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Consolidated Global Services Thread: Benefits, Questions, Experiences [2019]

Consolidated Global Services Thread: Benefits, Questions, Experiences [2019]

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Old Apr 3, 19, 2:27 am   -   Wikipost
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United Global Services ("GS") is the highest tier of MileagePlus elite status. It is by invitation only, reviewed annually -- the invite criteria is not public but seems to require substantial annual spending with UA both in terms of absolute dollar amounts and purchasing higher fare classes (higher cpm - cents per mile). There are also reports of GS status being comped by UA Marketing to VIPs in companies who sign corporate travel deals with UA, and also to those individuals that purchase an annual PassPlus enrollment of $50k or greater. The sole published way to qualify is to become a 4MM, having flown 4 million BIS miles on UA metal (plus additional grandfathered credits at the time of the UA/CO merger).

GS have enhanced services / benefits over 1Ks. There is little said publicly by UA on GS benefits and/or qualification.

Last years' thread, Consolidated Global Services Thread - Qualifications, Benefits and Q & A [2018]
Thread on 2019 Global Services Notifications
Thread on 2019 Qualifying Discussion

Known facts concerning qualification and eligibility from United:
Global Services recognizes the extraordinary dedication of our top flyers. We consider a number of factors beyond the usual Premier-qualifying criteria.
We look at your travel spend on United-operated flights relative to that of other top Premier flyers over recent consecutive years.
Usually, members invited to Global Services tend to consistently purchase premium cabins or fully refundable tickets.


Published Benefits
Full detail of published benefits can be found at https://mystatus.united.com/gs [MP credentials login required, existing GS only]
Shortlist (incremental/different to 1K):
  • Dedicated phone number, ​usually answered on the first ring, and generally by specially-trained GS agents. Some exceptions occur, especially during busy periods (such as when weather waivers are in effect)
  • Dedicated email address for MileagePlus and other inquiries, usually answered personally within hours
  • Dedicated check-in at main airport stations, including private Global Reception centers at major hubs, providing priority TSA security access. May bring guests/companions into Global Reception areas or dedicated GS checkin lanes who are traveling on same itinerary as GS member.
  • Instrument-supported upgrades (GPU/RPU) clear into PN class rather than PZ class for other elite tiers, which usually have much better availability. Instruments drawn from the GS member account and applied to other reservations will also clear into PN class.
  • Complimentary Premier Upgrades (CPUs) cleared beginning 120 hours prior to flight departure (versus 96 hours for 1K) for GS member and up to one other traveling on same PNR
  • Highest-priority when waitlisted for Upgrades, Award Travel, and Sold-out Flight Availability. GS members clear before any other status level or full-fare customers.
  • Priority Boarding, among the first to board the aircraft (currently after unaccompanied minors, people with disabilities and/or need more time boarding, Active-Duty Military, and now prior to families with children under age of 2)
  • Priority handling in event of IRROPS, including next flight guarantee in case of re-accommodation, overseen by dedicated team of location-based GS Customer Service Agents (identified via gold scarves/ties)
  • Mercedes-Benz Tarmac Transfer for tight connections between flights at major hubs (cannot be requested in advance)
  • Access to United Arrivals Lounge at SFO when arriving from international flight, regardless of cabin class (no guests permitted)
  • Access to Arrivals Lounge at LHR T2 when arriving from inbound UA-operated intercontinental flight, regardless of cabin (no guests permitted, must present Boarding Pass or physical GS card)
  • Access to Lufthansa / Swiss Welcome (arrival) Lounges in FRA and ZRH for same-day inbound UA intercontinental flight, regardless of cabin (no guests permitted, must present physical GS card)
Additional Known Award and Upgrade Benefits (many unpublished)

