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Casual flyers are well acquainted with the standard single-character Roman alphabet — A, B, C and so on. United loyalists, on the other hand, are almost as familiar with obscure pairings — XN (elite and credit cardholder saver awards), IN (elite business saver awards) and PN (instant and Global Services upgrades). As of Monday, those road warriors now have yet another combo to commit to memory: PZ.

So what the heck is PZ? It’s the new “R” class — that is, the fare class assigned to confirmed upgrades for general members and United elites (up to Premier 1K). I logged into my existing booking for United’s new 787-10 Dreamliner, and saw that it’s already been moved from R to PZ:

Another booking I have on the same aircraft had PN availability, for Global Services, but no R space, for this lowly Premier 1K. I asked a friend to upgrade me, and that flight is still showing PN — United hasn’t made any changes to that particular fare class.

So what does it all mean for you? Well, nothing’s changed if you have an upgrade that’s already confirmed — other than the assigned fare class, that is. Upgraded flights have already been moved from R inventory to PZ, and there’s nothing you need to do to ensure you still travel in business or first.

If you’re still waiting for an upgrade to clear, ensure that PZ is now appearing on the waitlisted segment, rather than R. If you still see R, you might want to give United reservations a ring at 1 (800) 864-8331 just to make sure you’re good to go. Meanwhile, if you’re using Expert Mode to search for flights that’ll clear into a premium cabin right away, PZ is the fare class you’re after now.

United has confirmed that inventory has not been adjusted, so you should be seeing just as much (or little) availability as before. This change simply reflects a fare-class shuffle following the end of international first class, now that the airline’s 3-cabin 777-200s are undergoing a retrofit, and losing Polaris first in the process.

American Express® Gold Card

With some great bonus categories, the American Express Gold Card has a lot going for it. The card offers 4x points at US restaurants, at US supermarkets (up to $25,000; then 1x), and 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines or through amextravel.com. It is currently offering a welcome bonus of 35,000 bonus points after you spend $2,000 in the first three months.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $2,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. restaurants. Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with The Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Shake Shack, and Ruth's Chris Steak House. This is an annual savings of up to $120. Enrollment required.
  • $100 Airline Fee Credit: up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year for incidental fees at one selected qualifying airline.
  • Choose to carry a balance with interest on eligible charges of $100 or more.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
See Rates & Fees
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

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