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

Old Jan 1, 22, 12:08 am
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Last edit by: st530
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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Consolidated Global Services Thread: Benefits, Questions, Experiences [2022]

Old Apr 19, 22, 8:05 am
  #331  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: TPA and NoVA
Programs: UA Global Services 3MM, Hyatt Globalist
Posts: 2,923
Originally Posted by bostonpilot View Post
I'm wondering if anyone has a feel for general timing, or the existence of, mid-year evaluations for GS.

Here's my situation....I was GS from 2010-2015, 1K for 5 years before that and every year since, earned every year even through Covid. Due to a job change in late 2021 and the opening of borders, my international flying is picking way back up in 2022. I'll be at approx. 40k PQP by the end of May, and expect I'll finish 2022 somewhere between 75k-100k PQP's - the vast majority of that on paid international C tickets and almost all of it on UA metal.

I would expect that should get me back to GS (it better or I'll be re-evaluating my strategy for UA vs others), but it would sure be nice if the bump to GS happened at some point during 2022 vs having to wait until 2023.
My guess is that they are monitoring all GS activity to get a sense of how they will make decisions at the end of the year. I would recommend emailing MP/GS in June to ask about a mid-year evaluation. If nothing else, it will put you on their radar for end of year.
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meducate is offline  
Old Apr 19, 22, 8:21 am
  #332  
 
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: 5,319
Originally Posted by bostonpilot View Post
I'm wondering if anyone has a feel for general timing, or the existence of, mid-year evaluations for GS.

Here's my situation....I was GS from 2010-2015, 1K for 5 years before that and every year since, earned every year even through Covid. Due to a job change in late 2021 and the opening of borders, my international flying is picking way back up in 2022. I'll be at approx. 40k PQP by the end of May, and expect I'll finish 2022 somewhere between 75k-100k PQP's - the vast majority of that on paid international C tickets and almost all of it on UA metal.

I would expect that should get me back to GS (it better or I'll be re-evaluating my strategy for UA vs others), but it would sure be nice if the bump to GS happened at some point during 2022 vs having to wait until 2023.

Email GS customer service now - tell them what you told us - Im betting they approve next day if you future bookings show the spend.
bmwe92fan is offline  
Old Apr 20, 22, 3:18 am
  #333  
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: New York / Hawaii
Programs: UA Global Services, HH Diamond
Posts: 5,101
With masking done and some sense of normalcy returning to airports, any chatter about UA restoring some level of GS service at the airport? From showing-off departures to welcoming arrivals ...not to mention ramp rides or terminal cart rides to make tight connections, it sure would be nice for UA to offer GS some actual decent service.

Overall, I've had better customer experiences as a 1k than a GS nowadays.
Weatherboy is offline  
Old Apr 20, 22, 3:46 am
  #334  
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Boston
Programs: Hyatt Globalist, United Global Services/1MM
Posts: 610
Not a bad idea - thanks......I'll probably wait until I get a few of the next tickets booked to show some more of the plan past May

Do you have a suggestion on who I should email? 1K voice? or a different email?
bostonpilot is offline  
Old Apr 20, 22, 4:22 am
  #335  
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Programs: Various
Posts: 19
Originally Posted by Weatherboy View Post
With masking done and some sense of normalcy returning to airports, any chatter about UA restoring some level of GS service at the airport? From showing-off departures to welcoming arrivals ...not to mention ramp rides or terminal cart rides to make tight connections, it sure would be nice for UA to offer GS some actual decent service.
Speaking of ramp rides, when I passed through IAD several weeks ago I heard from a couple of different Premium Service agents that they're evaluating resuming the ramp rides using new model e-Jags. Ties in with United's promo/partnership with Jaguar re vehicle purchase/leases. At IAD, apparently working with the MWAA airport authority to evaluate location/design/installation of the recharging stations
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Last edited by WineCountryUA; Apr 20, 22 at 10:25 am Reason: repairing
jd916 is offline  
Old Apr 20, 22, 4:52 am
  #336  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Programs: SQ, QF, UA, CO, DL
Posts: 2,085
Originally Posted by jd916 View Post
Originally Posted by Weatherboy View Post
With masking done and some sense of normalcy returning to airports, any chatter about UA restoring some level of GS service at the airport? From showing-off departures to welcoming arrivals ...not to mention ramp rides or terminal cart rides to make tight connections, it sure would be nice for UA to offer GS some actual decent service.
Speaking of ramp rides, when I passed through IAD several weeks ago I heard from a couple of different Premium Service agents that they're evaluating resuming the ramp rides using new model e-Jags. Ties in with United's promo/partnership with Jaguar re vehicle purchase/leases. At IAD, apparently working with the MWAA airport authority to evaluate location/design/installation of the recharging stations
IAD was the only airport I had that kind of trasnfer before it started as a G perk. Twice I was picked up and trsansfered in an SUV they said was used for pilots. Glad to see UA is looking at this, I have been getting concerned at the slow resumption of GS service and benefits.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Apr 20, 22 at 10:26 am Reason: reparing quote
uanj is offline  
Old Apr 20, 22, 5:08 am
  #337  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: BOS, PVG
Programs: United Global Services and 1MM, Marriott Ambassador
Posts: 9,553
Originally Posted by n8-the-gr8 View Post
I had this experience last week. Called to push through an upgrade at T-72 and there were 3 people ahead of me on the list but ~10 seats available so I figured the agent would push everyone through if they were willing to do it.

