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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 Jul 8, 22, 3:45 am
  #751  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: SFO / LHR
Programs: UA GS 2.02MM / UC / AS Gold 75K / Bonvoy Plat / Hilton Diamond
Posts: 876
Originally Posted by canadiancow View Post
No, because your family were listed with GS PP. If they'd been listed with 1K PP, you could draw that conclusion. But for the purposes of your test, all 4 of you were "GS" through your waitlist for PN.
I tested the difference in my own waitlist order with this test, but the confirming experience happened today with a colleague, XXX-EWR. Colleague is a 1K, Im a GS. Colleague was booked in R, Premium Plus, and I was booked in B, Full Fare Economy. I ended up #3 on the list, and he was #1. Another PP customer was #2.

Heres the current language from the website, and this does appear to be a change, or a glitch. I cannot see any language any more stating GS in any class are cleared to Business before any other members:

* On flights equipped with United Premium Plus, we will process requests to upgrade to business class for customers ticketed in United Premium Plus (fare classes O, A, R) before processing requests for customers ticketed in economy.

Upgrade priority on United Premium Plus

On aircraft with United Premium Plus, well first process United Polaris business class or United Business waitlists for all members who have purchased United Premium Plus seats, using the same priority order that applies to all upgrades. Well then process waitlists for members with United Economy seats.
uanj likes this.
greenpau is offline  
Old Jul 8, 22, 5:04 am
  #752  
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: New York City
Programs: UA GS 1MM
Posts: 221
Originally Posted by greenpau View Post
I tested the difference in my own waitlist order with this test, but the confirming experience happened today with a colleague, XXX-EWR. Colleague is a 1K, Im a GS. Colleague was booked in R, Premium Plus, and I was booked in B, Full Fare Economy. I ended up #3 on the list, and he was #1. Another PP customer was #2
Did your colleague use 1K PlusPoints ?
benewr is offline  
Old Jul 8, 22, 9:50 am
  #753  
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 8,700
Originally Posted by greenpau View Post
I tested the difference in my own waitlist order with this test, but the confirming experience happened today with a colleague, XXX-EWR. Colleague is a 1K, Im a GS. Colleague was booked in R, Premium Plus, and I was booked in B, Full Fare Economy. I ended up #3 on the list, and he was #1. Another PP customer was #2.

Heres the current language from the website, and this does appear to be a change, or a glitch. I cannot see any language any more stating GS in any class are cleared to Business before any other members:

* On flights equipped with United Premium Plus, we will process requests to upgrade to business class for customers ticketed in United Premium Plus (fare classes O, A, R) before processing requests for customers ticketed in economy.

Upgrade priority on United Premium Plus

On aircraft with United Premium Plus, well first process United Polaris business class or United Business waitlists for all members who have purchased United Premium Plus seats, using the same priority order that applies to all upgrades. Well then process waitlists for members with United Economy seats.
I don't believe there ever was language stating such; it's just how we observed things working in practice.

And for what it's worth, as far as I can tell, PN any cabin is still being ranked above PZ any cabin on the waitlist. So I also wonder if your 1K colleague was having GS +P, as asked above? I suspect the report of a gate agent saying, 'not eligible' was a fluke / I-know-better agent.
fumje is offline  
Old Jul 9, 22, 9:16 pm
  #754  
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: SFO, TPE, HNL
Programs: UA GS 4MM, RCC life member (paid), Marriott Lifetime Titanium, Hyatt Globalist, CLEAR
Posts: 1,570
Originally Posted by physioprof View Post
Under the right circumstances, the prior companion saver exception rule certainly could cost UA a lot of revenue. Imagine two people who always fly together & always book in the premium cabin. Under the old rule, every time the GS member of the pair bought a premium ticket, they earned enough miles to fully support the companion saver award for the companion. It thus basically served as "buy one, get one free" for $50,000+ of premium cabin seats. That's potentially a lot of lost revenue...
For the TPAC market I fly most, typical RT P/D fares are $5000-$6000, Savers award 70K miles one-way. More like buy one get second one at 50%.
PanAmWT is offline  
Old Jul 14, 22, 4:11 pm
  #755  
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 45
Regarding the one-leg companion upgrade: Does it work when you're on different itineraries, but share the same final leg? Could the upgrade be used on that final leg?
Example:
GS: ORD - LHR - ORD (J)
Non-GS: SFO - LHR - ORD (V)

