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If you are a Platinum or 1K elite traveler on United you will earn a number of Regional and Global Premier Upgrades that you can apply to paid travel to confirm upgrade space on domestic or international flights. Many of the upgrades earned throughout the year have a January 31st expiration date. Unless you can get that extended by United (have heard reports of 1Ks that requalified getting their GPUs extended to April), they will go poof if they aren’t used before February 1st.
This means not only do they have to be applied to a reservation by January 31st, but the flight they are attached to has to actually happen by that date. That means if you have some GPUs or RPUs sitting around that are about to expire, that you can use them to help a friend (or stranger) have a more comfortable flight some time in the next two days. If you have a paid and eligible United flight in the next couple of days that has R space available, that also means that maybe you will fall into a pile of luck and be gifted someone’s upgrade. If you are booked on an international space that requires a GPU, you must be booked in a fare class of W or higher, but if you are on a flight that only requires a regional upgrade, your fare class doesn’t matter. These are flights like domestic trips within the US, trips from the mainland to Hawaii, trips from the US to Caribbean, etc.
Learn to check to see if there is R space by reading this post. Note that it is against the rules to sell things like upgrades, so please don’t do that here. However, if you want to try and give amazing travel karma to a stranger by sharing an expiring upgrade, then feel free to post here. I have seen multiple similar posts of folks sharing upgrades on places like Milepoint today (here is one example and here is another and here is another, and another and yet another). So, if you are in need of an upgrade on a paid United flight that has R space and departs by February 1st, then it can’t hurt to nicely ask. Just be ready to send some good karma back into the world in exchange.
Being that I travel with a family and go through things quickly, I am fresh out of upgrades, otherwise I would happily share. I do, however, have two United Club passes that expire on March 31, 2014 that were given to me by a reader that I will happily share to the first person that asks in the comment log.