Instead they cleared my upgrade specifically but none of those ahead of me. This was a first. Somehow the cabin ended up filling up and as of departure it looked like 2 of the 3 ahead of me never ended up getting upgraded... Pays to check ahead if you care about the upgrade.
Originally Posted by bmwe92fan View Post
As someone who has also benefitted from an irrational desire to check my seats and flights multiple times per day -- and benefitted from that by calling GS -- I wholeheartedly subscribe to the "Fight Club" mentality... Sorry couldn't resist...
Absolutely. I care about my upgrades!

I would check the flight multiple times a day if my upgrade is still waitlisted.
kb1992 is offline  
Old Apr 20, 22, 6:02 am
  #338  
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: New York City
Programs: UA GS 1MM
Posts: 268
Originally Posted by Weatherboy View Post
With masking done and some sense of normalcy returning to airports, any chatter about UA restoring some level of GS service at the airport? From showing-off departures to welcoming arrivals ...not to mention ramp rides or terminal cart rides to make tight connections, it sure would be nice for UA to offer GS some actual decent service.

Overall, I've had better customer experiences as a 1k than a GS nowadays.
It is not the sense Im getting from the GS customer service email I got after letting them know about a disastrous experience at EWR.

Basically, the GS team is here to help people making connections and do not expect anything else.
benewr is offline  
Old Apr 20, 22, 8:45 am
  #339  
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Programs: UA GS | Marriott Titanium / LT Platinum
Posts: 395
Originally Posted by bostonpilot View Post
Not a bad idea - thanks......I'll probably wait until I get a few of the next tickets booked to show some more of the plan past May

Do you have a suggestion on who I should email? 1K voice? or a different email?
I received a mid-year invite a few years back (pre-pandemic) and can offer some additional data points. I proactively emailed them early in the year after having flown $52k in non-tax spend on UA metal to request a review. I was declined an invitation at that point despite having another ~$15k in tickets booked - they noted in their response that booked but uninitiated travel is not considered (which makes sense given that changes to travel plans are likely higher with high-volume international business travelers).

A few months later (June or July), once I had hit ~$67k in spend I received an email out of the blue from GS Review inviting me mid-year to Global Services. This was a ~1-2 month lag after that travel (and associated revenue) had been logged in my account. Obviously the threshold for mid-year review may look different this year and I was never GS previously so that could certainly be a factor.

Originally I emailed 1K Voice with the review request and they correctly routed it to the GS Review team so either should work.
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n8-the-gr8 is online now  
Old Apr 20, 22, 10:29 am
  #340  
Moderator: United Airlines; FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: SFO
Programs: UA Plat 1.85MM, Hyatt Discoverist, Marriott Plat/LT Gold, Hilton Silver, IHG Plat
Posts: 61,966
Originally Posted by Weatherboy View Post
... ...not to mention ramp rides or terminal cart rides to make tight connections, ....
Suspect these were cost / staff reduction related more than "health" related and with UA still likely to report a quarterly loss this week (as DL did), some of the "nicer" touches are probably still in the future.
WineCountryUA is offline  
Old Apr 20, 22, 11:43 am
  #341  
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Bucks County
Programs: UAL GS & Million M; Delta Gold Medallion (2 mio +); American; Hyatt Platinum Passport, Omni Platinum
Posts: 1,428
Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
Suspect these were cost / staff reduction related more than "health" related and with UA still likely to report a quarterly loss this week (as DL did), some of the "nicer" touches are probably still in the future.
The reference to in the future nicer touchesreminds me of the sign in the saloon that says FREE BEER TOMORROW. The recent history of the GS program portends more cuts to this program
manstein58 is online now  
Old Apr 20, 22, 3:40 pm
  #342  
 
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: 5,319
Had a great call today with the GS team -- I had written in after my ticket home from Bahrain got mangled -- somehow in the change process that GS agent had successfully reissued the ticket but had failed to associate it with my new itinerary -- so I really didn't have a ticket even though it looked fine in the UA system.

Fortunately I had Gulf Air print off all of the screens relating to the ticket -- and I mentioned this when I wrote in to them. Within 2 hours GS had called me back directly (this is a first) and wanted to get a hold of all of the documentation -- because internally they can't figure out what went wrong.

