Use or Share Your Expiring Elite Travel Goodies

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In a post I wrote yesterday, I mentioned how a friend of mine helped get my 87 year old great-aunt and her son upgraded on a United flight they are taking this week.  This was made possible, in large part, by an expiring regional upgrade that my friend had with United.  The upgrade this friend earned due to having elite status would expire on January 31st if it wasn’t used by then.  Lots of elite status goodies expire around this time of year, and you will lose them if you don’t use them, so the purpose of this post is to spur you into action.

Of course, since you earned the upgrades, you should do your very best to use them for yourself or your family members.  However, if it is clear that won’t happen by the expiration date, then I strongly encourage you to share them with someone else.   It is infinitely better than letting them go to waste, and you can really make someone’s trip better.  Whether you share with your cousin, your co-worker, your Facebook friend, an 87 year old woman moving across the country, a member of the military, or a random business traveler looking for a more comfortable flight home, just don’t let what you earned go to waste.  I’m a true believer in “travel karma”, so do good for others, and maybe it will all circle back eventually.

As a point of reference, United global and regional upgrades often have a 1/31 expiration date, American Airlines SWUs often have a 2/28 expiration date, and Hyatt Diamond Confirmed Suite upgrades also have a 2/28 expiration date (though you can apply them to future reservations).  Those are just a few examples, but I say it to get you thinking about how you can use or share your elite goodies before they go “poof” into the night.

If you have something you want to share with another Mommy Points reader, feel free to mention it in the comment section below.  I’m not very reliable at brokering shares between people myself, but I can re-tweet a tweet you send me @Mommy_Points if you have something to share.  Just be warned, you may get lots of takers!   Also note that it can be worth a call to see if you can get your upgrade instrument extended passed the expiration date.  For example, I know that United has extended the expiration date on some Global Premier Upgrades for those who have re-qualified for 1K status for 2014.

Enjoy what you have earned, or at least make sure that someone else enjoys it!



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  1. I have 2 suite upgrades that I received by signing up for the Hyatt credit card last year. Do you know if the stay needs to be completed by the expiration date or if you can book now for a future stay (similar to the Diamond upgrades that you described)? Thanks!

  2. Mark, very nice!
    Trevor, I’ve never used the credit card ones, but assuming they work just like the normal Diamond ones they just have to be booked by the expiration date…however if you cancel the stay they are attached to after the expiration date they will disappear.

  3. I have three United global premier upgrades expiring 1/13/14. If you have any travel on United before then, I’m happy to pass them along.

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