Could the companion upgrade be used on LHR-ORD?
Aloomatar is offline  
Old Jul 14, 22, 4:19 pm
  #756  
 
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: 5,003
Originally Posted by Aloomatar View Post
Regarding the one-leg companion upgrade: Does it work when you're on different itineraries, but share the same final leg? Could the upgrade be used on that final leg?
Example:
GS: ORD - LHR - ORD (J)
Non-GS: SFO - LHR - ORD (V)

Could the companion upgrade be used on LHR-ORD?
Yes you can do this -- I did this for my spouse returning from Japan - but we got there differently...
bmwe92fan is offline  
Old Jul 14, 22, 5:22 pm
  #757  
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: 60,681
Originally Posted by Aloomatar View Post
Regarding the one-leg companion upgrade: Does it work when you're on different itineraries, but share the same final leg? Could the upgrade be used on that final leg?....
If you are on the same flight, you can request an upgrade for the companion. It is different from being on the same PNR. If on separate PNR, you can not request in advance, but at the gate and the companion's waitlist will be at the bottom of your status group -- essentially as if a $0 fare.
WineCountryUA is offline  
Old Jul 15, 22, 1:10 am
  #758  
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: SFO, TPE, HNL
Programs: UA GS 4MM, RCC life member (paid), Marriott Lifetime Titanium, Hyatt Globalist, CLEAR
Posts: 1,570
Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
If you are on the same flight, you can request an upgrade for the companion. It is different from being on the same PNR. If on separate PNR, you can not request in advance, but at the gate and the companion's waitlist will be at the bottom of your status group -- essentially as if a $0 fare.
So, you physically approach the gate agent and request the upgrade? Or can you call someone like the GS desk to pass the request to the GA? I worry about a long line at the gate.
PanAmWT is offline  
Old Jul 15, 22, 7:55 am
  #759  
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: West
Programs: UA MP
Posts: 214
Originally Posted by PanAmWT View Post
So, you physically approach the gate agent and request the upgrade? Or can you call someone like the GS desk to pass the request to the GA? I worry about a long line at the gate.
Gate agents can certainly add your companion to the list. If you're at a station that has a GS reception, you can also ask the GS agents there to add them to the list.
Nowadays most airports have the new "virtual customer service" feature where you scan the QR code to chat with an agent. As long as they connect your to an agent physically working at THAT airport, they should be able to also add your companion to the upgrade list.

The GS desk (or any reservations line for that mater) wont be able to add. You'll be told that the flight is "controlled by the gate" within 24hr of dep.
BullishGS is offline  
Old Jul 15, 22, 8:19 pm
  #760  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Posts: 11,072
Originally Posted by Aloomatar View Post
Regarding the one-leg companion upgrade: Does it work when you're on different itineraries, but share the same final leg? Could the upgrade be used on that final leg?
Example:
GS: ORD - LHR - ORD (J)
Non-GS: SFO - LHR - ORD (V)

Could the companion upgrade be used on LHR-ORD?
Originally Posted by BullishGS View Post
Gate agents can certainly add your companion to the list. If you're at a station that has a GS reception, you can also ask the GS agents there to add them to the list.
Nowadays most airports have the new "virtual customer service" feature where you scan the QR code to chat with an agent. As long as they connect your to an agent physically working at THAT airport, they should be able to also add your companion to the upgrade list.

