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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 Aug 16, 19, 3:24 am   -   Wikipost
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
Last edit by: villox
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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.
  • (Note: Only ONE of the two above options can be exercised per premium fare purchased. GS traveler must remain in same itinerary as companion)
  • 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.
Reported caveats & YMMV situations on unpublished benefits
  • Post 12/12/2018, agents have been instructed to grant only one "exception" when opening award space for a companion. Thus, you can open T->XN for a companion, or you can force a companion upgrade into PN, but you can't convert T->XN and then force clear an upgrade into PN. Some have reported success by requesting this in two separate calls.
  • Some agents will allow GS to open economy award space for a companion to allow for an upgrade with an instrument, even if XN or T are unavailable
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Old Jun 25, 19, 1:15 pm
  #856  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Programs: United GS, SPG Ambassador, HHonors Gold, AA Gold
Posts: 91
Originally Posted by stevenshev View Post
Well, not answering your question, but you never should have been on standby. GS is guaranteed a seat in this situation.
I had a confirmed seat on my original flight... but was just trying to get out earlier than the 2.5 hour (and counting... inbound affected by mechanical issues so I didn't know how much longer it would be) delay my original flight was showing. Had there been any available seats on the earlier flights I would have just confirmed a seat on the earlier flights, but there weren't.
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Old Jun 25, 19, 2:27 pm
  #857  
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Westchester NY
Programs: UA GS 3.3MM
Posts: 253
Originally Posted by ivk5 View Post
Anyone have post-12/12/2018 experience booking GS+companion T>XN, then splitting record and cxling the GS pax? Any issues checking in?
I suspect it will work, but openness is probably a good strategy: I would call and explain the situation (i.e. you can't go but your companion can). Same suggestion if a GS gets PN space opened up for a companion due to the purchase of a premium ticket. I bet they will allow on an exception basis although no guarantees. Ask them to note in the record that you called and explained the situation. Make a habit of the practice and the ranks of GS will shrink by one. A quick audit and you will be toast.
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Old Jun 25, 19, 2:33 pm
  #858  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Programs: DYKWIA, UA GS, UA MM, SPG Plat (100)
Posts: 1,542
Originally Posted by ivk5 View Post
Anyone have post-12/12/2018 experience booking GS+companion T>XN, then splitting record and cxling the GS pax? Any issues checking in?
I strongly recommend against this. There's a very good chance that it will be noticed. It reminds me of the scheme of making refundable reservations and cancelling at the last minute to make upgrade space. I think there's a thread on that here -- the person involved got harsh penalties. These are obvious tricks and I would be surprised if the system didn't have a way to automatically flag them.

I would follow dkc715's advice: call them and have them put a note in the record (or undo the upgrade).
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Old Jun 25, 19, 4:21 pm
  #859  
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: SFO
Programs: UA GS 1MM / Hilton Diamond / SPG Platinum / Hertz PC
Posts: 264
I did this recently when I had to cancel last minute and go the next day, but my wife could still leave on the same flight. I didnít even think about it until after the fact. Nothing happened, but if I had thought about it ahead of time I probably would have called.
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Old Jun 25, 19, 8:17 pm
  #860  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: New York, London, Sydney
Programs: United GS/2MM, DL*P, VS*G, AA*EXP, Avis CHM, Hertz Platinum, Sixt*D, HH*D, HGP*P, Starwood*P
Posts: 9,717
Originally Posted by bluepig1 View Post
I had a confirmed seat on my original flight... but was just trying to get out earlier than the 2.5 hour (and counting... inbound affected by mechanical issues so I didn't know how much longer it would be) delay my original flight was showing. Had there been any available seats on the earlier flights I would have just confirmed a seat on the earlier flights, but there weren't.
Missing the point. With your IRROP, they would make a confirmed seat.
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Old Jun 26, 19, 6:53 am
  #861  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Programs: United GS, SPG Ambassador, HHonors Gold, AA Gold
Posts: 91
Originally Posted by stevenshev View Post
Missing the point. With your IRROP, they would make a confirmed seat.
Ah, got it. I hadn't really internalized that's what "Priority handling in event of IRROPS, including next flight guarantee in case of re-accommodation" (from wiki) means. Cool, and perhaps next time I will push a bit harder on making sure I have the guaranteed seat. In order to have gotten me a seat on the departure that left full - they would have had to have bumped a confirmed passenger, irrespective of standby situation (and that just seems like a crappy thing to insist on). So maybe I'm being too nice but I'm just glad to have had the GS agent get me on the second flight (still leaving about 1.5 hours after my original flight).
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Old Jun 26, 19, 8:07 am
  #862  
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: MSP
Programs: UA 1K, DL PM, WN, Global Entry; +others wherever miles/points are found
Posts: 9,247
Originally Posted by bluepig1 View Post
In order to have gotten me a seat on the departure that left full - they would have had to have bumped a confirmed passenger, irrespective of standby situation (and that just seems like a crappy thing to insist on).
Odds are it's someone who's happy about their $2,000 VDB though.
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Old Jun 26, 19, 10:11 am
  #863  
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 263
Originally Posted by bluepig1 View Post
Ah, got it. I hadn't really internalized that's what "Priority handling in event of IRROPS, including next flight guarantee in case of re-accommodation" (from wiki) means. Cool, and perhaps next time I will push a bit harder on making sure I have the guaranteed seat. In order to have gotten me a seat on the departure that left full - they would have had to have bumped a confirmed passenger, irrespective of standby situation (and that just seems like a crappy thing to insist on). So maybe I'm being too nice but I'm just glad to have had the GS agent get me on the second flight (still leaving about 1.5 hours after my original flight).
I've been told the seat guarantee is only valid if there's a seat avail on the seatmap. i've only used the guarantee twice and once there was a seat so it was fine and once there wasn't so i had to pick a different flight.
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Old Jun 26, 19, 10:20 am
  #864  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: New York, London, Sydney
Programs: United GS/2MM, DL*P, VS*G, AA*EXP, Avis CHM, Hertz Platinum, Sixt*D, HH*D, HGP*P, Starwood*P
Posts: 9,717
Originally Posted by deskover54 View Post
I've been told the seat guarantee is only valid if there's a seat avail on the seatmap. i've only used the guarantee twice and once there was a seat so it was fine and once there wasn't so i had to pick a different flight.
Nope. That's if you want to Buy Y. For an IRROP, they make a seat. Period. That's the policy.
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Old Jun 26, 19, 10:46 am
  #865  
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: MSP
Programs: UA 1K, DL PM, WN, Global Entry; +others wherever miles/points are found
Posts: 9,247
Originally Posted by stevenshev View Post
Nope. That's if you want to Buy Y. For an IRROP, they make a seat. Period. That's the policy.
Buying Y also has nothing at all to do with the seatmap, although there is a "secret limit" imposed by RM where they won't keep overselling into Y0 beyond a certain amount. It's very rare, but got hit by things like people trying to go see the eclipse.
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Old Jun 26, 19, 11:09 am
  #866  
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: SFO
Programs: AC S100K, Accor Plat, Bonvoy Gold, HH Diamond
Posts: 29,145
Originally Posted by deskover54 View Post
I've been told the seat guarantee is only valid if there's a seat avail on the seatmap. i've only used the guarantee twice and once there was a seat so it was fine and once there wasn't so i had to pick a different flight.
That doesn't make sense. A nobody in basic economy can be booked into an available seat on the next flight in IRROPS.

