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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 Jun 30, 22, 8:32 pm
  #691  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Catania, Sicily/South Jersey (PHL)/Houston, Texas/airborne in-between
Programs: United Global Svcs, AA ExecPlat, WN RR, AZ(RIP) Freccia Alata+, Hilton Gold, Bonvoy Gold, Hertz Prez
Posts: 3,355
Yesterday at IAH term E about to board a 175 for DCA a GS rep came up introduced herself to me (and the other GS on the flight) and escorted us up to pre-board. Had a nice chat. First time that happened in a long while for me.

When I was flying PHL IAH and back twice a week for three years it was common place in PHL with the great GS staff there. Same at LHR, but since COVID this is only the second time at IAH; the other was last year. I also had the staff at SJT escort me to board last summer before UA sadly pulled all the regional flights. Otherwise nada.
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Old Jun 30, 22, 9:06 pm
  #692  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Programs: SQ, QF, UA, CO, DL
Posts: 2,001
Originally Posted by LIH View Post
Not to be morbid but this would be a really backward way to prioritize service. UA should want the 32 year old GS with 1MM lifetime miles to be much happier than the 58 year old GS with 4MM lifetime miles. I'm talking my book a bit there but just from a business perspective; today, my spend potential has a lot more lifetime value at 38 than I will 2 decades from now when I'm sure I'll be a 3-4MMer.
I understand your point about "hooking them when they are young" but anyone having flown millions of miles should be shown good service. Regardless of their future net value they typically are decision makers, in positions of influence and can serve as invaluable brand promoters for UA. It would make no sense to reward people less for their brand loyalty as their patronage increases over the years.

Originally Posted by limey1K View Post
Do they thank you for being a 5 million miler specifically? I’m just short of 2M and I get the standard “Thanks for being a million miler with us” so I want sure if it shows them the actual miles or just “Million Miler”. Just curious
I cannot recall a gate agent, club agent, or FA mention how many million miles I have flown with one notable exception but I recently got one from a phone agent. I made a follow-up call (HUACA) to the GS number and the agent read the notes from the previous agent which included flat out wrong statements about the fare construction. The first agent had put me on hold for 35 minutes to speak with her lead and came back saying I had used up the number of allowed stopovers because I needed to count each international connection as a stopover. Anyway the fare was constructed point to point without using any allowance for stopovers so I hung up and called back. The second agent apologized to me saying that as a someone well beyond qualifying for lifetime GS I deserved better service and accurate information.

The one exception for a FA mentioning the miles I have flown that I can recall is when I had passed 5 million miles some years back. A GS agent boarded the flight to give me a "card" congratulating me on my achievement which did not even include my name. Plus the card was half a card, like a post card, where they had applied a gold sticker saying "5 million million miles" stuck over what was normally printed for the number of miles flown. I appreciated the effort, but it looked cheap. A FA came up and also personally congratulated me on reaching one million miles. I said it is five million, actually. He said "Right, that's a good one! No one would ever fly United that much", laughed and went back to his duties. The service in flight was flawless.

Not sure what FAs and gate agents can see today but I personally do not fly United for recognition of how many miles I have flown. It would be one of their worst service aspects. I fly UA for the network and IROPS recovery when things go awry.
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Old Jul 1, 22, 12:56 pm
  #693  
LIH
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: ORD | LGA | 2E
Programs: UA GS 1.6MM UC | AA CK 0.7MM AC | Bonvoy Plat | Hertz PC
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Originally Posted by porciuscato View Post
If United develops a reputation of giving 2nd rate treatment to lifelong loyal customers, future lifelong customers will take note and go elsewhere.
Agreed (I'm moving to AA/CK for 2023). My point was just that providing better service to GS with more or less BIS is at best misguided and at worst counterproductive.

But I certainly exemplify your point. I'm starting over again at AA basically from a lifetime mile perspective but it's for the sure the right call for me right now after 6 years as GS (and a MP track record that goes back to when I was 1 year old in 1987).
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Old Jul 1, 22, 6:39 pm
  #694  
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Programs: AA Ck, Delta DM, Marriott ambassador , Hertz President, National EE, Hilton Diamond ,
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Originally Posted by LIH View Post
Agreed (I'm moving to AA/CK for 2023). My point was just that providing better service to GS with more or less BIS is at best misguided and at worst counterproductive.