When I wrote in I was very positive about how much the UA GS agent had helped when I was trying to get home -- but that I didn't want to have to worry about this issue going forward (I have to fly GF a lot). I hope that as travel rebounds UA continues with this type of service...
bmwe92fan is offline  
Old Apr 20, 22, 5:39 pm
  #343  
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: New York / Hawaii
Programs: UA Global Services, HH Diamond
Posts: 5,101
Still dealing with lack of service in which airport agents aren't empowered to do anything, nor is the GS hotline.

When I need to change to an earlier flight, change my routing, or change a ticket outright, regardless of how easy or difficult it is, the agents in the GS lobby tell me to call the support desk and that the "chairs in the GS lobby are there for your comfort while you're having phone agents do your change."

My UA flight went mechanical to EWR, and they tried to re-accommodate me on the next (2) flights, but they were both completely full. On the third flight attempt, a single Y seat opened up which I grabbed, even though I was on a full F ticket. Airport agents told me to call UA to get a prorated refund for the downgrade. Now when I call, the GS hotline tells me the only way to request a proration "consideration" is to fill out a form on the UA website.

As a frequent flier, I really want to get from point A to point B as quickly as possible and don't want to spend time on hold on a phone or go through complex online forms buried on the website. As a Global Service member, if I encounter an agent with an issue that probably happens often (needing to change a flight, dealing with irrops downgrade, etc.), I hope they'd be service-oriented enough to take up the issue themselves and resolve it for me so I can continue with my care-free travels. This service aspect is missing.

In the "old days", I'd be greeted plane side ...and if it was a tight connection, I'd be scurried away quickly. Now, on my last four connecting flights, all of which were tight connections, I got gate agents who wished me "good luck" or gave an ominous "ohh I don't think you'll make it, but run fast across the airport to see if you can."

I only buy F/J, so really what is the difference between GS and 1K nowadays --especially when gate agents at hubs are often in a hurry and fold GS and 1K boarding together?
Weatherboy is offline  
Old Apr 20, 22, 9:53 pm
  #344  
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: DEN/OGG
Programs: UA GS
Posts: 1,471
Originally Posted by Weatherboy View Post
Still dealing with lack of service in which airport agents aren't empowered to do anything, nor is the GS hotline.

When I need to change to an earlier flight, change my routing, or change a ticket outright, regardless of how easy or difficult it is, the agents in the GS lobby tell me to call the support desk and that the "chairs in the GS lobby are there for your comfort while you're having phone agents do your change."

My UA flight went mechanical to EWR, and they tried to re-accommodate me on the next (2) flights, but they were both completely full. On the third flight attempt, a single Y seat opened up which I grabbed, even though I was on a full F ticket. Airport agents told me to call UA to get a prorated refund for the downgrade. Now when I call, the GS hotline tells me the only way to request a proration "consideration" is to fill out a form on the UA website.

As a frequent flier, I really want to get from point A to point B as quickly as possible and don't want to spend time on hold on a phone or go through complex online forms buried on the website. As a Global Service member, if I encounter an agent with an issue that probably happens often (needing to change a flight, dealing with irrops downgrade, etc.), I hope they'd be service-oriented enough to take up the issue themselves and resolve it for me so I can continue with my care-free travels. This service aspect is missing.

In the "old days", I'd be greeted plane side ...and if it was a tight connection, I'd be scurried away quickly. Now, on my last four connecting flights, all of which were tight connections, I got gate agents who wished me "good luck" or gave an ominous "ohh I don't think you'll make it, but run fast across the airport to see if you can."

I only buy F/J, so really what is the difference between GS and 1K nowadays --especially when gate agents at hubs are often in a hurry and fold GS and 1K boarding together?
totally agree with your sentiment. What happened to the GS benefit of a guaranteed seat on the next flight?
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Plane-is-home is offline  
Old Apr 22, 22, 7:54 pm
  #345  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: BOS (& SFO)
Programs: UA GS 2MM, JetBlue Mosaic, Hilton Diamond & Marriott Platinum
Posts: 88
Originally Posted by n8-the-gr8 View Post
I received a mid-year invite a few years back (pre-pandemic) and can offer some additional data points. I proactively emailed them early in the year after having flown $52k in non-tax spend on UA metal to request a review. I was declined an invitation at that point despite having another ~$15k in tickets booked - they noted in their response that booked but uninitiated travel is not considered (which makes sense given that changes to travel plans are likely higher with high-volume international business travelers).

A few months later (June or July), once I had hit ~$67k in spend I received an email out of the blue from GS Review inviting me mid-year to Global Services. This was a ~1-2 month lag after that travel (and associated revenue) had been logged in my account. Obviously the threshold for mid-year review may look different this year and I was never GS previously so that could certainly be a factor.

Originally I emailed 1K Voice with the review request and they correctly routed it to the GS Review team so either should work.
Seconding this - had similar experience with a rapid acceleration in spend due to new job in Europe (was 1-K at that point), and got a mid year surprise from GS around the same time you referenced.
telemark27 is offline  

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