All benefits noted below require calling a GS agent:
  • GS can create saver economy award space (XN) if T inventory is available. United-operated flights only. Update 12 Dec 2018: Only for GS member + 1 companion.
  • GS can create saver business award space (IN) if PZ inventory is available. United-operated flights only. Update 12 Dec 2018: Only for GS member + 1 companion.
  • GS can upgrade economy awards (XN or YN) into Business / First with a GPU if PN inventory is available, provided both instrument and miles drawn from GS member account. United-operated flights only.
  • GS can confirm any waitlisted instrument-supported upgrade within T-72 hours to flight departure provided at least 2 (two) J class premium seats remain for sale after the upgrade is processed and they are at the top of the waitlist.
  • GS are entitled to one Saver Award seat in the same class of service with their purchase of any premium cabin fare. GS agents can open space if it is not available provided that at least 2 seats remain for sale afterwards. United-operated flights only.
  • GS can upgrade a companion with an instrument (GPU/RPU) from Economy to Business / First when flying on a paid premium cabin fare, even if PZ or PN is not available, as long as J > 2 after upgrade processed. Companion needs to be ticketed in W class or higher on international cash fare itineraries, or ticketed in X/XN for upgrades from award tickets. GS can also open economy award space for the companion to allow for the upgrade with instrument, even if XN or T are unavailable.
  • (Note: Only ONE of the two above options can be exercised per premium fare purchased.)
  • GS can buy up from Basic Economy fares, which is usually forbidden
  • GS can access VIP Lounges (former Global First Lounges) in NRT, LHR, and HKG when booked in Polaris Business on an international itinerary. One guest permitted (two guests if a United Club member). Not accessed if booked in United Economy.
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Old Mar 18, 19, 8:47 am
  #406  
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Programs: UA GS
Posts: 5
This same situation is currently happening to me...but no resolution.

Originally Posted by 1015-1k View Post
I had an interesting glimpse into some unprofessional chit chat by GS agents today, which has me wondering about how they may view a hierarchy within the GS customer ranks.

I had a reserved F seat in an old configuration 777 for weeks. The cabin wasn't booked full with two spare seats, and then they swapped for a new Polaris config 777 and I kept my preferred seat which happened to be the same number. Then, less than 24hrs later, they swapped back to an old config 777 and reassigned seats. I was notified of a seat change by a text message in the middle of the night. I check it out to see I was put in the J cabin with F booked full. Naturally, I'm not going to stand for this downgrade, so I call in to the GS desk.

The agent was very difficult, saying that it was in the hands of the airport and she checked with them and the cabin was full and that there was nothing they could do to change other peoples' seats. Of course I'm saying, "you just changed my seat 3 hours ago, so I know you can change the seats of other passengers that weren't previously booked in F". Reluctantly, she finally agreed to try to put me through to the airport GS.

After being on hold for a bit, it finally connects, and with no one talking to me, I quickly understand that I'm overhearing the conversation of two agents trying to work through the dilemma. On mute, I listen for about 3 minutes.

What i hear is a debate about who is a "big shot" and them going passenger by passenger, checking fare classes, making cracks about who they're going to boot back to business class, and even an unprofessional crack about my name. Really a lot of talk about "big shots" and trying to determine who was one. Then I got hung up on (probably them realizing the line was live). They called back 2 minutes later (ignoring the potential that I had overheard) and tried to professionally explain the situation, saying there are GS passengers they cannot move. Of course I say I'm GS (1MM, but didn't mention it) and had a reserved seat, so I would expect them to move any GS that did not have a reserved seat prior in my place They say they think something can happen but it will require a supervisor and will call me back. 3 hours later they call back and it was taken care of.

A lot to unpack here. How they prioritize the complimentary F cabin in such a condition (by GS, then fare class?). Why don't they look at previous seat assignments, are they able to, or is it simply automated (I doubt the latter, as it probably would've kept me in the same seat). Who has the power to actually change seats? Is there some sub-designations within GS ranks, other than MMs? Are annual spend or annual PQMs readily available to agents? In other words, what determines a "big shot"? Since they settled it in the end, I'm going to let the unprofessional talk slide...no need to stir the pot of the people that have the power to treat me well.

Update: So I had a similar situation happen to me. Fortunately, I did get a similar resolution. When I called the GS desk, I got several agents tell me different things. After a few HUACA situations, I finally got transferred to a supervisor who quickly agreed that it was a mistake that I got bumped into J cabin though I booked a revenue ticket in F cabin and had a seat in F cabin at time of purchase. She said she would take care of it by emailing the GS desk of my departure airport. I was very skeptical of this approach as I’ve been victim to United reps not being able to communicate clearly between each other in the past. However, after about 1 hour, I refreshed my phone app and saw that they changed my seat back to my original seat in F cabin. I didn’t need to talk directly to the GS desk agents at my departure airport, but a supervisor was able to take care of this. I’m not sure how amenable they would have been if I only used a GPU instead of having a full fare biz class ticket, but regardless, in this instance, they took care of it pretty quickly.