The GS desk (or any reservations line for that mater) wont be able to add. You'll be told that the flight is "controlled by the gate" within 24hr of dep.
Would this GA procedure apply, since the upgrade in question refers to the LHR-ORD?
Seems this would be an instrument-supported u/g, which can be requested ahead thru GS desk.
cesco.g is offline  
Old Jul 15, 22, 8:49 pm
  #761  
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: SFO, TPE, HNL
Programs: UA GS 4MM, RCC life member (paid), Marriott Lifetime Titanium, Hyatt Globalist, CLEAR
Posts: 1,570
Originally Posted by BullishGS View Post
Gate agents can certainly add your companion to the list. If you're at a station that has a GS reception, you can also ask the GS agents there to add them to the list.
Nowadays most airports have the new "virtual customer service" feature where you scan the QR code to chat with an agent. As long as they connect your to an agent physically working at THAT airport, they should be able to also add your companion to the upgrade list.

The GS desk (or any reservations line for that mater) wont be able to add. You'll be told that the flight is "controlled by the gate" within 24hr of dep.
Thanks. I know GS lobby at SFO can call gate, I also had HNL UC desk call gate, but did not know about the virtual customer service. Where are they usually located?
PanAmWT is offline  
Old Jul 20, 22, 7:25 am
  #762  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: IAH/EWR-LGA/MIA
Programs: UA Global Services 2.9MM, Marriott Bonvoy Ambassador (Lifetime Titanium) Elite
Posts: 1,890
So yesterday I was using the app to show a friend (UA Silver) that I could not use my Plus Points to upgrade his Y flight booked with his miles, because it only works if the award ticket comes from another GS account. But it worked (he's waitlisted at #1)!

A glitch, a change in the rules, or my misunderstanding of the rules?
leftysauce likes this.
st530 is offline  
Old Jul 20, 22, 7:36 am
  #763  
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Programs: UA GS | Marriott Titanium / LT Platinum
Posts: 370
Originally Posted by Aloomatar View Post
Regarding the one-leg companion upgrade: Does it work when you're on different itineraries, but share the same final leg?
Could the companion upgrade be used on LHR-ORD?
As others have said, yes the companion upgrade works on a specific leg as long as you're both on that leg. If you're referring to the benefit when you buy Polaris and use PlusPoints to force upgrade a companion's segment into Polaris from economy then you simply call the GS line and have them confirm the upgrade immediately (assuming all requirements for the exception are met).

Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
If you are on the same flight, you can request an upgrade for the companion. It is different from being on the same PNR. If on separate PNR, you can not request in advance, but at the gate and the companion's waitlist will be at the bottom of your status group -- essentially as if a $0 fare.
This sounds like a CPU situation? Not the scenario outlined above where CPU's wouldn't even apply.
You certainly do request the companion upgrade in advance when you're flying business and want to upgrade a segment of your companion's itinerary and wouldn't need to deal with a waitlist nor wait until at the airport as that's the whole benefit of the upgrade perk.
n8-the-gr8 is offline  
Old Jul 21, 22, 6:04 pm
  #764  
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 29
New one

Has anyone ever had an agent refuse to push through an upgrade on plus points at T-72 because another segment on the itinerary has already cleared (normally)? This is a new one for me and agent swears she is a real gs agent.
chitraveler1975 is offline  
Old Jul 21, 22, 7:02 pm
  #765  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Programs: DYKWIA, UA GS/2MM, But I'm a "Diamond Guest"
Posts: 2,071
Originally Posted by chitraveler1975 View Post
Has anyone ever had an agent refuse to push through an upgrade on plus points at T-72 because another segment on the itinerary has already cleared (normally)? This is a new one for me and agent swears she is a real gs agent.
I haven't gotten that exactly. Several times, I've gotten: "We forced once segment to clear when you booked, therefore we can't push any other segment through at T-72" I think others have mentioned this above.

Your experience is a new development. I guess they just keep tightening the noose. I recently hit 2 million miles. I may not go for 3 million because of this crap.

I recently booked a trip to Africa on United & Ethiopian with $4K in cash and 130,000 miles. Then realized that I could have flown in Qatar Q-suites for only $4500. Polaris is to Q-Suites what AMC Pacer is to Lamborghini. I'm not sure it's worth making that kind of sacrifice anymore for the ever-declining elite benefits on United..

Last edited by porciuscato; Jul 21, 22 at 7:07 pm
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