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Consolidated Global Services Thread: Benefits, Questions, Experiences [2020]

Consolidated Global Services Thread: Benefits, Questions, Experiences [2020]

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Old Aug 6, 20, 9:56 am   -   Wikipost
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Last edit by: wxguy
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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.
Quote:
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 (PlusPoints or miles) 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) Closed
  • 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)
  • Effective January 2021, GS members who do not have a United Club membership may access United Clubs on domestic itineraries, but no guests are permitted.
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 PlusPoints 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 (miles/co-pay or PlusPoints) 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 (PlusPoints or miles) 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
  • According to GS Customer Service, a GS on a paid coach fare using an instrument will clear into Polaris business before a lower-status passenger with a paid PremiumPlus fare (i.e. O, A, R). In other words, for example, a paid O, A, R for a 1K will got give higher priority than a GS with a W fare if both are using 40 PlusPoints. This is true even on the gate waitlist.
  • Post 12/12/2019, agents have been instructed that they can only grant a companion exception for one segment per ticket. Thus, if you have a roundtrip premium fare, they will only open saver space, or force an upgrade, for one segment. This means you must either waitlist (if upgrading) or use a standard award, for the remaining segments.
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Old Feb 4, 20, 11:51 am
  #286  
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Programs: UA GS, Delta Silver
Posts: 54
Originally Posted by kevanyalowitz View Post
Done. If they want to restrict this benefit why not just allow X number of exceptions per year rather than basically making it totally useless by only allowing it one way?
It's not even 1 way its 1 segment. For those of us who must always connect it is totally useless.
PBIFLL is offline  
Old Feb 4, 20, 11:52 am
  #287  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: CLE
Programs: UA GS+LT UC, AA LT PLT, Fairmont LT PLT, SPG PLT, Hilton Diamond, Hyatt Diamond, Avis CHM.
Posts: 4,383
Originally Posted by kevanyalowitz View Post
Done. If they want to restrict this benefit why not just allow X number of exceptions per year rather than basically making it totally useless by only allowing it one way?
Don't give them any ideas or the next change will be one segment per year
ctownflyer is offline  
Old Feb 4, 20, 12:08 pm
  #288  
 
Join Date: May 2011
Programs: UA GS
Posts: 1,242
Originally Posted by greenpau View Post
Please write in.
Done. I'll update the post after I hear back.
limey1K is offline  
Old Feb 4, 20, 1:40 pm
  #289  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: NYC
Programs: UA GS, Amex Centurion, UA 1MM
Posts: 519
spoke to agent last night. She said that the rule was "always" this way. but a higher up decided to provide clarity on it. She felt like some sort of compromise was looming. I told her that you had a lot of unhappy GS's.....such a shame to really screw around like this....The ruling sentiment in the higher ranks must be that all FF benefits even for GS won't effect the bottom line.....they maybe correct, unfortunately for all of us.....meaning if any given GS decides to migrate to another airline, there are a lot of other who are equally disgruntled or not loyal to another airline...the game of averages...
saccoNY is offline  
Old Feb 4, 20, 2:39 pm
  #290  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: SFO / LHR
Programs: UA GS 2.02MM / UC / AS Gold 75K / Bonvoy Plat / Hilton Diamond
Posts: 876
Originally Posted by drklain View Post
Do you recommend the global services email or a physical letter?
Always the email - it is the format that is most shareable internally. One of the agents at the SFO United Club even showed me how one of my emails had made it all the way through the system. I have had callbacks from different departments asking for more information / clariification. They do genuinely take inbound notes quite seriously when there is substance and logic weaved throughout them.
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Old Feb 4, 20, 3:35 pm
  #291  
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: New York
Programs: UA GS, Hilton Diamond, Marriott Gold
Posts: 2,411
Originally Posted by saccoNY View Post
spoke to agent last night. She said that the rule was "always" this way. but a higher up decided to provide clarity on it. She felt like some sort of compromise was looming. I told her that you had a lot of unhappy GS's.....such a shame to really screw around like this....The ruling sentiment in the higher ranks must be that all FF benefits even for GS won't effect the bottom line.....they maybe correct, unfortunately for all of us.....meaning if any given GS decides to migrate to another airline, there are a lot of other who are equally disgruntled or not loyal to another airline...the game of averages...
I wonder if the confusion around this situation is the discrepancy between saying there is no policy change and the fact that it was supposed to always be this way

And maybe the clarification is really the original communication that effectively implemented this change.

