This post is an important one for all of you United 1K and GS members who use or will use GPUs on Lufthansa!!!!!
Beginning on or about September 3, United will allow for the processing of GPUs electronically via their website. This was supposed to take effect August 1 but tech issues delayed the roll out.
How GPUs process will be DRAMATICALLY different from the current process. Currently, you would need to request a paper certificate that would be issued and mailed to you by United. You then present it to the LH check-in or gate agent and hope that they clear it for you on the day of your departure.
NOW FOR THE MAJOR CHANGE:
Effective September 3 (or thereabout), GPU based upgrades need to be requested electronically, and you will know if you clear within 90 seconds of submitting the request. If you are declined, you can request the upgrade again later, either the same day or the next day, etc. THERE WILL BE NO WAIT-LISTING. If you do not clear, you need to resubmit again, until the upgrade clears.
HERE IS THE KEY PIECE:
IF YOUR UPGRADE REQUEST DOES NOT CLEAR PRIOR TO 10 HOURS AHEAD OF YOUR DEPARTURE, YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO USE THE GPU TO UPGRADE FOR THE FLIGHT.
In other words, you will not be able to upgrade within 10 hours of your flight, which means no clearing potential at the gate. You will know if you cleared 10 hours before your flight, and have 0 chance to clear after that point.
If you have multiple segments that are GPU eligible on LH, you will have to do this for each segment individually and the 10 hour rule applies to each segment, not the start time of your itinerary.
This will apply to tickets booked either through United.com or Lufthansa.com.
It is recommended by United that if your travels are not happening in the next 2-4 weeks, to wait and process your GPU electronically instead of requesting a paper certificate.
This information came from a very friendly and knowledgable United Supervisor who answered my call at the United Star Alliance Award Desk this evening.
UNITED Mileage Plus members will be receiving an email detailing this new program on September 1 or 2.