Last edited by thismyninja; Mar 20, 19 at 11:13 am Reason: Update
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Old Mar 18, 19, 1:22 pm
  #407  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Chicago
Programs: UA GS 1MM, CM PP
Posts: 675
Originally Posted by thismyninja View Post



Update: So I had a similar situation happen to me. Fortunately, I did get a similar resolution. When I called the GS desk, I got several agents tell me different things. After a few HUACA situations, I finally got transferred to a supervisor who quickly agreed that it was a mistake that I got bumped into J cabin though I booked a revenue ticket in F cabin and had a seat in F cabin at time of purchase. She said she would take care of it by emailing the GS desk of my departure airport. I was very skeptical of this approach as I’ve been victim to United reps not being able to communicate clearly between each other in the past. However, after about 1 hour, I refreshed my phone app and saw that they changed my seat back to my original seat in F cabin. I didn’t need to talk directly to the GS desk agents at my departure airport, but a supervisor was able to take care of this. I’m not sure how amenable they would have been if I only used a GPU instead of having a full fare biz class ticket, but regardless, in this instance, they took care of it pretty quickly.

Brian
It seems they need to develop protocol for shifts from Polaris config to pmUA config:
1) check to see if the flight was previously assigned pmUA configuration
2) if not, proceed to step 4
3) if so, restore seat assignments to those previously assigned in the F cabin
4) insert passengers into remaining F seats based on the following priority: GS>fare class>MM>ticketed date/time, then same sequence for 1K if there are still remaining seats

I have no faith they have a protocol or ever check step 1. The prioritization could be debated, but that's my opinion.
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Old Mar 18, 19, 2:00 pm
  #408  
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: MCO
Programs: UA GS 1MM ★G | DL Silver | Marriott LT Ti | Hilton ♦ | Hertz PC | Global Entry TSA Pre
Posts: 2,621
Originally Posted by 1015-1k View Post
It seems they need to develop protocol for shifts from Polaris config to pmUA config:
1) check to see if the flight was previously assigned pmUA configuration
2) if not, proceed to step 4
3) if so, restore seat assignments to those previously assigned in the F cabin
4) insert passengers into remaining F seats based on the following priority: GS>fare class>MM>ticketed date/time, then same sequence for 1K if there are still remaining seats

I have no faith they have a protocol or ever check step 1. The prioritization could be debated, but that's my opinion.
my thought process here is that the solution SHOULD be simple...

Why can't IT log the original seat chosen by a pax and keep that in memory if the seat map changes? Then, when a new seat map is presented, don't assign anyone seats, but email all pax notifying them of seating change and to log into their reservations to re-select seats. IF the previous seating configuration returns, revert to the memorized seating assignments for those that had seats on that aircraft originally and put them back. I dont understand why this would be so difficult to do.......
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Old Mar 18, 19, 2:02 pm
  #409  
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: MSP
Programs: UA 1K, DL PM, WN, Global Entry; +others wherever miles/points are found
Posts: 8,941
I think it's pretty clear that they are just using the standard system for seat reassignment in the case of aircraft swap, and underestimated how many HVFs care a lot about the distinction since this usually only impacts the Y cabin. With the sUA 772 configs rapidly vanishing in favor of Polaris, I doubt they are going to invest any technical resources to fix this.
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Old Mar 18, 19, 2:58 pm
  #410  
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: New York / Hawaii
Programs: UA Global Services, HH Diamond
Posts: 4,037
Unaccompanied Minors

I'm GS and am considering buying/flying 2 unaccompanied minors who don't share my status. I know flyers don't inherit status of the ticket buyer, but does GS do anything special for a GS's unaccompanied minors? Could they use the GS lobby? Any breaks on the UM fees?
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Old Mar 18, 19, 4:52 pm
  #411  
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: BOS<>NYC<>BKK
Programs: UA 4MM LT-GS; AA1MM; Amtrak S+; MAR LT TITAN; PC Plat; HIL DIA; HYA GLOB
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Originally Posted by Weatherboy View Post
I'm GS and am considering buying/flying 2 unaccompanied minors who don't share my status. I know flyers don't inherit status of the ticket buyer, but does GS do anything special for a GS's unaccompanied minors? Could they use the GS lobby? Any breaks on the UM fees?
Hey this is fun... wxguy replying to weatherboy

I have no specific experience, but my expectation is that if you accompany them to the airport, they'll let you use the GS lobby, and if possible, give you a gate pass. Remember that you will not get pre-check on a gate pass. As for breaks on UM fees -- not likely.
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Old Mar 18, 19, 6:33 pm
  #412  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: SYD
Programs: UA GS, BA Silver, Marriott Plat100/LT Plat, IHG Gold, National Exec Elite, Hertz PC
Posts: 1,350
Generally speaking, I've found UA agents very reluctant to swap me (as a GS) into someone else's reserved seat.

