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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 Jun 23, 22, 3:00 pm
  #661  
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: SFO, TPE, HNL
Programs: UA GS 4MM, RCC life member (paid), Marriott Lifetime Titanium, Hilton Silver. CLEAR
Posts: 1,536
Originally Posted by lakid View Post
I requested IN space and pay in full with mileage at the saver rate they said that is no longer done the only way to “ force” a Polaris seat as a GS companion benefit is via upgrading from economy that is to to either have a paid economy or XN ticker and then upgrade with PP points as I mentioned earlier this was from a CSA to a supervisor then HUCA and the same answer , if this is true policy then it’s a major devaluation of GS benefits
This is indeed a significant loss in the GS benefit.

I think we may also lose the ability of XN+PP->PN in the future. UA apparently want some cash in requiring paid economy. It does not make too much sense to stop at this point: No pushed IN but allows pushed XN+PP. Or perhaps they use PP as a limitation factor to control the benefit? PP quantity is limited and expires each year.

I have never tried, but now I realize that we also cannot use GS miles to push upgrade on paid economy.
PanAmWT is offline  
Old Jun 23, 22, 5:38 pm
  #662  
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: SFO
Programs: UA GS 2mm
Posts: 54
Fun times on the ZRH - SFO flight earlier today (Polaris - full fare J) when they asked for my 1st, 2nd, and 3rd meal choices... I guess they were taking meal orders from front to back and I was in row 11 (I did end up with my first choice - so got the chicken with the weird salad). Also cattle call at the boarding gate in ZRH when a women literally shoved me aside saying "excuse me I'm a 1k"... sigh
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Old Jun 23, 22, 5:42 pm
  #663  
 
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: 4,615
Originally Posted by kj5hp View Post
Fun times on the ZRH - SFO flight earlier today (Polaris - full fare J) when they asked for my 1st, 2nd, and 3rd meal choices... I guess they were taking meal orders from front to back and I was in row 11 (I did end up with my first choice - so got the chicken with the weird salad). Also cattle call at the boarding gate in ZRH when a women literally shoved me aside saying "excuse me I'm a 1k"... sigh
Was your chicken as dry as mine? Honestly -- whoever designed that "salad" should find another job at UA -- maybe in fare construction - where things that shouldn't go together somehow do....
bmwe92fan is offline  
Old Jun 23, 22, 9:14 pm
  #664  
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: SFO
Programs: UA GS 2mm
Posts: 54
Originally Posted by bmwe92fan View Post
Was your chicken as dry as mine? Honestly -- whoever designed that "salad" should find another job at UA -- maybe in fare construction - where things that shouldn't go together somehow do....
Dry, yes but edible. The salad is just terrible. It’s gross. I’m confused why they serve it. If anybody here loves it, please raise your hand.
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Old Jun 24, 22, 10:02 am
  #665  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Chicago, IL
Programs: UA GS MM, DL Plat, Mariott LT Plat/Ambassador, Hyatt Globalist, National Executive
Posts: 824
It seems like the GS program will continue to be gutted. The cash grab is real whether it's regarding upgrades, meals, or anything else that can cost UA money. It's sad to see. I've been trying out some other airlines like American and Delta domestically as well as flying Air Canada, Lufthansa, Air France, and KLM internationally. Sadly, I feel the premium experience is better on all of those than UA.
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Old Jun 25, 22, 9:38 am
  #666  
LIH
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: ORD | LGA | 2E
Programs: UA GS 1.5MM UC | AA Plat 0.5MM AC | Bonvoy Plat | Hertz PC
Posts: 936
Originally Posted by bmwe92fan View Post
I literally just came through - Gold track was empty - regular security was out the door. From curb to lounge was 15 minutes…. They are finally starting to get things sorted out - but it’s still a mess (if you don’t have gold track)…
Took me 2h45min curb to lounge on Saturday 6/18 via GS check-in and Fast Track. Very glad your experience a few days later was better. There were 8 empty C seats on my 764 and the purser said the flight was booked full so that many people got shut out.
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Old Jun 25, 22, 9:54 am
  #667  
 
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: 4,615
Originally Posted by LIH View Post
Took me 2h45min curb to lounge on Saturday 6/18 via GS check-in and Fast Track. Very glad your experience a few days later was better. There were 8 empty C seats on my 764 and the purser said the flight was booked full so that many people got shut out.
Wow that's awful -- I saw a few posts above that someone else just recently made it in about 20 minutes -- I'm guessing weekends are really bad -- and if memory serves your experience was the day AFTER the massive luggage failure at T2?
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Old Jun 25, 22, 9:59 am
  #668  
LIH
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: ORD | LGA | 2E
Programs: UA GS 1.5MM UC | AA Plat 0.5MM AC | Bonvoy Plat | Hertz PC
Posts: 936
Originally Posted by bmwe92fan View Post
Wow that's awful -- I saw a few posts above that someone else just recently made it in about 20 minutes -- I'm guessing weekends are really bad -- and if memory serves your experience was the day AFTER the massive luggage failure at T2?
Correct on the luggage "failure". I'm jaded but even the UC agents seemed to think it was intentional. Some of the bag were still outside on the arrivals level!
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LIH is offline  
Old Jun 25, 22, 10:11 am
  #669  
 
