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Consolidated Global Services Thread: Benefits, Questions, Experiences [2022]

Consolidated Global Services Thread: Benefits, Questions, Experiences [2022]

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Old Aug 9, 22, 10:33 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: st530
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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 year's thread, Consolidated Global Services Thread - Qualifications, Benefits and Q & A [2021]


Known facts concerning qualification and eligibility from United:
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 with fastest pickup times, 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 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)

Most 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. United-operated flights only. Can now be completed online/via the app, in most circumstances.
  • 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 for one segment of the itinerary 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, and for one segment in the itinerary, per caveats noted below. 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. (Note: VIP Lounges in NRT and HKG remain closed due to Covid-19; LHR VIP now open.)
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 not 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 round trip journey. 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 Apr 7, 22, 12:01 am
  #286  
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: SFO, TPE, HNL
Programs: UA GS 4MM, RCC life member (paid), Marriott Lifetime Titanium, Hyatt Globalist, CLEAR
Posts: 1,562
These are all very good points. I am wondering whether UA read them. But even if they do, it is unlikely they will change what they are doing now. They probably count on most GS do not complain and automatically just pay whatever price for the privilege of being identified as GS, or that many do not shop around.
PanAmWT is offline  
Old Apr 8, 22, 9:18 am
  #287  
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: 963
Originally Posted by HNLbasedFlyer View Post
Even with the unpublished benefit - why would anyone consider the UA flight unless forced on a corporate contract?
I won't speak for the OP but for me: Status

I book uneconomic flights all the time because the net-net benefits are worth it. I think that's the entire point of loyalty programs, to capture more spend than you would be able to just based on price competition alone. This is particularly acute on some INTL routes where I could absolutely fly better product but want to concentrate my spend with UA/AA for the sake of the other 119 flights I'll have that calendar year.
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LIH is offline  
Old Apr 8, 22, 11:45 am
  #288  
formerly wchinchen
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Honolulu
Programs: AA CK, UA 1K, Hyatt Globalist
Posts: 574
Originally Posted by LIH View Post
I won't speak for the OP but for me: Status

I book uneconomic flights all the time because the net-net benefits are worth it. I think that's the entire point of loyalty programs, to capture more spend than you would be able to just based on price competition alone. This is particularly acute on some INTL routes where I could absolutely fly better product but want to concentrate my spend with UA/AA for the sake of the other 119 flights I'll have that calendar year.
I've read the Wiki, but what do you guys value the most as a GS for your travel patterns? What does GS give you/provide you that drives your spend on UA?

I'm asking to decide between two programs.
HaleiwaFlyer is online now  
Old Apr 8, 22, 2:22 pm
  #289  
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: New York City
Programs: UA GS 1MM
Posts: 220
Originally Posted by HaleiwaFlyer View Post
I've read the Wiki, but what do you guys value the most as a GS for your travel patterns? What does GS give you/provide you that drives your spend on UA?

I'm asking to decide between two programs.
in order what matters to me :

- Skip everyone in non tsa-pre security at EWR
- Upgrades on award tickets
- upgrade priority, havent had an upgrade with PP not clear in the past 3 years.
- Paris GS team.
- GS phone line and pre-boarding.
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benewr is online now  
Old Apr 8, 22, 2:35 pm
  #290  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Northern California
Programs: I want to be free! Free!
Posts: 3,255
At this point, shorter wait on the GS phone line in irrops?

I haven't seen any PP upgrades of notes - award tickets or otherwise - clear in ages.
aCavalierInCoach is offline  
Old Apr 8, 22, 3:56 pm
  #291  
 
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 LIH View Post
I won't speak for the OP but for me: Status

I book uneconomic flights all the time because the net-net benefits are worth it. I think that's the entire point of loyalty programs, to capture more spend than you would be able to just based on price competition alone. This is particularly acute on some INTL routes where I could absolutely fly better product but want to concentrate my spend with UA/AA for the sake of the other 119 flights I'll have that calendar year.
Thats the gist of my point, really - I would always book UA even if more expensive. In fact, on every trip there has always been a cheaper option, but I chose to consolidate on UA because it was undoubtedly worth it for the collective benefits of the GS program . They would capture 99% of my business and leisure spend.

These days, though, with some of the key program changes like the one companion segment rule, that percentage can drop as I use other *A carriers with cheaper business fares.

