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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 22, 22, 5:51 am
  #766  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: IAH & CMH
Programs: UA GS, UA MM, Marriott Ambassador, Hilton Diamond, Uber Platinum :)
Posts: 525
Originally Posted by st530 View Post
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?
I've been doing that since PP were started... can do it via the web page too. It's useful as GS PP have priority over other Non GS PP requests... but now you've announced it on here I'm sure the Kirby Kittens will remove that GS 'benefit'
Dyce is offline  
Old Jul 22, 22, 6:26 am
  #767  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: TPA and NoVA
Programs: UA Global Services 3MM, Hyatt Globalist
Posts: 2,916
Originally Posted by Dyce View Post
I've been doing that since PP were started... can do it via the web page too. It's useful as GS PP have priority over other Non GS PP requests... but now you've announced it on here I'm sure the Kirby Kittens will remove that GS 'benefit'
Actually this has always been the case. You are simply sponsoring their upgrade, and the priority defaults to the status of the sponsor, not the passenger that is being sponsored.
meducate is offline  
Old Jul 22, 22, 6:44 am
  #768  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: IAH/EWR-LGA/MIA
Programs: UA Global Services 2.9MM, Marriott Bonvoy Ambassador (Lifetime Titanium) Elite
Posts: 1,875
Originally Posted by meducate View Post
Actually this has always been the case. You are simply sponsoring their upgrade, and the priority defaults to the status of the sponsor, not the passenger that is being sponsored.
I am almost certain that back in the GPU days, a GS could only use a GPU to upgrade an award ticket from their own or another GS account. I thought this had been maintained with Plus Points, but evidently not.
st530 is offline  
Old Jul 22, 22, 7:07 am
  #769  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Programs: SQ, QF, UA, CO, DL
Posts: 2,001
Originally Posted by st530 View Post
I am almost certain that back in the GPU days, a GS could only use a GPU to upgrade an award ticket from their own or another GS account. I thought this had been maintained with Plus Points, but evidently not.
All of this is strange. When I have called in to upgrade an award ticket I have been told the miles and upgrade must come from the same GS account!
uanj is offline  
Old Jul 22, 22, 7:27 am
  #770  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: IAH & CMH
Programs: UA GS, UA MM, Marriott Ambassador, Hilton Diamond, Uber Platinum :)
Posts: 525
Originally Posted by uanj View Post
All of this is strange. When I have called in to upgrade an award ticket I have been told the miles and upgrade must come from the same GS account!
Sounds like a HUCA scenario... GS can apply PP to award tickets - their own, AND other passengers, even if the miles used to book the award ticket come from another account. I did it via the web page just a week ago...
SPN Lifer and ContinentalFan like this.
Dyce is offline  
Old Jul 22, 22, 7:39 am
  #771  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: IAH/EWR-LGA/MIA
Programs: UA Global Services 2.9MM, Marriott Bonvoy Ambassador (Lifetime Titanium) Elite
Posts: 1,875
Originally Posted by Dyce View Post
Sounds like a HUCA scenario... GS can apply PP to award tickets - their own, AND other passengers, even if the miles used to book the award ticket come from another account. I did it via the web page just a week ago...
As did I earlier this week, but the prior time I tried, I got the message "This flight is not eligible to be upgraded" which I interpreted to be maintenance of the prior "GS mileage account" only rule. (That flight segment was a mileage award from a non-GS account.)
st530 is offline  
Old Jul 22, 22, 7:42 am
  #772  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: IAH & CMH
Programs: UA GS, UA MM, Marriott Ambassador, Hilton Diamond, Uber Platinum :)
Posts: 525
Originally Posted by st530 View Post
As did I earlier this week, but the prior time I tried, I got the message "This flight is not eligible to be upgraded" which I interpreted to be maintenance of the prior "GS mileage account" only rule. (That flight segment was a mileage award from a non-GS account.)
Of interest is I have occasionally received a flight not eligible to be upgraded message immediately after booking the ticket. Returning the next day I am able to apply the upgrade PP's. Not sure on the exact timing, and not even whether this happens every time, but perhaps this is part of the confusion/inconsistency? Note, all my upgrades are applied either via web or the app...
Dyce is offline  
Old Jul 22, 22, 8:00 am
  #773  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: IAH/EWR-LGA/MIA
Programs: UA Global Services 2.9MM, Marriott Bonvoy Ambassador (Lifetime Titanium) Elite
Posts: 1,875
Originally Posted by Dyce View Post
Of interest is I have occasionally received a flight not eligible to be upgraded message immediately after booking the ticket. Returning the next day I am able to apply the upgrade PP's. Not sure on the exact timing, and not even whether this happens every time, but perhaps this is part of the confusion/inconsistency? Note, all my upgrades are applied either via web or the app...
That may be an explanation in some cases, but in this instance the award ticket had been issued a week or so prior.
st530 is offline  
Old Jul 22, 22, 10:13 am
  #774  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Houston, Texas
Programs: OnePass, HiltonHonors
Posts: 48
So I guess I am a bit dated with regard to upgrades. My company has a program with United, so an option to select Business or Personal travel pops up when I am booking flights. I chose Business, booked full fare Business round trip to Italy. I then called to ask about getting my wife on the same itinerary using paid economy with PlusPoints to confirm Business the entire trip. I was told that the current program only allows 1 segment of the trip to be upgraded in this manner. Just looking to confirm that this is the rule, any work-arounds?
HoustonFlyGuy is offline  
Old Jul 22, 22, 10:38 am
  #775  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Programs: SQ, QF, UA, CO, DL
Posts: 2,001
Originally Posted by HoustonFlyGuy View Post
So I guess I am a bit dated with regard to upgrades. My company has a program with United, so an option to select Business or Personal travel pops up when I am booking flights. I chose Business, booked full fare Business round trip to Italy. I then called to ask about getting my wife on the same itinerary using paid economy with PlusPoints to confirm Business the entire trip. I was told that the current program only allows 1 segment of the trip to be upgraded in this manner. Just looking to confirm that this is the rule, any work-arounds?
Yep, that is what they have implemented now. Workarounds? Try to book space where PN is available or likely to be available and choose the one to force accordingly. Sometimes booking one ways is cheaper than roundtrips anyway and not all agents bother to look deeply into your other reservations.

