Slow Demise of Global Services (Yes? No?) ....

Old Jul 12, 18, 1:15 pm
  #1  
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Slow Demise of Global Services (Yes? No?) ....

I've been GS for 5 years and the last 9 months I have seen the demise of the benefits and services.

Flying to ATL from DEN earlier this week and the gate agent calls my name prior to the commencement of boarding. Goto the counter and she asks me if I'm going to check in. With a confused look, I tell her I'm already checked in and show my boarding pass. She then hands me a paper boarding pass showing an economy seat - despite my 1st class purchase and checked in reservation. At nearly the same time, my phone refreshes and the seat assignment changes. Although I requested a GS agent to come to the gate to understand why I'm being bumped out of of my reserved seat, she places a call. The agent on the phone indicates that due to my change in my reservation earlier that day (for the return only) the whole reservation has been changed. Further, the change in the return, which was also a 1st class purchase, more than doubled the overall fare. Despite asking various questions - can we just change back to the original reservation, is another GS taking my seat, are there other GS' in the 1st class cabin, etc.; they would not honor my reservation and place me in coach.

The next day I receive a call from a GS supervisor, who explains, that "yeah, we screwed up and should have never bumped you out of the seat. We really appreciate your business". They also butchered my last name, adding letters that aren't even in there.

If this was an isolated I may somewhat understand, however this is the 4th time since November I've experienced a screw up.

Gate check my bag and I'm the last one standing on the jet way. I have to ask the ramp agent to get my bag that is still sitting beside the plane. The flight crew had already walked by and had no concerns. (I can kind of understand this - but with everything else.....)

Had a flight attendant argue with myself and two other GS' on a flight about the service we were supposed to receive.

Had a complete fiasco in Polaris service from Madrid to EWR; crew had no clue what was going on, service was wrong, reservations were changed which caused further problems. And of course the ongoing problems with the lounges at EWR......

Maybe my expectations are out of line, but the overall feel of GS has changed. Other than getting to board 1st and the special phone line (I get the same service from our travel agent) - there's nothing premium about the service. The only time I have seen a GS agent was in Philly and I was taken aback - I told her I thought they had stopped the pre-plane greeting a long time ago.
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Old Jul 12, 18, 1:22 pm
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Without trying to list all the GS benefits....(from a 1K perspective), there is a significant difference between 1K and GS. I think many of the 1Ks would die to be GS, for the pre-boarding, GPU/RPU usage, award tickets, etc.

I would argue that these are isolated incidents. 4 issues in 8 months? That's an average of 1 every 2 months? How many flights do you fly? Once a week at least? And they involve different parties/aspects of UA. Reservations/Gate agents, Flight attendant, Ramp Agents, EWR lounges (Polaris is open so....isn't that remedied?). I would chalk it up to as someone who travels so often you're able to see where things fail. And yes, according to you and your experiences, I would say UA has fallen short and 'failed' you in some aspect. But you're only able to see this because you travel so much and have other positive experiences to compare it to?
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Old Jul 12, 18, 1:23 pm
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Not commenting on broader issues, but the ATL-DEN fiasco sounds like a major screw-up that they didn't want to or have time to fix. I have had similar in which some system glitch with a reservation change caused my companion to be un-checked in, even though a boarding pass was issued. At the gate, I noticed they had just cleared someone into my companion's seat, and I immediately asked the gate agent what was going on. The agent said she was not checked in, but in the couple of minutes before boarding began, he was able to unwind the upgrade and restore my companion's ticket. They should have done better for you in your situation, or at the very least offered generous downgrade compensation.
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Old Jul 12, 18, 1:28 pm
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I wonder how many GS there are now versus 5 years ago. When everybody is special, nobody is special. I remember aspiring to become a 1K a decade ago. Itís feeling a lot more like Gold many times, especially TPAC.
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Old Jul 12, 18, 1:29 pm
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Sounds like a run of bad UA luck rather than any degradation to GS benefits.

