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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 Jul 6, 22, 8:20 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 May 27, 22, 7:31 am
  #466  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Programs: UA GS, AA ExP
Posts: 91
Originally Posted by benewr View Post
It was just refused to me because I had already forced one !!





And again with an other agent ! « There is no space available ». Even if it’s J3 … 😡😡
m
This happened to me on a trip to Frankfurt last month. I called to clear outbound which had J8 and the agent manually cleared it. On the return segment, I called (it was J3) and the agent refused to manually clear ( not because i may not have been on the top of the list) because they already cleared one segment manually.
akhibhag is offline  
Old May 27, 22, 10:49 am
  #467  
 
Join Date: May 2011
Programs: UA GS
Posts: 1,174
I haven’t seen a GS agent at the gate this year. I’ve had misconnects in ORD, EWR and IAH. Crickets.

Companion upgrades and now GS upgrades being limited to one direction may be the death knell for me.

I sponsored 8 domestic PP upgrades this week for employees, 6 1K and 2 GS, none hub to hub and zero cleared.

DEN-DFW this week had 76 on the upgrade list, A320. GA called needing more time, military and then 1K. Giant swarm of people boarded and I asked her why she skipped GS and she said “I called for GS and 1K together”. Wrong order regardless but she skipped GS. I was 3A but my bag ended up over the first row of Y
Plane-is-home likes this.
limey1K is offline  
Old May 27, 22, 11:48 am
  #468  
 
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: 4,799
Originally Posted by Gate45 View Post
A new one, at least to me: 4 seats open in J within 72 hours of departure, I’m number one on the upgrade list so I call to get cleared (waitlisted from W with +P).
The agent gets it done but makes a point of checking my outbound which I had flown in paid J. And goes on to say that the only reason she can force clear the return is because I did not get upgraded on the outbound already. I did not challenge it because I was getting what I wanted anyway, and because I wasn’t sure if this is a known thing that I just had somehow missed, but if not and if the agent was correct, that would be another unfortunate extension of the “Special GS benefit on one segment only” rule.
I just upgraded my wife returning with me from Japan in July -- the agent made it a point to go and look how my wife got to Japan because if I had forced an upgrade to Japan she would not be allowed to open up space on the return -- fortunately she flew NH so she cheerfully forced open J space for me....
bmwe92fan is offline  
Old May 27, 22, 1:51 pm
  #469  
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 980
Originally Posted by limey1K View Post
I haven’t seen a GS agent at the gate this year. I’ve had misconnects in ORD, EWR and IAH. Crickets.

Companion upgrades and now GS upgrades being limited to one direction may be the death knell for me.

I sponsored 8 domestic PP upgrades this week for employees, 6 1K and 2 GS, none hub to hub and zero cleared.

DEN-DFW this week had 76 on the upgrade list, A320. GA called needing more time, military and then 1K. Giant swarm of people boarded and I asked her why she skipped GS and she said “I called for GS and 1K together”. Wrong order regardless but she skipped GS. I was 3A but my bag ended up over the first row of Y
The only place i have consistently seen a GS agent is at LGA. I am 5/5 for having an agent waiting for me at departure this year
jp12687 is offline  
Old May 27, 22, 2:01 pm
  #470  
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: HNL
Programs: UA GS4MM, MR LT Plat, Hilton Gold
Posts: 5,557
Originally Posted by limey1K View Post
I haven’t seen a GS agent at the gate this year.
Me too - although I had only 1 potential misconnect at SFO and they held the plane to HNL via connection saver (not just for me - a lot of us). But reading this nobody met me at the gate thing had me wondering who these people are meeting people at the gate - didn't even know it was a thing.
HNLbasedFlyer is offline  
Old May 27, 22, 4:03 pm
  #471  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: BOS, PVG
Programs: United Global Services and 1MM, Marriott Ambassador
Posts: 9,235
Originally Posted by limey1K View Post
I haven’t seen a GS agent at the gate this year. I’ve had misconnects in ORD, EWR and IAH. Crickets.

Companion upgrades and now GS upgrades being limited to one direction may be the death knell for me.

I sponsored 8 domestic PP upgrades this week for employees, 6 1K and 2 GS, none hub to hub and zero cleared.

DEN-DFW this week had 76 on the upgrade list, A320. GA called needing more time, military and then 1K. Giant swarm of people boarded and I asked her why she skipped GS and she said “I called for GS and 1K together”. Wrong order regardless but she skipped GS. I was 3A but my bag ended up over the first row of Y
You must have really bad luck this year.

I sponsored 9 international and domestic upgrades, most of them have no status, mostly EWR/IAD-SFO, all cleared.

Of course, I selected flights carefully.