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: 4,615
Originally Posted by LIH View Post
Correct on the luggage "failure". I'm jaded but even the UC agents seemed to think it was intentional. Some of the bag were still outside on the arrivals level!
Well thankfully I left the day before the UK rail strike -- I usually take the Heathrow Express but was told it may or may not be running in advance of the strike (and was definitely cancelled Tuesday) -- so I took a car service.... Totally get what you mean about it being intentional, though.... FRA wasn't much better after LHR -- LH is really struggling -- and FRA was already a challenging airport....
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Old Jun 25, 22, 10:45 am
  #670  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: IAH & CMH
Programs: UA GS, UA MM, Marriott Ambassador, Hilton Diamond, Uber Platinum :)
Posts: 476
Originally Posted by LIH View Post
Took me 2h45min curb to lounge on Saturday 6/18 via GS check-in and Fast Track. Very glad your experience a few days later was better. There were 8 empty C seats on my 764 and the purser said the flight was booked full so that many people got shut out.
took literally 20 mins from GS check-in through fast track to the lounge yesterday. Departure hall was a zoo though, with various lines, including security, snaking all over the place. On the hike to the lounge I had several ppl running (or trying to!) past me to the gates. I’m guessing they were in the regular security lane and coming close to missing their flights…
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Old Jun 25, 22, 11:02 am
  #671  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Houston, TX, USA
Programs: UA 1K3MM
Posts: 190
Originally Posted by Dyce View Post
took literally 20 mins from GS check-in through fast track to the lounge yesterday. Departure hall was a zoo though, with various lines, including security, snaking all over the place. On the hike to the lounge I had several ppl running (or trying to!) past me to the gates. I’m guessing they were in the regular security lane and coming close to missing their flights…
Did check-in GS agents offer to escort you to front of security? I heard that might be happening.
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Old Jun 25, 22, 12:38 pm
  #672  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: IAH & CMH
Programs: UA GS, UA MM, Marriott Ambassador, Hilton Diamond, Uber Platinum :)
Posts: 476
Originally Posted by SuiteFlyer View Post
Did check-in GS agents offer to escort you to front of security? I heard that might be happening.
nope… just a “hope security isn’t too bad”.

they don’t even direct me to the fast track lane, but they may be assuming (correctly) I’m familiar with it…
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Old Jun 25, 22, 12:59 pm
  #673  
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Programs: AA Ck, Delta DM, Marriott ambassador , Hertz President, National EE, Hilton Diamond ,
Posts: 79
Originally Posted by LIH View Post
Given that I'm ORD based AA is really the only viable option. Just for my travel patterns I'm mostly just doing my transcon flights on them which in my experience is a superior lounge, food, and on board service experience. The 3 class 774s that they're still operating are my favorite and their Flagship Lounges smoke the UC access I would otherwise have on those transcons.

My real end game is to get CK on AA (which I have some insight into being probable this year based on a proactive outreach from them) which means Flagship Lounge access even on ho-hum domestic routes. Honestly, that's more than enough to make up for anything I will be losing if my GS qualification lapses. I'll probably be both CK and GS next year so I'll have a better apples-to-apples experience to detail then. I'm 99% paid F so my irrops flexibility has remained pretty good on AA (if slightly better occasionally on UA). I never thought a better lounge set up would drag me away from GS but that's basically how little I get out of GS these days.

I should add that, while I do 5-6 INTL RTs a year, I mostly just do 1-2 day weekly trips domestically so having Flagship Lounge access at all the hubs when I'm at an airport 120 times a year is really enticing compared to sitting in a cramped, crowded, and often hot UC.
im CK on AA and GS On united through business. CK in my experience has been much better overall. I used to be JFK based but now I’m FLL/ MIA based. Was doing a lot of travel to NJ But united has been canceling every flight I book there including all my coworkers. Making it impossible to fly them. The GS service has been decent in flight I’ve noticed tho
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Old Jun 26, 22, 1:40 pm
  #674  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: IAH/EWR-LGA/MIA
Programs: UA Global Services 2.9MM, Marriott Bonvoy Ambassador (Lifetime Titanium) Elite
Posts: 1,789
Another 30 minute call (mostly on hold) to push a T-72 PP upgrade on a domestic flight. Wingtips?
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Old Jun 26, 22, 2:54 pm
  #675  
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Programs: UA LT GS | UA LT Club | Marriott LT Titanium
Posts: 1,002
I just got the automated option to receive a call back retaining my position in the queue. It worked smoothly and they called me back.

Now that they've deployed this functionality, I hope all the complaining around wait times quiets down.
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