The worst part is they will only force an upgrade for a single segment regardless of the fare construction, so not two connecting flights.
uanj is offline  
Old Jul 22, 22, 11:25 am
  #776  
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Programs: UA GS | Marriott Titanium / LT Platinum
Posts: 370
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.
This is not a new rule (it's not a rule at all) - they are likely a new GS agent and are conflating all of the rules of the program.

Easily solved by trying again with a different agent. I've received similar issues with people who I do believe to be actual GS agents but who clearly have not been with the program (or maybe United) for that long. They are certainly always confident in their understanding of the rules
For example - I was trying to force my partner's upgrade on the same flight as me (different PNR). The first agent I spoke to confidently proclaimed "only GS can use this benefit!". I asked when that became a rule and he said "Sir, this has always been the rule since the inception of the program". OK then - politely thank them for updating my understanding, hang up, next agent understands exactly what I'm asking for and had no issues. I then repeated it for the return flight and had a (very tenured agent) again push through with no issues even with the outbound trip also being forced through.
n8-the-gr8 is offline  
Old Jul 22, 22, 11:53 am
  #777  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Houston, Texas
Programs: OnePass, HiltonHonors
Posts: 48
Thanks uanj.
HoustonFlyGuy is offline  
Old Jul 22, 22, 4:33 pm
  #778  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Programs: UA GS / AF Plat / Marriott Ambassador / Hertz PC (who isn't?) / National Exec Elite / CFA Signature
Posts: 165
Originally Posted by n8-the-gr8 View Post
This is not a new rule (it's not a rule at all) - they are likely a new GS agent and are conflating all of the rules of the program.

Easily solved by trying again with a different agent. I've received similar issues with people who I do believe to be actual GS agents but who clearly have not been with the program (or maybe United) for that long. They are certainly always confident in their understanding of the rules
For example - I was trying to force my partner's upgrade on the same flight as me (different PNR). The first agent I spoke to confidently proclaimed "only GS can use this benefit!". I asked when that became a rule and he said "Sir, this has always been the rule since the inception of the program". OK then - politely thank them for updating my understanding, hang up, next agent understands exactly what I'm asking for and had no issues. I then repeated it for the return flight and had a (very tenured agent) again push through with no issues even with the outbound trip also being forced through.
As you said yourself, similar issue, but not the same. I am very well versed in HUCA, yet the limitations on pushing PPs through at T-72 are pretty much unanimous at this point, and even acknowledged as new and painful by a couple agents I know - that was for the 3-month old rule that they can only push an upgrade if no other upgrade has previously been pushed on the same itinerary. That it would now be limited to only those itineraries where no upgrade has cleared, pushed or otherwise, is news to me granted but in keeping with the regrettable trend we have all been observing. For that reason I do not dismiss it as quickly as you do as an agent mistake - that strikes me as wishful thinking if history is any indication.
Gate45 is offline  
Old Jul 22, 22, 5:05 pm
  #779  
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Doylestown/Charlotte
Programs: UAL GS & Million M; Delta Gold Medallion (2 mio +); American; Hyatt Platinum Passport, Omni Platinum
Posts: 1,335
Had a really horrible experience on UA recently. Flight CXed in the middle of the night….you know the drill. CustomerCare offered $300 in travel credit and told me that was the maximum now offered and only GS and 1K. Experiences?
manstein58 is online now  
Old Jul 22, 22, 5:12 pm
  #780  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: IAH/EWR-LGA/MIA
Programs: UA Global Services 2.9MM, Marriott Bonvoy Ambassador (Lifetime Titanium) Elite
Posts: 1,875
Originally Posted by Gate45 View Post
As you said yourself, similar issue, but not the same. I am very well versed in HUCA, yet the limitations on pushing PPs through at T-72 are pretty much unanimous at this point, and even acknowledged as new and painful by a couple agents I know - that was for the 3-month old rule that they can only push an upgrade if no other upgrade has previously been pushed on the same itinerary. That it would now be limited to only those itineraries where no upgrade has cleared, pushed or otherwise, is news to me granted but in keeping with the regrettable trend we have all been observing. For that reason I do not dismiss it as quickly as you do as an agent mistake - that strikes me as wishful thinking if history is any indication.
First I've heard of this "only one T-72 push-through per itinerary" -- Wiki does not say this, so if it's indeed "unanimous" at this point, perhaps Wiki needs to be revised.
st530 is offline  

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