The guarantee has to mean more than that.
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Old Jun 26, 19, 1:56 pm
  #867  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: New York, London, Sydney
Programs: United GS/2MM, DL*P, VS*G, AA*EXP, Avis CHM, Hertz Platinum, Sixt*D, HH*D, HGP*P, Starwood*P
Posts: 9,717
Originally Posted by findark View Post
Buying Y also has nothing at all to do with the seatmap, although there is a "secret limit" imposed by RM where they won't keep overselling into Y0 beyond a certain amount. It's very rare, but got hit by things like people trying to go see the eclipse.
Very possible, but inconsistent with what I've been told as a GS (although others, e.g. DL, definitely work the way you describe). As a GS, the policy has always been very simple...open seat assignment, can Buy Y.
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Old Jun 26, 19, 2:01 pm
  #868  
LIH
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: ORD | LGA | 2E
Programs: UA GS 1.3MM UC | Bonvoy Plat | Hertz 5*PC
Posts: 598
Originally Posted by canadiancow View Post
That doesn't make sense. A nobody in basic economy can be booked into an available seat on the next flight in IRROPS.

The guarantee has to mean more than that.
I have used this benefit most often LGA <> ORD when there is weather on one (or both) ends. While it often means riding in Y when I'm booked into Z>F, they always open up a seat for me on the next flight to go. I have watched them start the VDB auction process as a result of me before. Though this may be specific to how "used to" GS members ORD/LGA are.
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Old Jun 26, 19, 2:43 pm
  #869  
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: MSP
Programs: UA 1K, DL PM, WN, Global Entry; +others wherever miles/points are found
Posts: 9,247
Originally Posted by stevenshev View Post
Very possible, but inconsistent with what I've been told as a GS (although others, e.g. DL, definitely work the way you describe). As a GS, the policy has always been very simple...open seat assignment, can Buy Y.
If you think about it though, seat assignments make no sense. A 737 could be over by 49 BE pax and have a few seat assignments, or be sold even with no BE and no "empty" seats.
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Old Jun 26, 19, 8:43 pm
  #870  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: New York, London, Sydney
Programs: United GS/2MM, DL*P, VS*G, AA*EXP, Avis CHM, Hertz Platinum, Sixt*D, HH*D, HGP*P, Starwood*P
Posts: 9,717
Originally Posted by findark View Post
If you think about it though, seat assignments make no sense. A 737 could be over by 49 BE pax and have a few seat assignments, or be sold even with no BE and no "empty" seats.
Sure, but logic doesn't always apply. I use this benefit fairly often and the GS agents have repeatedly said they can force a Y fare (actually a B I guess) so long as they have a seat to assign. I don't question the logic of what you are saying, just not sure that that is how it is applied in practice.
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