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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
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
Last edit by: st530
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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 Aug 10, 22, 10:30 am
  #871  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: NYC
Programs: UA, AA, Hilton, Marriott
Posts: 666
On a paid business fare and being told to open saver business for a companion they not only need J2 after, but also need to have PZ available (which is the criteria in the wiki for booking an outright award ticket). Agent admittedly said they were on temp assignment helping GS this summer so I asked it to be clarified. Is this a case of HUCA? Claims this has been in place for two years, which I know was not the case in late 2019/early 2020.

Last edited by drobbva; Aug 10, 22 at 12:44 pm
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Old Aug 10, 22, 1:09 pm
  #872  
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Programs: UA GS | Marriott Titanium / LT Platinum
Posts: 370
Originally Posted by drobbva View Post
On a paid business fare and being told to open saver business for a companion they not only need J2 after, but also need to have PZ available (which is the criteria in the wiki for booking an outright award ticket). Agent admittedly said they were on temp assignment helping GS this summer so I asked it to be clarified. Is this a case of HUCA? Claims this has been in place for two years, which I know was not the case in late 2019/early 2020.
HUCA. They are mixing multiple rules which seems to happen a lot with new or inexperienced agents. I'm not sure if it's part of their CS training to assert themselves with statements like "it's been in place for 2 years" or "that's always been the rule" but I hear that more often than not from the new agents who don't actually know the rules.
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n8-the-gr8 is offline  
Old Aug 10, 22, 1:22 pm
  #873  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: NYC
Programs: UA, AA, Hilton, Marriott
Posts: 666
Originally Posted by n8-the-gr8 View Post
HUCA. They are mixing multiple rules which seems to happen a lot with new or inexperienced agents. I'm not sure if it's part of their CS training to assert themselves with statements like "it's been in place for 2 years" or "that's always been the rule" but I hear that more often than not from the new agents who don't actually know the rules.
Is there any language I should use to the agent (e.g., can you check Wingtips for companion exceptions on a paid business fare)? No idea what Wingtips is (presumably an internal agent system), just grabbing in from greenpau's statement in post #658. Or is that too bold and just see hang up again if the next agent says it can't be done?

Originally Posted by greenpau View Post
Thats definitely not the policy - its either/or - either Saver IN if J>3, or Economy + PP. An agent read that to me directly from the Wingtips site. Still only one exception, one segment..
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Old Aug 10, 22, 1:51 pm
  #874  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: CLE
Programs: UA GS+LT UC, AA LT PLT, Fairmont LT PLT, SPG PLT, Hilton Diamond, Hyatt Diamond, Avis CHM.
Posts: 4,387
Originally Posted by drobbva View Post
Is there any language I should use to the agent (e.g., can you check Wingtips for companion exceptions on a paid business fare)? No idea what Wingtips is (presumably an internal agent system), just grabbing in from greenpau's statement in post #658. Or is that too bold and just see hang up again if the next agent says it can't be done?
Just HUCA. Not worth it.
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ctownflyer is online now  
Old Aug 10, 22, 3:29 pm
  #875  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: NYC
Programs: UA, AA, Hilton, Marriott
Posts: 666
Originally Posted by ctownflyer View Post
Just HUCA. Not worth it.
Got the EXACT same agent! Will try later or tomorrow...hope the space avail on the other segment I'm not trying to get an exception on stays.
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Old Aug 10, 22, 6:35 pm
  #876  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Programs: UA GS, AA ExP
Posts: 95
I was flying ORD-IAD recently. Within 24 hours (still different date) I called up to use SDC and the GS agent on the phone said you need to call back after midnight to SDC as it is for same day changes only. Not wanting to argue, I just hung up. Checked flyertalk wiki and called back again. As luck would have it, I got through to the same GS agent and she said " didn't you just call?". So I said yes and I did go back and read the rukes and I should be able to make the change. She was "kind" enough to say let me check with my supervisor and 5 minutes later comes back to say she has made the change!
Just by how the entire conversation went, it was clear that she wasn't a regular GS agent.
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akhibhag is offline  
Old Aug 10, 22, 11:04 pm
  #877  
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: IAH
Programs: UA GS; Marriott Titanium
Posts: 200
Here is a new one. At least to me. Flying IAH-YVR-IAH using miles for me (GS), wife (MP member with no status) and 8 year old son (not a MP member). Used plus points for all 3 tickets.

Miraculously, on the outbound wife and I got upgraded the day before and son got upgraded at boarding.