On nearly all my own flights, domestic and international, the purser came to my seat, greeted me and thanked me for being a GS member.
kb1992 is offline  
Old May 27, 22, 7:13 pm
  #472  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: SFO / LHR
Programs: UA GS 2.02MM / UC / AS Gold 75K / Bonvoy Plat / Hilton Diamond
Posts: 874
Originally Posted by bmwe92fan View Post
I just upgraded my wife returning with me from Japan in July -- the agent made it a point to go and look how my wife got to Japan because if I had forced an upgrade to Japan she would not be allowed to open up space on the return -- fortunately she flew NH so she cheerfully forced open J space for me....
So I learned a lot this week when trying to change a ticket. On my original paid J round trip, I had opened up a companion Saver Biz/IN seat in one direction. I subsequently needed to change the outbound due to work commitments, and the agent (after putting me on hold forever) came back and told me she couldn’t change my companion without charging an additional 100,000 miles for the segment, because “the rules clearly state only one exception is to be granted for the LIFETIME of the PNR - you already had one exception for the original outbound flight, and that’s it”. She was reading from a Reservation Agent intranet platform called Wingtips, and told me that they had recently been force trained on the GS “Exception Rules” and parameters.

She refused to make the change without the add collect of miles, and I tried a HUACA. Next agent said that the prior agent had added lots of remarks to the reservation record, and entered a warning to other agents saying she has “clearly advised the member of the exception rules”. The next agent said that the rules are indeed confusing, but because she had changed my ticket and now I could not be changed back to the original flight, she would go ahead and change my companion with no add collect.

Ultimately, the one exception for the life of the PNR was another new one to me. It makes little sense when they tell you that you must fly with the companion to which the exception was granted, then introduce this. They are clearly cracking down further on rules, are encouraging agents to be strict, and some agents are taking great joy at being sticklers.

GS as a program is in an interesting spot. The ground service has really shifted in quality. IRROPS handling has become almost non-existent. Sometimes there is a smiling agent at the gate, but if it’s delayed longer than 10 minutes they head off to their next assignment and leave you with a rolling delay. Reservations Line is usually good, but they are much less flexible and helpful than in the past. The exception rules are getting so tight to the point of being both confusing and not as useful. 1K also gets pre-board and meal choice, and shortly that will be irrelevant with pre-order being rolled out to all flights. I’m 25% success rate this year in sponsoring others for upgrades with PP.

Big question is whether it’s still worth the dollar stretch / UA metal loyalty versus using a mix of UA and other carriers when almost all my travel is paid F/J anyway - against a backdrop of much higher fares and mediocre service. The value equation seems less obvious at the moment.
greenpau is offline  
Old May 27, 22, 8:02 pm
  #473  
 
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: 4,799
Originally Posted by greenpau View Post
So I learned a lot this week when trying to change a ticket. On my original paid J round trip, I had opened up a companion Saver Biz/IN seat in one direction. I subsequently needed to change the outbound due to work commitments, and the agent (after putting me on hold forever) came back and told me she couldn’t change my companion without charging an additional 100,000 miles for the segment, because “the rules clearly state only one exception is to be granted for the LIFETIME of the PNR - you already had one exception for the original outbound flight, and that’s it”. She was reading from a Reservation Agent intranet platform called Wingtips, and told me that they had recently been force trained on the GS “Exception Rules” and parameters.

She refused to make the change without the add collect of miles, and I tried a HUACA. Next agent said that the prior agent had added lots of remarks to the reservation record, and entered a warning to other agents saying she has “clearly advised the member of the exception rules”. The next agent said that the rules are indeed confusing, but because she had changed my ticket and now I could not be changed back to the original flight, she would go ahead and change my companion with no add collect.

Ultimately, the one exception for the life of the PNR was another new one to me. It makes little sense when they tell you that you must fly with the companion to which the exception was granted, then introduce this. They are clearly cracking down further on rules, are encouraging agents to be strict, and some agents are taking great joy at being sticklers.

GS as a program is in an interesting spot. The ground service has really shifted in quality. IRROPS handling has become almost non-existent. Sometimes there is a smiling agent at the gate, but if it’s delayed longer than 10 minutes they head off to their next assignment and leave you with a rolling delay. Reservations Line is usually good, but they are much less flexible and helpful than in the past. The exception rules are getting so tight to the point of being both confusing and not as useful. 1K also gets pre-board and meal choice, and shortly that will be irrelevant with pre-order being rolled out to all flights. I’m 25% success rate this year in sponsoring others for upgrades with PP.