The phone agents have never done it for me. The airport agents once did it, to avoid my young son (probably 3 or 5 at the time) sitting by himself. But they have never done it for me. I've asked 3 times. Sometimes, they escort us onto the plane and ask people to swap seats.

Originally Posted by Weatherboy View Post
I'm GS and am considering buying/flying 2 unaccompanied minors who don't share my status. I know flyers don't inherit status of the ticket buyer, but does GS do anything special for a GS's unaccompanied minors? Could they use the GS lobby? Any breaks on the UM fees?
Yes, if you request it in advance, non-GS passengers can get the GS airport treatment. I've had GS agents tell me that I can email them in advance to have my family members use the GS lobby.

I did this recently in SYD, when my wife and two boys (4 and 6) landed with lots of luggage. A UA agent met them at the plane, whisked them through immigration and made sure that they got their bags quickly. My wife was very happy with the service. I've also had this on departure, by telling the checkin agents that my family was flying out a few days after me.

UA airport agents have a printed list of GS travellers. If you ask for your family to get assistance, or they are traveling with you, they get added to that list.

I've never done UM, but I'm guessing that they get preferred treatment. It's in the airline's interest not to lose the UMs and process them as quickly as possible.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Mar 18, 19 at 7:30 pm Reason: merging consecutive posts by same member
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Old Mar 18, 19, 9:30 pm
  #413  
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: PHX
Programs: UA GS 4.7MM, Delta 1MM & Hilton Diamond, Hertz Plat, Marriott Plat Premier
Posts: 750
Originally Posted by Weatherboy View Post
I'm GS and am considering buying/flying 2 unaccompanied minors who don't share my status. I know flyers don't inherit status of the ticket buyer, but does GS do anything special for a GS's unaccompanied minors? Could they use the GS lobby? Any breaks on the UM fees?
Will you be flying thru this UA hub between now and thier trip? If so, my suggesiton would be to speak with one of the GS agents at the aformtned hub ahead of time and ask for their help on the UMs trip. Have thier PNRs ready and I’m sure the GS agnets will take it from there. Ive done this at both ORD and SFO with my non-GS son and they always let them go thru GS lobby and have even let them into the UA club even tho my son and my in laws don’t have UA club access.

I wouldn’t expect the UM fees to be waived but I’m sure at the least GS will facilitate quick issuance of the gate passes and a walk to the head of the non pre check TSA line.
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Old Mar 19, 19, 2:51 pm
  #414  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: NYC
Programs: Marriot LT Titanium/Hertz PC/UA 1MM GS
Posts: 99
Originally Posted by nomad420 View Post

Yes exactly. However, it looks like I’ve even drop the to three or four now at the gate on the upgrade list so it looks like no go. Kind of surprising as it is M class ticket . Must be a lot of elites flying with instruments. Kind of surprising into EGE but it is Friday. What also has surprised me is how low I often find myself on the upgrade list. Maybe I’ll change my name to “snake bit.” As I’ve said before it’s all about managing expectations here. Hey at least the check in lobby is super nice and it got me through a long TSA line fast.
CPU’s are great and all but it’s certainly not guaranteed. Your odds have obviously been better but you’re flying out of a major hub or back to one- SFO.
As stated previously CPU upgrades are nice, but this isn’t the real “benefit” GS uses. Its mainly the IRROPS. The ability to throw a GPU on an award ticket is also huge for intl travel/vacations esp savor tickets, but sounds like you’re blowing through all your instruments in the two months you’ve been GS on domestic routes.

What you’re also likely seeing as you slide down the upgrade list or disappearing availability in F are various elite/non-elite buying up at check in- this will always kill a “battlefield upgrade”. You may also be seeing a ticketed higher fare GS or a “protected” GS on a higher fare class. Bottom line here for the non-instrument upgrades, its all about the revenue. The airline will go out of their way on other issues it can like the IRROPS (trust me they move mountains in those) but when it comes to CPU’s and GS down to silver? If they think they can generate cash on it there’s the priority. These routes out of SFO they think they’re going to sell. And if they can’t sell them the the next step is the T-0 buy-up.

