United’s Extending Expiring 1K and Global Services Upgrades Through April 2018

Nov 2, 2017

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While I never have any issue using up my United Premier 1K upgrade certificates before they expire each January 31 — partially because I’m able to redeem them for reviews and TPG team travel — I often hear from many United elites who unfortunately aren’t able to take advantage before the expiration date hits.

If you’re anticipating having leftover elite perks and other expiring benefits, I encourage you to share them with friends, family members and fellow TPG readers. Or, in the case of United’s Global Premier Upgrades, there’s another option to consider as well.

As the airline’s done in past years, United’s allowing elite members to extend up to two Global Premier Upgrades (GPUs) before they expire on January 31, 2018. Once extended, they’ll be valid through April 30, 2018, as you can see reflected in my account below.

Screen Shot 2017-11-01 at 9.49.34 AM

There are a few restrictions and requirements to keep in mind:

  • You must have already requalified for Premier 1K or Global Services status for the 2018 program year.
  • You must call the MileagePlus Service Center at 800-421-4655 to request the extension.
  • You can extend a maximum of two GPUs — regional certificates may not be extended.

While United has offered a similar extension in recent years, it’s never a guarantee — I don’t go into the year expecting to be able to extend my GPU expiration, but in this case I did have two left over that I’m now able to use to join a friend on a trip to Taiwan this coming winter.

I'm using my extended upgrades to fly Polaris to Taiwan.
I’m using my extended upgrades to fly Polaris to Taiwan.

After a 10-minute call to United to get my upgrades extended, I was able to confirm business class at booking, with a round-trip on the airline’s new 777-300ER no less. Had it not been for UA’s generosity, I would have needed to use upgrades that aren’t set to expire until 2019 — and I’m certain I’ll be able to put those to use on another flight.

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