On the return, there was only one first class seat available for 72 hours before the flight. For some
reason that entire time my son was first on the upgrade list ahead of me, and he was the one who got the upgrade as we were boarding. Which went to my wife of course but still. .... The gate agent called him up for the upgrade and asked me if he was unaccompanied! Lol
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Lawyerneering is offline  
Old Aug 11, 22, 1:43 am
  #878  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Programs: SQ, QF, UA, CO, DL
Posts: 2,008
Originally Posted by n8-the-gr8 View Post
HUCA. They are mixing multiple rules which seems to happen a lot with new or inexperienced agents. I'm not sure if it's part of their CS training to assert themselves with statements like "it's been in place for 2 years" or "that's always been the rule" but I hear that more often than not from the new agents who don't actually know the rules.
I especially dislike the "it's always been that way" reasoning. The seasoned agents don't try that on you because they know virtually everything has changed over the years.
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uanj is offline  
Old Aug 13, 22, 7:24 pm
  #879  
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 179
Originally Posted by sfosin View Post
Can the three of you report back on experiences? I was the one who asked the question upthread. I also have a 4 person reservation (with only me GS), and am curious if we can push through > 2 people at T-72. When I spoke to two separate GS agents over the phone to clarify the rule, both seemed to believe it was only possible for me and a companion, not multiple companions. These agents overall seemed pretty knowledgeable and helpful (one helped me push through multiple one segment upgrades, as well as consolidate ~12 FFCs into a singable ETC), so I would be surprised if they were wrong.

(I will also report back in two weeks time, but there are only 7 seats left, and 4 of us, so we might just need to upfare, haha.)
Outbound cleared everyone with 1 call.
Return 2 agents refused to clear anyone more than GS + 1 person, 3rd call allowed everyone to clear.
LangerhansCellHistiocytosis is offline  
Old Aug 15, 22, 7:07 am
  #880  
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Programs: UA GS
Posts: 20
Originally Posted by LangerhansCellHistiocytosis View Post
Outbound cleared everyone with 1 call.
Return 2 agents refused to clear anyone more than GS + 1 person, 3rd call allowed everyone to clear.
Wow, thanks for update. We ended up buying up to J since it was a 15 hour flight (EWR => CPT). Will try calling more times in future! In the past I've tried with a few agents who always said the rules were "GS and one companion".
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Old Aug 15, 22, 8:49 am
  #881  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: all over
Posts: 1,959
Originally Posted by akhibhag View Post
I was flying ORD-IAD recently. Within 24 hours (still different date) I called up to use SDC and the GS agent on the phone said you need to call back after midnight to SDC as it is for same day changes only. Not wanting to argue, I just hung up. Checked flyertalk wiki and called back again. As luck would have it, I got through to the same GS agent and she said " didn't you just call?". So I said yes and I did go back and read the rukes and I should be able to make the change. She was "kind" enough to say let me check with my supervisor and 5 minutes later comes back to say she has made the change!
Just by how the entire conversation went, it was clear that she wasn't a regular GS agent.
I am glad I am not the only one who seems to luck out with the same agent when HUCAing
ajthegreat is offline  
Old Aug 17, 22, 4:02 am
  #882  
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: SFO
Programs: UA GS 2mm
Posts: 58
On the GRU - IAH flight yesterday/this morning in J. GS ground staff were amazing, came over to welcome me, had a quick chat, thanked me for my business. Boarded and found this nice note on my seat from the purser + his biz card (didn’t include that in the photo). Great service on the entire flight including a flight attendant proactively asking if he could make up my bed with a mattress pad when it looked like I was ready to go to sleep. Service was shockingly good, felt like I was on SG, hope this is not a fluke but signs of things to come.


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Old Aug 17, 22, 5:53 am
  #883  
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Doylestown/Charlotte
Programs: UAL GS & Million M; Delta Gold Medallion (2 mio +); American; Hyatt Platinum Passport, Omni Platinum
Posts: 1,343
Originally Posted by kj5hp View Post
On the GRU - IAH flight yesterday/this morning in J. GS ground staff were amazing, came over to welcome me, had a quick chat, thanked me for my business. Boarded and found this nice note on my seat from the purser + his biz card (didnt include that in the photo). Great service on the entire flight including a flight attendant proactively asking if he could make up my bed with a mattress pad when it looked like I was ready to go to sleep. Service was shockingly good, felt like I was on SG, hope this is not a fluke but signs of things to come.


File this under "Ti doesn't take a lot to mean a lot"
"It doesn't take a lot to mean a lot"
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Old Aug 18, 22, 6:39 am
  #884  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Houston
Programs: UA GS 2MM/Lifetime UC, QFF Platinum, HH Diamond, HawaiianMiles
Posts: 7,593
Sounds like I had a legit GS rep on the phone just now, fixed my schedule/equipment change without a hiccup. Also got a good laugh out of her mentioning "devil's chariot"
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Old Aug 18, 22, 6:49 am
  #885  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Posts: 11,072
Originally Posted by kirkwoodj View Post
Sounds like I had a legit GS rep on the phone just now, fixed my schedule/equipment change without a hiccup.
Looks like MO-FR daytime business hours are still good to get a real GS agent. Still trying to figure out other times.
OTOH, weekend, nighttime hours are hardest - with weekend nighttime the worst IME.
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