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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
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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 25, 22, 6:01 pm
  #361  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Chicago, IL
Programs: UA GS MM, DL Plat, Mariott LT Plat/Ambassador, Hyatt Globalist, National Executive
Posts: 839
My ORD-DEN flight was delayed on Friday due to weather and a minor mechanical issue. I called GS from the plane while boarding to ask to be protected on the later DEN-LAS flight. The first agent told me they don't do that (even though the app was showing that I would land 6 minutes before the connection departed). I called again and the second agent protected me (with the app showing me arriving at the same time as the connection departed). When I arrived in DEN, the connecting plane went mechanical. We got a new plane and then that one went mechanical as well but it was able to be repaired. Throughout all of this there were no agents meeting my flight, no updates to my reservation proactively. It did not feel like the way GS used to.
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EWRFlyerAL is offline  
Old Apr 25, 22, 6:05 pm
  #362  
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: DEN/OGG
Programs: UA GS
Posts: 1,460
Originally Posted by EWRFlyerAL View Post
My ORD-DEN flight was delayed on Friday due to weather and a minor mechanical issue. I called GS from the plane while boarding to ask to be protected on the later DEN-LAS flight. The first agent told me they don't do that (even though the app was showing that I would land 6 minutes before the connection departed). I called again and the second agent protected me (with the app showing me arriving at the same time as the connection departed). When I arrived in DEN, the connecting plane went mechanical. We got a new plane and then that one went mechanical as well but it was able to be repaired. Throughout all of this there were no agents meeting my flight, no updates to my reservation proactively. It did not feel like the way GS used to.
Major fail on their side
Plane-is-home is offline  
Old Apr 25, 22, 8:17 pm
  #363  
 
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: 4,801
Originally Posted by Plane-is-home View Post
Major fail on their side
TOTALLY AGREE! But let's be honest -- GS isn't at all what it used to be - and honestly - UA doesn't seem to care at all....
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bmwe92fan is online now  
Old Apr 25, 22, 11:27 pm
  #364  
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: San Francisco
Programs: United Global Services
Posts: 77
Originally Posted by EWRFlyerAL View Post
....edited Throughout all of this there were no agents meeting my flight, no updates to my reservation proactively. It did not feel like the way GS used to.


Not surprised. Three or 4 flights ago, I had a connecting flight: CHS-IAD-SFO. (And I HATE connecting; and on United, a flight into or out of CHS to/from the West Coast is challenging.) When the IAD-SFO leg boarded and rolled out to the runway, we had a mechanical. Then, the crew timed out. I asked the GA if there was a GS representative available and she said "no," but directed me to an obscure office where I could them. Then, another GA said, "No, you can't go there" and provided a useless rationale as to why not. I wasn't up for the confrontation. So, I called GS to be protected on ANY flight to return to SFO that evening. The first agent wasn't helpful. She seemed new and not sure what to do. I immediately hung up, called again, and the second agent (experienced, better informed) protected me on two flights. (Both required another stop at DEN.) Middle seats, but oh well. I was happy she found any seat at that point. Ultimately, they found a new crew and 4 hrs later, we boarded the original, direct flight to SFO.

