.
So Global Premier Upgrades and Regional Premier Upgrades are now valid through the end of the program year after which they’re earned, which is awesome. It’s also quite generous of United to extend all confirmed upgrades earned this year for an entire year. Not sure why they’re doing that, but it sure is generous. Though in theory I suppose it could also mean upgrades will be even tougher to clear next year, as more people have confirmable upgrade instruments to burn.
Kudos to United for these changes!