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Inside United’s Secret Invite-Only Club

Most airlines have a “secret” loyalty tier to reward their highest-value customers, and United MileagePlus is no exception. We dug through the stories on the FlyerTalk forum to give you the inside scoop on United Global Services status – and what flyers in this invite-only tier get for their loyalty.

Most MileagePlus members know about the four tiers of loyalty: Premier Silver, Premier Gold, Premier Platinum, and Premier 1K. However, not everyone knows about the tier that comes after Premier 1K: United Global Services. It’s a secret, invite-only status available to high-value flyers.

What are the benefits of United Global Services? How do you qualify? Just how much do you have to fly? We checked with the world’s largest community of frequent fliers–the FlyerTalk forums–to find out everything about United Global Services Status including what it’s like once you’re a member.

How to Qualify for United Global Services in 2020?

In a word? Spend. How much? As United Global Services is a secret invite-only tier, there are no official guidelines. But, the frequent fliers on FlyerTalk have given us a few clues in the Global Services 2020 Notifications forum.

One thing we do know is that the amount of flying and spending you have to do differs from person to person and from year to year. But, if we had to ballpark we’d say $54,000 with plenty of caveats.

One FlyerTalker was invited to join Global Services in 2019 after spending $70,000 with United; In 2018, they spent just over $54,000 when they got their invitation. Another was invited in 2019 after earning over 237,000 PQMs (Premier Qualifying Miles) and spending over $54,000 on airfare (it can’t hurt to note that their cumulative spending over the past three years has topped $100,000).

Most secret-tier flyers are spending over $50,000 with the airline every year, with the majority of their flying aboard United aircraft.


Global Services United Mercedes Benz Transfer

All the Benefits of United Global Services

United goes above and beyond for its Global Services members. The best place to read first-hand accounts of what it’s like is the Global Services Benefits, Questions & Experiences Wiki.

Manufactured Award Availability: For starters, Global Services members get the first shot at award availability – even if it doesn’t exist on the United Airlines website. For United-operated flights, booking agents can create economy-class Saver award space if T-class tickets are available, or create business-class Saver awards if PZ-class tickets are on the flight. Don’t expect to get tickets for everyone in your circle though: created award space is limited to the Global Services member and one guest.

Mercedes-Benz Transfers: When it comes to making connections at the airport, Global Services members can get between flights in style. At certain airports, elite flyers with tight connections can get an escort to their next flight from a waiting Mercedes-Benz car. Unfortunately, this service can’t be requested in advance: United will select flyers for the service based on turnaround time.

Dibs on Complementary Upgrades: United Global Services flyers get the first chance to upgrade to the next best cabin starting 120 hours from their flight, 24 hours before Premier 1K passengers. Global Services members also have additional benefits for themselves and one companion when it comes to spending United PlusPoints for regional and global upgrades. Finally, Global Services flyers get the highest priority at the airport – including re-accommodation and sold-out flight availability.

Want to know everything about MileagePlus and how Global Services benefits may be worth spending more aboard United? Be sure to read the FlyerTalk United MileagePlus Wiki to understand all the pros and cons of the airline loyalty program.


Is There a Dedicated United Global Services Website?

Among all the benefits of United Global Services status, there isn’t necessarily a dedicated website for secret-tier elites. However, Global Services members can log into their account at United.com and see all the benefits available to them online.

In addition to seeing all the benefits, Global Services members can use the website to get first access to the best award space options. They also (reportedly) have access to a dedicated e-mail address that gives them access to online support in a matter of hours instead of days.

Is There a Dedicated United Global Services Phone Number?

Much like the other United MileagePlus Premier status tiers, United Global Services members also have their own dedicated phone number. On the other side is a set of agents dedicated to helping Global Services customers only. And, you can speak to them directly. You don’t have to go through a confusing phone tree or press dozens of options.

Can I Get Special United Global Services Lounge Access?

Outside of the first access to award points, possibly the best benefit of being a Global Services member is the airport experience. At United’s major hubs and select airports, Global Services flyers don’t check-in at a desk but in a special reception area. From there, they are escorted to a dedicated TSA security lane for processing.

Lounge Access: When flying international, United Global Services members can access the United Club prior to departure, as well as other Star Alliance member lounges available to them. When flying internationally in the premium United Polaris cabin, Global Services members can also access the United Polaris lounge at select American airports, or VIP lounges at Tokyo Narita Airport (NRT), London Heathrow Airport (LHR) or Hong Kong International Airport (HKG).

Arrival Benefits: On arrival to select airports, Global Services flyers can also receive some arrival benefits as well. When flying to London Heathrow Airport’s Terminal 2 on a United flight, Global Services flyers can visit the Star Alliance Arrivals Lounge. And when traveling aboard United to Frankfurt Airport (FRA) or Zurich Airport (ZRH), they are welcome to visit the Lufthansa or Swiss Arrivals lounge to refresh after deplaning. Guests are not permitted in these arrival lounges: It’s an exclusive benefit for Global Services flyers only, who must present their boarding pass or Global Services card for entry.

While $50,000 is a lot to spend on airfare, the benefits of becoming a secret-tier flyer are worth it. If you’re doing most of your flying aboard United, consolidating to make it to Global Services could absolutely be worth your time and money.

milepig January 24, 2020

Well. There is a secret level. It’s above GS, but I can’t talk about it. Sash.

jjmoore January 23, 2020

@Jackie_414 ..... agreed. 1K is harder to attain (must spend $18,000 in base fare now), and rewards those loyal flyers less than ever (my upgrade % as a 1K a couple years ago on one of the years I didn't qualify for GS dropped to 20% on CPU routes when I used to clear 75% of the time 10 years ago).

Jackie_414 January 22, 2020

jjmoore, I agree that GS is far superior to 1K. But that is due to the fact that, over the past 15 years now, United has consistently downgraded what it means to be a 1K.

Dov Isaacs January 16, 2020

What wasn't mentioned in this article is that a very large number of GS members have that status for reasons other than their personal spend on United Airlines. It is exceptionally common for United to grant large corporate customers for which United is the “preferred carrier” (with special corporate travel rates) a specific number of GS memberships for their executives, regardless of how much said executives actually fly on United. Since there are so many of these special GS memberships and United wishes to preserve the exclusivity of GS, it is necessary for United to limit the number of GS memberships. They do this by raising the bar each year on annual “United spend.” Ten years ago, $30K spend easily got you GS status, at least in the SF Bay area; it is now upwards of $50K annual spend. And United is doing the same thing with the “non-secret” 1K program. 4 or 5 long haul international round trips could easily get you 1K status because it was based on PQMs (qualifying miles) that often were either 1.5X or 2X the actual miles if you flew business class. Not anymore! For 2021, it is strictly “show us the money.” 1K status for 2021 requires $24K spend on United travel in 2020!

jjmoore January 16, 2020

As a 4-year GS, I can attest that the best perks of the status are: Next flight guarantee in case of cancellation or missed connection, conversion of T to XN for award inventory, ability to upgrade award tickets, 85% upgrade rate on complimentary upgrade routes, and the flat out fantastic agents dedicated to making my travel experience a smooth one. GS is far superior to 1K.