United Airlines is changing the way their Global Premier Upgrades (GPUs, née SWUs) are redeemed for flights on Lufthansa metal and, not surprisingly, the results are bad news. In posts online last night United offered up these details of the new requirements:
Starting March 1, when you request a GPU certificate for use on Lufthansa, we’ll ask you to provide some additional information:
- First and last name of the traveler who will be presenting the certificate to Lufthansa
- Departure and arrival city/airport of the flight segment to be upgraded (reminder: GPUs are used on a per-segment basis on LH)
- Flight number and flight date
- Confirmation number of itinerary associated with segment to be upgraded (this can be the Lufthansa confirmation number or the confirmation number of another airline/travel agency you used to book your ticket)
If day of travel changes the certificate should remain valid; if the route or passenger name changes the certificate usage will be at the discretion of the Lufthansa agents. In other words, good luck. Oh, and this is on top of the change a while back to reduce the eligible fare classes eligible for upgrade.
Yeah, the reasoning for this is pretty clear: they’re trying to cut down on resale and bartering of the certs. But it is still terribly annoying for the customers who use them legitimately. It wouldn’t be quite so bad if there wasn’t a multiple week turnaround at the request and redeposit cycle when they don’t clear. But there is.
So, yeah, another change to the MileagePlus program. And not a good one.