I wont abandon UA and really like the airline - but if you are a traveler that is not focused on upgrades, you could hit the minimum dollar spend on UA for GS and shop the rest. Im sure thats not what UA are striving for - but a reality now of a program that has fewer benefits above 1K in the eyes of some travelers.
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Old Apr 9, 22, 12:37 am
  #292  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Posts: 11,068
Originally Posted by aCavalierInCoach View Post

I haven't seen any PP upgrades of notes - award tickets or otherwise - clear in ages.
Is this your experience holding GS-status and missing (a significant number of) your PP upgrades?
cesco.g is offline  
Old Apr 9, 22, 11:47 am
  #293  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Northern California
Programs: I want to be free! Free!
Posts: 3,255
Originally Posted by cesco.g View Post
Is this your experience holding GS-status and missing (a significant number of) your PP upgrades?
Correct. Very low success rate.
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aCavalierInCoach is offline  
Old Apr 9, 22, 1:25 pm
  #294  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Posts: 11,068
Originally Posted by aCavalierInCoach View Post
Correct. Very low success rate.
That is disappointing indeed. I have been more lucky - in the 80-90% range *) - in this regard.

*) excluding sponsored u/g for family members, which are lower

Last edited by cesco.g; Apr 9, 22 at 1:42 pm Reason: added *) detail
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Old Apr 9, 22, 2:00 pm
  #295  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: BOS, PVG
Programs: United Global Services and 1MM, Marriott Ambassador
Posts: 9,290
Originally Posted by aCavalierInCoach View Post
Correct. Very low success rate.
Originally Posted by cesco.g View Post
That is disappointing indeed. I have been more lucky - in the 80-90% range *) - in this regard.

*) excluding sponsored u/g for family members, which are lower
I have near 100% success rate with PP+CPU combined. Never missed an international upgrade.

My family members have 90%.

Of course, I select flights carefully. :-)
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kb1992 is offline  
Old Apr 9, 22, 3:20 pm
  #296  
 
Join Date: May 2011
Programs: UA GS
Posts: 1,235
Originally Posted by kb1992 View Post
I have near 100% success rate with PP+CPU combined. Never missed an international upgrade.

My family members have 90%.

Of course, I select flights carefully. :-)
It is important to me and my spouse that we sit with each other when we travel. Most times when Im booking tickets, there are already limited options available for sitting with each other. My issue with buying a seat for myself and then rolling the dice on the PP upgrade is seating options. Do you find that the PP upgrades clear far ahead enough to having flexibility on seating?
limey1K is offline  
Old Apr 9, 22, 5:04 pm
  #297  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: BOS, PVG
Programs: United Global Services and 1MM, Marriott Ambassador
Posts: 9,290
Originally Posted by limey1K View Post
It is important to me and my spouse that we sit with each other when we travel. Most times when Im booking tickets, there are already limited options available for sitting with each other. My issue with buying a seat for myself and then rolling the dice on the PP upgrade is seating options. Do you find that the PP upgrades clear far ahead enough to having flexibility on seating?
Most cases PP clears at T-120. Otherwise I would call to force the upgrade at T-72.

When there are 4-5 seats open, sitting together usually is not a problem.
kb1992 is offline  
Old Apr 9, 22, 6:48 pm
  #298  
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: YYZ
Programs: UA1K MM, Marriott Titanium
Posts: 1,083
Quick question, I understand XN can be upgraded by GS plus points, but how about ON?
TIA.
gokeeper is offline  
Old Apr 10, 22, 6:13 am
  #299  
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: NYC / TYO / Up in the Air
Programs: UA GS 1.5MM, AA 2MM, EK, BA, SQ, CX, Marriot LT, Accor P
Posts: 4,979
Originally Posted by gokeeper View Post
Quick question, I understand XN can be upgraded by GS plus points, but how about ON?
TIA.
I'm assuming you are asking if Premium Plus can be upgraded to Business class via PP if you are GS? If so -- the answer is yes.
bmwe92fan is offline  
Old Apr 10, 22, 10:22 am
  #300  
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: YYZ
Programs: UA1K MM, Marriott Titanium
Posts: 1,083
Originally Posted by bmwe92fan View Post
I'm assuming you are asking if Premium Plus can be upgraded to Business class via PP if you are GS? If so -- the answer is yes.
Thanks, I mean if Premium Plus award ticket can be upgraded via GS Plus Points?
gokeeper is offline  

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