But I certainly exemplify your point. I'm starting over again at AA basically from a lifetime mile perspective but it's for the sure the right call for me right now after 6 years as GS (and a MP track record that goes back to when I was 1 year old in 1987).
not sure where you are based out of but CK has been great so far. Unfortunately my experiences of GS is out of ewr for the most part and hasnt been anything special. Im now based out of fll/mia
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Old Jul 1, 22, 7:20 pm
  #695  
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Originally Posted by scott56 View Post
not sure where you are based out of but CK has been great so far. Unfortunately my experiences of GS is out of ewr for the most part and hasnt been anything special. Im now based out of fll/mia
CK is so far superior to GS and this thread just shows that
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Old Jul 1, 22, 9:32 pm
  #696  
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 574
Upgrade priority - intl GS companion

Curious on what the upgrade priority should be. I needed to book me and a family member on 2 sep award tickets (one avail at 30k miles, one higher). This is US to Europe

Higher mileage ticket for the GS passenger showed up on the upgrade list as #1, lower mileage with no status showed up as #6. Flight is tomorrow (Saturday)

ive spent about 3 hrs on the phone with GS agents trying to get the two tickets linked so the lower ticket shows the same status (GS + 40 plus points) and moves to #2 on the list. GS agents attempted to call their ATO support and cant figure out how to get it done. Ultimately, with EWR GS closed for the night, I got GS to call the Denver airport but Denver said they couldnt do it bc the flight was originating from EWR.

any recs? Am I right to think both passengers should be linked and show next to each other on the upgrade list (like a GS companion would)?
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Old Jul 1, 22, 11:13 pm
  #697  
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: 60,590
Originally Posted by johnsmith View Post
Curious on what the upgrade priority should be. I needed to book me and a family member on 2 sep award tickets (one avail at 30k miles, one higher). This is US to Europe

Higher mileage ticket for the GS passenger showed up on the upgrade list as #1, lower mileage with no status showed up as #6. Flight is tomorrow (Saturday)

ive spent about 3 hrs on the phone with GS agents trying to get the two tickets linked so the lower ticket shows the same status (GS + 40 plus points) and moves to #2 on the list. GS agents attempted to call their ATO support and can’t figure out how to get it done. Ultimately, with EWR GS closed for the night, I got GS to call the Denver airport but Denver said they couldn’t do it bc the flight was originating from EWR.

any recs? Am I right to think both passengers should be linked and show next to each other on the upgrade list (like a GS companion would)?
What are you using to support the upgrades, GS Plus Points? And the miles came from the GS account?
On separate tickets, supported with GS PlusPoints, both will be the PN waitlist sort by their individual status. Any other GS on award ticket will be ranked higher than the companion. Any elite using GS miles and GS Plus Points will outrank your companion with no status
If there are no other GS support award tickets, then you could be adjacent
On separate PNRs there is no linkage, only if booked together on the same PNR
You are asking for something well outside the rules

Are you waitlisted for Polaris or PremPlus?
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Last edited by WineCountryUA; Jul 1, 22 at 11:30 pm Reason: Are you waitlisted for Polaris or PremPlus?
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Old Jul 2, 22, 3:46 am
  #698  
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Saipan, MP 96950 USA (Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands = the CNMI)
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Originally Posted by porciuscato (Post # 688) View Post
If United develops a reputation of giving 2nd rate treatment to lifelong loyal customers, future lifelong customers will take note and go elsewhere.
However, some of us are geographic captives, or have too much time and money invested in pursuit of UA lifetime status -- and not enough of either to start over with OA (other airline).

So we just have to "grin and bear it", learning to deal as best we can with the rules as they exist.

Knowledge is power. Thank you, FlyerTalkers!