Sorry, but if your agents are ALL implementing a policy a certain way for YEARS, clarifying it into a different direction is a change.
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villox is offline  
Old Feb 4, 20, 4:47 pm
  #292  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Northern California
Programs: I want to be free! Free!
Posts: 3,256
Originally Posted by kevanyalowitz View Post
Done. If they want to restrict this benefit why not just allow X number of exceptions per year rather than basically making it totally useless by only allowing it one way?
I think opinions will be divided on this -- the "opening up space" benefits have been abused by some, some use the +1 benefits a lot, and some of us value it highly the few times a year we use it to enable reasonable premium cabin travel on oft vacations. But I think we can all agree a clear system with consistent, useable application is required here. No more moving targets - large benefits changes year after year, particularly when they are consistently to the more restrictive, vastly diminish interest in maintaining the single carrier focus GS is meant to engender.
aCavalierInCoach is offline  
Old Feb 4, 20, 5:17 pm
  #293  
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Programs: UA LT GS | UA LT Club | Marriott LT Titanium
Posts: 1,007
UA will never clarify, in writing, an unpublished benefit that very few folks know about. 1/2 of 1% of GS members are on FT. UA would rather frustrate this small population than publish a formal position and have 40% of GS, become aware of, and use the benefit...
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spartacusmcfly is offline  
Old Feb 4, 20, 5:18 pm
  #294  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: SFO / LHR
Programs: UA GS 2.02MM / UC / AS Gold 75K / Bonvoy Plat / Hilton Diamond
Posts: 876
Originally Posted by aCavalierInCoach View Post
No more moving targets - large benefits changes year after year, particularly when they are consistently to the more restrictive, vastly diminish interest in maintaining the single carrier focus GS is meant to engender.
.

Similar wording I used in my note. A few things have been added to the 1K program - pre-board as one example - but on the GS front it is all take aways and restrictions.

There are ways to thread the needle here - I was going down the "nominated companion" route as a solve, as well as the # uses per year. I was likening the latter to the Alaska Air Companion program - set # coupons with expiration date duplicating the exact itinerary. Oh well.
greenpau is offline  
Old Feb 4, 20, 7:31 pm
  #295  
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Programs: UA GS, Delta Silver
Posts: 54
Originally Posted by aCavalierInCoach View Post
I think opinions will be divided on this -- the "opening up space" benefits have been abused by some, some use the +1 benefits a lot, and some of us value it highly the few times a year we use it to enable reasonable premium cabin travel on oft vacations. But I think we can all agree a clear system with consistent, useable application is required here. No more moving targets - large benefits changes year after year, particularly when they are consistently to the more restrictive, vastly diminish interest in maintaining the single carrier focus GS is meant to engender.
It worked a certain way for many years and now it doesnt. that isnt on us that is on United. And many of us can control how much we travel and i think United will feel that pain as they change policies. I for one wont give United the dollars like i used to since the one policy i valued is no longer in place. their loss not mine.
PBIFLL is offline  
Old Feb 5, 20, 12:00 am
  #296  
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Programs: UA LT GS | UA LT Club | Marriott LT Titanium
Posts: 1,007
Originally Posted by PBIFLL View Post
It worked a certain way for many years and now it doesnt...
Yes and over those many years, the economy has improved and UA's tolerance to give away J has declined. Why do you begrudge them the very logical path they're taking?

You make it sound like you're going to jump to another airline whose policies are currently as liberal as they were many years ago. Please point us towards that oasis and we'll all follow you
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Old Feb 5, 20, 8:44 am
  #297  
LIH
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: ORD | LGA | 2E
Programs: UA GS 1.6MM UC | AA CK 0.7MM AC | Bonvoy Plat | Hertz PC
Posts: 966
Originally Posted by spartacusmcfly View Post
UA will never clarify, in writing, an unpublished benefit that very few folks know about. 1/2 of 1% of GS members are on FT. UA would rather frustrate this small population than publish a formal position and have 40% of GS, become aware of, and use the benefit...
While I agree that they won't put something in writing to "confirm" an unpublished benefit, I don't think UA wants GS members to not use the benefits (published and unpublished). I think it is more so they can maintain this exact kind of flexibility in how they implement it. I for one have had three conversations that I can recall with UA execs here in Chicago who implored me that they really want GS to use these benefits as much as they can because it enhances the value of GS and customer retention. They may have been full of it, but in all three instances that response was prompted by me intimating that GS customers must be a pain in the .../cost center at a point.
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Old Feb 5, 20, 10:08 am
  #298  
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Programs: UA LT GS | UA LT Club | Marriott LT Titanium
Posts: 1,007
I'd agree there is a lack of implementation consistency and training across the GS agents. I see how that can be frustrating.
spartacusmcfly is offline  
Old Feb 5, 20, 12:24 pm
  #299  
 
Join Date: May 2011
Programs: UA GS
Posts: 1,242
Originally Posted by limey1K View Post
Done. I'll update the post after I hear back.
I emailed and have had no reply in 24 hours.
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Old Feb 5, 20, 1:25 pm
  #300  
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Charleston WV Area
Programs: 10 year UAL GS, LT Hilton Diamond, Hyatt Globalist, Marriot Platinum, AA Exec Plat
Posts: 66
Pre-boarding at either end of C concourse at ORD is an even bigger SS than it was prior to adding the 1K pre-board. There is just not enough physical space for the number of gates at either end.
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