If there are helpful and PRESENT GS agents when something goes wrong, let me know! I haven't seen any when things go awry. They always seem to be present when I board an on-time flight, but when the flight is seriously delayed or cancelled, they are no where to be found. That's been my experience in the last 3 or 4 years (prior to the pandemic). My best guess is that with the rise of the Internet, the pandemic, and their new QR code assistance, they're moving away from person-to-person interaction. Which is fine. Just try to be helpful, please, if you believe that a GS flyer is important. Otherwise, don't offer the service.
SFO_UGS is offline  
Old Apr 25, 22, 11:59 pm
  #365  
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: San Francisco
Programs: UA 1K, UA 1MM, Hilton Lifetime Gold, Marriott Gold, Hertz Gold, CLEAR, AS MVP Gold
Posts: 3,052
Originally Posted by limey1K View Post
1600 here and growing. I apply them to co-workers, neighbors, friends and always end up getting them back in my account after they fail.
Same issue here have posted about it many times. I apply them to basically everything that I (or my wife book). I am constantly applying them my families bookings as well and I think I have had one (maybe two) clear all year. I am currently now 1K but I had only slightly better odds at clearing my PP upgrades as GS. To be fair my typical travel is on high traffic and high profile routes like SFO-HNL, BOS, DEN, EWR, KOA, SEA.
nomad420 is online now  
Old Apr 26, 22, 5:26 am
  #366  
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Doylestown/Charlotte
Programs: UAL GS & Million M; Delta Gold Medallion (2 mio +); American; Hyatt Platinum Passport, Omni Platinum
Posts: 1,316
Originally Posted by nomad420 View Post
Same issue here have posted about it many times. I apply them to basically everything that I (or my wife book). I am constantly applying them my families bookings as well and I think I have had one (maybe two) clear all year. I am currently now 1K but I had only slightly better odds at clearing my PP upgrades as GS. To be fair my typical travel is on high traffic and high profile routes like SFO-HNL, BOS, DEN, EWR, KOA, SEA.
more or less worthless unless flying on regional jet routes has been my experience. Like Weimar money
manstein58 is online now  
Old Apr 26, 22, 8:54 am
  #367  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Chicago, IL
Programs: UA GS MM, DL Plat, Mariott LT Plat/Ambassador, Hyatt Globalist, National Executive
Posts: 839
I called GS yesterday to talk about the five recent delays I have had, the poor food quality, and just to share some thoughts around how much the program has degraded. The agent I spoke with has been there for over 25 years and was sympathetic. She said they have been getting lots of complaints from GS members around food quality, the changes to the companion upgrade benefit (opening only on one leg), and just the general GS experience. According to her, they are hiring GS phone agents and bumping up the number of premium employees in airports. The GS experience will be getting better soon (we'll see). As for the food, she said that there are some tweaks coming soon and that they are told to say that they're still recovering from Covid and supply chain issues.
EWRFlyerAL is offline  
Old Apr 26, 22, 10:19 am
  #368  
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 120
Originally Posted by bmwe92fan View Post
Yep - me too. I have two kids flying into EWR from ROC Thursday and there are zero seats sold -- but no upgrade yet (and don't expect one either) and will probably go out full... PlusPoints have been useful for us on award tickets -- that's about it...
Is the ability to use PlusPoints on award tickets a GS specific benefit?
UAFLYER22 is offline  
Old Apr 26, 22, 10:25 am
  #369  
 
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: 4,801
Originally Posted by UAFLYER22 View Post
Is the ability to use PlusPoints on award tickets a GS specific benefit?
Yes
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bmwe92fan is online now  
Old Apr 26, 22, 10:32 am
  #370  
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Programs: UA GS | Marriott Titanium / LT Platinum
Posts: 365
I'd be curious to know United's approach and rationale for GS teams at various airports.

I haven't seen or engaged with a live GS agent at the airport since February 2020 but on a recent flight from PHL, there was an agent greeting GS by name as we boarded with our upgraded tickets (both cleared apparently). Wasn't particularly necessary but was surprised to see Philly still have any GS agent presence given that it's not a major airport for United.

To this day my best GS experience was also at Philly in 2019 when I had a delay and an agent from the airport called me directly, had protected me in First class on all departing flights, and was at the gate to greet me as the first flight option boarded. Obviously that's in part driven by local management and training/experience but still seems so bizarre at a station like PHL compared to the lack of proactive service at so many hubs.
n8-the-gr8 is online now  
Old Apr 26, 22, 11:39 am
  #371  
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Doylestown/Charlotte
Programs: UAL GS & Million M; Delta Gold Medallion (2 mio +); American; Hyatt Platinum Passport, Omni Platinum
Posts: 1,316
Originally Posted by n8-the-gr8 View Post
I'd be curious to know United's approach and rationale for GS teams at various airports.

I haven't seen or engaged with a live GS agent at the airport since February 2020 but on a recent flight from PHL, there was an agent greeting GS by name as we boarded with our upgraded tickets (both cleared apparently). Wasn't particularly necessary but was surprised to see Philly still have any GS agent presence given that it's not a major airport for United.