Originally Posted by fosbibr View Post
Maybe my expectations are out of line, but the overall feel of GS has changed. Other than getting to board 1st and the special phone line (I get the same service from our travel agent) - there's nothing premium about the service.
Let's trade status for a week or two . . . I suspect you'll change your mind on this one.
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Old Jul 12, 18, 1:52 pm
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I'm on my fourth year of GS and while I've noticed an increase in the ranks, the service has remained very good and the benefits -- notably expedited security at hubs (saving hours of my life over the course of a year), expanded award/upgrades on awards, and gate-to-gate transfers -- remain totally unparalleled with anything else in the US.
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Old Jul 12, 18, 2:01 pm
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Originally Posted by aCavalierInCoach View Post
I'm on my fourth year of GS and while I've noticed an increase in the ranks, the service has remained very good and the benefits -- notably expedited security at hubs (saving hours of my life over the course of a year), expanded award/upgrades on awards, and gate-to-gate transfers -- remain totally unparalleled with anything else in the US.
Not to pick on the OP, but this thread heading is 2nd to the "horrific customer service" thread heading in hyperbole. I agree completely with Kacee that anyone NOT a GS would trade places with OP in a heartbeat. I go to bed and cry into my pillow that I'll lose GS next year due to my retirement (THAT was intentional hyperbole ). Seriously, a few hiccups over 8 months of travel for the typical GS does not feel like the "Demise of Global Service" to me.
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Old Jul 12, 18, 2:04 pm
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I can't add anything to GS but 5 years at 1k and every year I feel the urge that I could do without...just somehow happens i meet the mark the last week of december all the time

Not to give GS an ego trip or put them on a pedestal, but if you are GS - aren't you super rich and can afford business seats all the time? hahaha
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Old Jul 12, 18, 2:32 pm
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Originally Posted by critten View Post
I can't add anything to GS but 5 years at 1k and every year I feel the urge that I could do without...just somehow happens i meet the mark the last week of december all the time

Not to give GS an ego trip or put them on a pedestal, but if you are GS - aren't you super rich and can afford business seats all the time? hahaha
LOL. Or they fly on Other People's Money.
But it doesn't help when you pay for business, and then are downgraded to Economy due to 'hiccups'.
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Old Jul 12, 18, 3:07 pm
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Not sure what OP's beef is.

UA made a mistake, it admitted that it made a mistake. The mistake could have been made for a first-time flyer or someone with a $100K cash spend.

OP has only been GS for 5 years, so he doesn't really know what it was like back before GS was a published status. In those days, a supervisor would have found the empty F seat, written a paper BP, walked the passenger onboard and explained the issue to the FA.
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Old Jul 12, 18, 3:37 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
....
OP has only been GS for 5 years, so he doesn't really know what it was like back before GS was a published status....
Well it's changed just in the last five years.

* In the last year, I've had GS agents try to rebook me in Economy when I missconnected on Business fares 3 times now. That never happened 4 years ago.

* Also, twice in the last year, I've had mis-connects where nobody met me (in one case, the station had explicitly promised to meet me in advance, but never showed). That never happened 4 years ago.

* More and more the GS agents (both on the phone and in the airport) are clueless about the rules. For example, on my last missconnect the GS agent cheerfully told me that they would give me a hotel voucher since it was a MX problem (and that they wouldn't if it were weather related).

I wonder if they haven't started to circulate all senior agents as GS staff. I just saw one distinguishable (and highly competent) SFO GS agent dressed (and working) as an ordinary gate agent. And I have seen some recent gate agents wandering around with GS scarves. I suspect United is doing the same thing with the airport GS staff that they've done with the phone lines. There probably are no more real GS agents, just agents that are temporarily operating in that capacity.
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Old Jul 12, 18, 3:56 pm
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Originally Posted by critten View Post

Not to give GS an ego trip or put them on a pedestal, but if you are GS - aren't you super rich and can afford business seats all the time? hahaha
Or it's one of the many free GS coupons that are given to companies for large corporate contracts. I always wonder why these are given to C-suite folks (at least at my old company), who probably could earn the status on their own anyway, rather than to the guys flying 150,000 miles/yr in coach.
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Old Jul 12, 18, 4:12 pm
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Originally Posted by JBord View Post
Or it's one of the many free GS coupons that are given to companies for large corporate contracts. I always wonder why these are given to C-suite folks (at least at my old company), who probably could earn the status on their own anyway, rather than to the guys flying 150,000 miles/yr in coach.
Same reason the uber-wealthy get the tax breaks?
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Old Jul 12, 18, 4:26 pm
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I was a GS many years ago, demoted to the hinterlands of 1K, and now back to GS. Having experienced both, I would say that a GS gets better treatment than a 1K. However, GS Today get shabbier treatment than GS of yesterday -- or maybe I have fonder memories of being pampered back then.

I don't want to be fawned over but I don't like being totally ignored either.
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Old Jul 12, 18, 4:41 pm
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This is my first year as GS and as with everything I get spotty recognition and treatment. Sometimes it is really fantastic from agents meeting planeside on a misconnect with several next flight options and vouchers- to proactive texts during delays on rebookings. Then all the way down to ignoring of 1st meal choice, generally ignoring me and my wife a few weeks ago, to botched boarding procedures.

Donít get me wrong - It is still better than my life as a 1k - I just wish it was more consistent.
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