🌴 🎶 ✈️ 💚
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Old Jul 2, 22, 5:04 am
  #699  
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 574
Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
What are you using to support the upgrades, GS Plus Points? And the miles came from the GS account?
On separate tickets, supported with GS PlusPoints, both will be the PN waitlist sort by their individual status. Any other GS on award ticket will be ranked higher than the companion. Any elite using GS miles and GS Plus Points will outrank your companion with no status
If there are no other GS support award tickets, then you could be adjacent
On separate PNRs there is no linkage, only if booked together on the same PNR
You are asking for something well outside the rules

Are you waitlisted for Polaris or PremPlus?

yesall miles and plus points from the GS account.
i hear what you are saying about sep PNRs not pulling status across, but there are lots of examples where UA has the system set up to convey status benefits to the non-elite companion. For example, I book via my corp travel and then book a companion on miles. In that case, Ua documents the companion and upgrades them outside the traditional list.

anyway, just a corner case here. Good to know
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Old Jul 2, 22, 10:08 am
  #700  
Moderator: United Airlines; FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
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Originally Posted by johnsmith View Post
i hear what you are saying about sep PNRs not pulling status across, but there are lots of examples where UA has the system set up to convey status benefits to the non-elite companion. For example, I book via my corp travel and then book a companion on miles. In that case, Ua documents the companion and upgrades them outside the traditional list.
...
Yes, there are few cases, E+ access is another. But the case you mentioned, the companion would still be below any GS or any elite on a paid fare but supported by a GS for upgrade. And would not always be adjacent to you on the waitlist.

Off-PNR benefits are not as good as being on the same PNR. This is not new and is key to you present situation.

Your companion, in this case, falls on the off-PNR process and not the common PNR process which would be adjacent to you on the waitlist.
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Old Jul 2, 22, 12:38 pm
  #701  
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: IAH & HOU
Programs: UA GS & Marriott Titanium
Posts: 438
Regarding force-clearing PlusPoints upgrades into Polaris inside of T-72, will they clear the GS plus a same PNR companion or just the GS? I understand at least 2 seats will need to be left available for sale afterwards. Thanks!
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Old Jul 2, 22, 9:13 pm
  #702  
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 574
Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
Yes, there are few cases, E+ access is another. But the case you mentioned, the companion would still be below any GS or any elite on a paid fare but supported by a GS for upgrade. And would not always be adjacent to you on the waitlist.

Off-PNR benefits are not as good as being on the same PNR. This is not new and is key to you present situation.

Your companion, in this case, falls on the off-PNR process and not the common PNR process which would be adjacent to you on the waitlist.

Alls well that ends wellwith the EWR storms, a handful of people dropped off the upgrade list, my companion moved up to #1 and got a battlefield upgrade
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Old Jul 2, 22, 9:20 pm
  #703  
Moderator: United Airlines; FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: SFO
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Posts: 60,590
Originally Posted by johnsmith View Post
Alls well that ends wellwith the EWR storms, a handful of people dropped off the upgrade list, my companion moved up to #1 and got a battlefield upgrade
congrats, sometime the bed lands butter side up
Also means no non-GS support upgrade was successful
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Old Jul 3, 22, 8:51 am
  #704  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Houston
Programs: UA GS 2MM/Lifetime UC, QFF Platinum, HH Diamond, HawaiianMiles
Posts: 7,578
Boarded families with kids under 2 first at MKE this morning
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Old Jul 3, 22, 2:27 pm
  #705  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Programs: NW, United
Posts: 4
Updates GS benefit (removal?)

Was listed as 1,2,3 on the polaris upgrade list in the app from Y fare for myself and my family with 2 seats open applying plus points on an international flight last week. GS phone agent day before confirmed were were 1-3. GS agent in DEN calls me on my phone at the gate (rather than the overhead?) while boarding- so i walk up to the desk and ask why she was calling. They upgraded the 2 people at 5,6 to the last 2 polaris seats. She said i wasnt eligible to upgrade from economy to polaris. I indicated that wasnt true and showed i had applied 40pts for each and that were were first on the list in the app. She then said the other passengers were O class and should be upgraded before me since they were in Premium plusbut they were 1k. So, either upgrade list was wrong, prior GS phone agent was wrong, or the gate agent was wrong? The pinned thread seems to indicate GS would be upgraded using plus points over a 1k OAR (upgrade list in app seemed to confirm this)
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