To this day my best GS experience was also at Philly in 2019 when I had a delay and an agent from the airport called me directly, had protected me in First class on all departing flights, and was at the gate to greet me as the first flight option boarded. Obviously that's in part driven by local management and training/experience but still seems so bizarre at a station like PHL compared to the lack of proactive service at so many hubs.
PHL has prided itself on offering a nice GS experience for at least the last ten years
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manstein58 is online now  
Old Apr 26, 22, 11:54 am
  #372  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: DEN
Posts: 29
Can pile on here from earlier this week.

Den-iad RT (me with minor on same pnr, wife on separate pnr).

Had plus points applied to all but when outbound FC showed full t-72 I called gs line to pull them off the table for the outbound.

Repeatedly asked GS agent that she only pulled outbound PP’s off the res and return leg still applied.

At t-72 for return, called to push through PP upgrades to which gs agent said, what pp’s? The previous agent had removed them completely from the res.

Fast forward to outbound departure. I’m still #1 on upgrade list and it clears as CPU. Res for me and minor gets split.

On the app PP’s have been deducted for the flight (should’ve been cpu) and another 20 points deducted for the return flight (which had already cleared/pushed through).

So a couple things:
  1. clearly agent messed up the removal of PP’s on outbound and mistakenly removed them from return
  2. Surprised that gate agent split pnr with a minor for cpu without calling me to gate first. Wouldn’t this be a potential policy issue?
  3. Some sort of IT mess up resulting in additional PP’s being removed for return because of pnr split when cpu cleared on outbound.


The real dilemma is whether I call a gs agent to get my pp’s back. Like others have stated, have 1300 and not sure it’s worth my time to explain this all out to probably just get pushback for PP’s I likely will not use.
Raven139AS is offline  
Old Apr 26, 22, 2:44 pm
  #373  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: BOS, PVG
Programs: United Global Services and 1MM, Marriott Ambassador
Posts: 9,236
Originally Posted by Chukiechz View Post
Same experience for domestic trips. I’ve got a family trips in June and July. One flight has been completely unsold in first for months now, and I’m still waitlisted. PP are pretty much useless for me.
Originally Posted by spartacusmcfly View Post
What's going on now is unprecedented.

PN is on complete lockdown and that ain't changing. WSJ article this morning about how paid concert tickets have become absurdly expensive. If you'll pay $2K for a two-hour Adrea Bocelli concert, you'll pay $2K for an 11-hour flight from SFO-CDG.

Only guaranteed upgrade SFO-EUR on 4 major non-stops, is saver award at T-96 with J>2, then push at T-72. Can't use cash as W disappears that close to departure. But do it quickly. Once Y loads go up, saver at T-96 will disappear and we're all looking at battlefield upgrades.

If you can't do last-minute and want to maximize chances, try SFO-AMS or BOS-LHR. SFO-AMS is tougher than one would think. BOS-LHR is always wide open -- plenty of PZ and PN...
Agree that PN is hard to find, and it's increasingly difficult to use PP.

However, I have some success with PP, and CPU without PP. Cleared every EWR/IAD-SFO/LAX.

Got CPU cleared EWR-PHX, ORD-BOS as the only one cleared.

Originally Posted by Plane-is-home View Post
I am at 1800 plus points and haven’t been able to use one in 2022
Originally Posted by UAFLYER22 View Post
Is the ability to use PlusPoints on award tickets a GS specific benefit?
If I can get PP upgrade next month SFO-PVG on XN saver award ticket, I would have hit the jackpot.

I am confident that the value I get from 40 PP would be a world record.

The J fare for my flight is $18,000.
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kb1992 is offline  
Old Apr 26, 22, 11:52 pm
  #374  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Posts: 11,053
The LAX GS crew - especially the first/morning shift - IME is still among the most consistent and best around, even though unfortunately their office/room upstairs has been closed.
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cesco.g is offline  
Old Apr 27, 22, 10:08 am
  #375  
 
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: 4,335
Originally Posted by cesco.g View Post
The LAX GS crew - especially the first/morning shift - IME is still among the most consistent and best around, even though unfortunately their office/room upstairs has been closed.
Flew in F with DW and 2 young kids a few years ago from LAX-CLE and had scattered seats. GS checkin agent proactively says, oh we can't have that, and proceeded to get us 4 seats together.
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ctownflyer is offline  

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