Hope you don’t have to see IRROPS or have such a tight connection the Mercedes makes an appearance. But when it happens, it’s a great service.
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Old Mar 19, 19, 2:59 pm
  #415  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: EWR
Programs: UA GS, Marriott Gold
Posts: 383
Originally Posted by LesPaul30 View Post

CPU’s are great and all but it’s certainly not guaranteed. Your odds have obviously been better but you’re flying out of a major hub or back to one- SFO.
As stated previously CPU upgrades are nice, but this isn’t the real “benefit” GS uses. Its mainly the IRROPS. The ability to throw a GPU on an award ticket is also huge for intl travel/vacations esp savor tickets, but sounds like you’re blowing through all your instruments in the two months you’ve been GS on domestic routes.

What you’re also likely seeing as you slide down the upgrade list or disappearing availability in F are various elite/non-elite buying up at check in- this will always kill a “battlefield upgrade”. You may also be seeing a ticketed higher fare GS or a “protected” GS on a higher fare class. Bottom line here for the non-instrument upgrades, its all about the revenue. The airline will go out of their way on other issues it can like the IRROPS (trust me they move mountains in those) but when it comes to CPU’s and GS down to silver? If they think they can generate cash on it there’s the priority. These routes out of SFO they think they’re going to sell. And if they can’t sell them the the next step is the T-0 buy-up.

Hope you don’t have to see IRROPS or have such a tight connection the Mercedes makes an appearance. But when it happens, it’s a great service.
I just wish buy ups would count towards PQM and GA qualification. I got an email from MP explicitly stating they don’t count :-(


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Old Mar 19, 19, 3:10 pm
  #416  
Moderator: United Airlines; FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: SFO
Programs: UA Gold 1.8MM, Hyatt Discoverist, Marriott Gold, Hilton Silver, IHG Gold
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Originally Posted by FTLexMUC View Post
...I just wish buy ups would count towards PQM and GA qualification. ....
Some do, some don't. Difficult to always predict but those purchased at booking or pre-travel generally will but those purchased at check-in or the airport generally will not.

For PQMs
If the words "Add / Collect" appear on the receipt you are good, also if you get moved to a paid fare class.
If the words " Merchandising / EDD " or "Premium Cabin Upgrade" or you get a non-paid fare class, they will not
For PQDs, you must do a true upfare with an agent or change flights.

Some Paid Upgrades Count Towards PQD & mileage bonus and some DON'T!

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Mar 19, 19 at 3:21 pm
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Old Mar 19, 19, 3:20 pm
  #417  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: EWR
Programs: UA GS, Marriott Gold
Posts: 383
Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
Some do, some don't. Difficult to always predict but those purchased at booking or pre-travel generally will but those purchased at check-in or the airport generally will not.

For PQMs
If the words "Add / Collect" appear on the receipt you are good, also if you get moved to a paid fare class.
If the words " Merchandising / EDD " or "Premium Cabin Upgrade" or you get a need paid fare class, they will not
For PQDs, you must do a true upfare with an agent or change flights.

Some Paid Upgrades Count Towards PQD & mileage bonus and some DON'T!
thanks. Mine booked into C but did not count. I asked. They pushed back. It did say “Premium Cabin Upgrade”
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Old Mar 19, 19, 3:24 pm
  #418  
Moderator: United Airlines; FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
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Posts: 46,318
Originally Posted by FTLexMUC View Post

thanks. Mine booked into C but did not count. I asked. They pushed back. It did say “Premium Cabin Upgrade”
Yes you need both "Add / Collect" and a paid fare class -- just one may not work.
UA does not make this easy. If you are purchasing at checkin or at the airport, just assume no.
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Old Mar 19, 19, 8:14 pm
  #419  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Northern California
Programs: I want to be free! Free!
Posts: 2,880
Is the GS email dead? I got a response from the MPSC today to a request (to the GS email address) for redeposit of instruments from cancelled award reservations saying

"I’m sorry, but the MileagePlus Service Center is unable to assist with reservations (whether paid or using miles). "

????????????????????
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Old Mar 19, 19, 8:20 pm
  #420  
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: IAH
Programs: UA GS, DL-FO, Hilton Gold, IHG Gold, Hyatt Somethingist, Marriott Platinum Premier Lifetime
Posts: 2,507
Originally Posted by aCavalierInCoach View Post
Is the GS email dead? I got a response from the MPSC today to a request (to the GS email address) for redeposit of instruments from cancelled award reservations saying

"I’m sorry, but the MileagePlus Service Center is unable to assist with reservations (whether paid or using miles). "

????????????????????
It was working for me a few days ago.
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