Big question is whether it’s still worth the dollar stretch / UA metal loyalty versus using a mix of UA and other carriers when almost all my travel is paid F/J anyway - against a backdrop of much higher fares and mediocre service. The value equation seems less obvious at the moment.
UA is devaluing GS as rapidly as any other level -- for the first time in ~10 years when I called GS line in middle of a non-crisis day I was asked to choose a call back number.... Even when I booked two one ways the GS agents are looking to take away our "unpublished" benefits -- if they take away upgrades on award tickets I am done with UA instantly.... When we can fly ANA one way for 80k miles and get "the room" -- or fly UA product for that I might have to connect from NYC for 175k -- duh.... I checked today how many saver J awards to Tokyo in next few months -- I saw three days... NH has amazing availability -- I think I will just go for miles now....
bmwe92fan is offline  
Old May 27, 22, 8:07 pm
  #474  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: SFO / LHR
Programs: UA GS 2.02MM / UC / AS Gold 75K / Bonvoy Plat / Hilton Diamond
Posts: 874
Originally Posted by bmwe92fan View Post
UA is devaluing GS as rapidly as any other level -- for the first time in ~10 years when I called GS line in middle of a non-crisis day I was asked to choose a call back number.... Even when I booked two one ways the GS agents are looking to take away our "unpublished" benefits -- if they take away upgrades on award tickets I am done with UA instantly.... When we can fly ANA one way for 80k miles and get "the room" -- or fly UA product for that I might have to connect from NYC for 175k -- duh.... I checked today how many saver J awards to Tokyo in next few months -- I saw three days... NH has amazing availability -- I think I will just go for miles now....
Same! I just picked up NH F with lots of availability, connecting through to BKK.

I will also say with overall redemption rates rising fast, even at Saver level, agree the program overall is shifting.
greenpau is offline  
Old May 28, 22, 10:27 am
  #475  
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: NYC
Programs: UA GS, AS 75K, Hyatt Globalist, Marriott Platinum
Posts: 273
Just had a situation where I wait listed PP for a friend and UA coded it as PZ - not PN (I am not traveling on the flight). Never had seen that before so assumed it was a glitch, tried again, and PZ again. Called in, was told it’s supposed to be PZ…(never have heard that before…). Has this happened to anyone else recently? Was PN when I did it last month.
Gberg is offline  
Old May 29, 22, 2:22 am
  #476  
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: SFO, TPE, HNL
Programs: UA GS 4MM, RCC life member (paid), Marriott Lifetime Titanium, Hyatt Globalist, CLEAR
Posts: 1,550
Originally Posted by Gberg View Post
Just had a situation where I wait listed PP for a friend and UA coded it as PZ - not PN (I am not traveling on the flight). Never had seen that before so assumed it was a glitch, tried again, and PZ again. Called in, was told it’s supposed to be PZ…(never have heard that before…). Has this happened to anyone else recently? Was PN when I did it last month.
I just booked my son a XN+PP upgraded a few minutes ago. There were PN7 PZ3 in a near empty TPE-SFO flight in early June. Your post prompted me to go back to look, and it was PN. I hope your case is just a fluke. Otherwise, it would be really bad.

You mentioned you waitlisted PP for a friend. So was it a waitlist or was it confirmed when you saw the PZ code?
PanAmWT is offline  
Old May 29, 22, 2:31 am
  #477  
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Doylestown/Charlotte
Programs: UAL GS & Million M; Delta Gold Medallion (2 mio +); American; Hyatt Platinum Passport, Omni Platinum
Posts: 1,310
Originally Posted by PanAmWT View Post
I just booked my son a XN+PP upgraded a few minutes ago. There were PN7 PZ3 in a near empty TPE-SFO flight in early June. Your post prompted me to go back to look, and it was PN. I hope your case is just a fluke. Otherwise, it would be really bad.

You mentioned you waitlisted PP for a friend. So was it a waitlist or was it confirmed when you saw the PZ code?
Sorry but can you explain the significance of this change if true? TIA
manstein58 is offline  
Old May 29, 22, 4:02 am
  #478  
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 406
Originally Posted by Gberg View Post
Just had a situation where I wait listed PP for a friend and UA coded it as PZ - not PN (I am not traveling on the flight). Never had seen that before so assumed it was a glitch, tried again, and PZ again. Called in, was told it’s supposed to be PZ…(never have heard that before…). Has this happened to anyone else recently? Was PN when I did it last month.
I can confirm the same.
flight today, sponsored using GS points
Passenger has no status
​​​​​​#14 and waitlted for PZ (confirmed over the phone)


I was hoping it's a glitch so removed and reapplied but still showed PZ.


However it's worth noting last month I had the same thing happen when with GS member and GS points was showing wait-list to pz, so I removed and reapplied twice, and then it showed me at top of the list.
Kleinnaf is offline  
Old May 29, 22, 6:01 am
  #479  
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 8,469
Originally Posted by manstein58 View Post
Sorry but can you explain the significance of this change if true? TIA
It would mean GS-sponsored non-GS friends/family/etc don't get to access PN and/or don't get as much priority on the waitlist. The waitlist order goes PN sorted by status, then PZ sorted by status. So instead of getting to jump 1K, they would be farther down.
fumje is offline  
Old May 29, 22, 6:30 am
  #480  
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Doylestown/Charlotte
Programs: UAL GS & Million M; Delta Gold Medallion (2 mio +); American; Hyatt Platinum Passport, Omni Platinum
Posts: 1,310
Originally Posted by fumje View Post
It would mean GS-sponsored non-GS friends/family/etc don't get to access PN and/or don't get as much priority on the waitlist. The waitlist order goes PN sorted by status, then PZ sorted by status. So instead of getting to jump 1K, they would be farther down.
Thank you
manstein58 is offline  

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