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Consolidated Global Services Thread: Benefits, Questions, Experiences [2022]

Old Jan 1, 22, 12:08 am
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Last edit by: st530
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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Consolidated Global Services Thread: Benefits, Questions, Experiences [2022]

Old Aug 30, 22, 12:29 pm
  #946  
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Programs: United Global Services, Amtrak Select Executive
Posts: 3,725
Originally Posted by Gate45 View Post
The sleuthing of the one-ways just feels so wrong... How many days do 2 one-ways have to be within each other for UA to decide they consider a round trip? What if that supposed round trip is an open-jaw, is it not a round trip then and you can get exceptions both ways? What if you booked Mexico-US-Mexico on another airline, and then your 2 one-ways on UA are just that: one-ways that happen to be to/from the same destinations? What if, like me, you constantly shuttle back-and-forth between 2 US cities, how do they decide which outbound matches which return?
This is so poorly through through it's ridiculous.
In addition to the obvious logical weaknesses you correctly point out, it also seems very unusual (perhaps even foolish?) to create an adversarial relationship like this between United's most lucrative customers and the airline where every request for an exception starts with the presumption of a metaphorical "crime" that must be investigated & ruled out.
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physioprof is offline  
Old Aug 30, 22, 12:34 pm
  #947  
 
Join Date: May 2011
Programs: UA GS
Posts: 1,400
Originally Posted by ctownflyer View Post
Correct, but I think that they started policing it this year, where they comb over your entire travel history and upcoming travel to see what other exceptions have been booked, and then notate your PNR with their discoveries. Even when they are misinterpreting the rules, they add lengthy notes so that other agents are disinclined to help.

There's very little value left in the GS program at this point. AA EXP has better service in many cases.
Just curious, do AA or DL equivalent programs offer any of the same perks as GS used to offer?
limey1K is offline  
Old Aug 30, 22, 12:41 pm
  #948  
 
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: 4,439
Originally Posted by limey1K View Post
Just curious, do AA or DL equivalent programs offer any of the same perks as GS used to offer?
I don't have experience with DL 360 or AA CK, but as an AA EXP they have happily opened up domestic saver F to connect to international saver J for my whole family, something United would only laugh at doing.

AA SWUs also have no fare class restrictions and there's more confirmable space as an EXP than there is for UA GS. Doesn't hurt that AA still publishes an award chart either.

AA also allows for elite benefits on basic fares, such as E+ seating, comp upgrades, confirmed standby, and SWU usage.
ctownflyer is offline  
Old Aug 30, 22, 4:21 pm
  #949  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: SFO
Programs: AC SE MM, UA Gold, Bonvoy Tit LT Sil, Hyatt Glob, HH Diamond, Accor Silver
Posts: 41,113
Originally Posted by LIH View Post
Welcome to the COVID "opportunity" where the 3 US majors thought they could make massive gains in the legacy labor issues by churning a ton of experienced staff but they they never really got around to hiring or training anyone... because it's the airline industry and the corporate side of these businesses attract... well... I guess consultants who didn't like consulting?

I'm at $50K spend on UA, $27K base spend on AA already in 2022. Even as a barely EXP on AA I got tons of proactive calls from agents. I've had agents track me down in person at the airport twice now in the last 3 months to offer me rerouting options I didn't even ask for. I haven't been contacted by GS in 18 months, for any reason, whatsoever. I've been GS for 7 years running. Meanwhile, my route options and actual on time performance are better on UA than AA in my tiny anecdotal experience of the last ~6 months where I've genuinely been indifferent between booking across the two. Just for me, the extra customer service is worth dealing with some incremental operational issues because I know those things just ebb and flow around labor negotiations. I think UA is hanging their hat on being able to ignore customers but trying to perfect operations (obviously up Kirby's alley) and its honestly going to gut the HVF ranks. I don't give a (you know what) if I'm delayed an hour twice a week. I care a ton if the one time I can't be delayed over night they find a first class seat for me on an oversold flight without me even asking (because I won't know to ask until I'm 20 minute out from the airport after my meetings).

GS is totally useless to me. Very sad given what it once was.
I think your AA experience may be highly related to what they perceive your future business to be. You may be "barely EXP", but you're at $27k after 8 months.

I had a friend book what may have been his first ever AA flight. It was a domestic itinerary. He booked it a few hours before departure, in first class. At his connection point, he walked into the AC and bought an annual membership from the agent.

His treatment for the rest of the trip was basically what you're describing... they saw him as a potentially huge HVF, and wanted to roll out the red carpet so he'd come back.

I'm not saying a CK wouldn't get the same thing, but I wouldn't be surprised if they're going above and beyond what a typical long-term CK might get, in the hopes that they can get the other $50k of your business.
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Old Aug 30, 22, 6:06 pm
  #950  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Programs: UA GS / AF Plat / Marriott Ambassador / Hertz PC (who isn't?) / National Exec Elite / CFA Signature
Posts: 181
Originally Posted by physioprof View Post
In addition to the obvious logical weaknesses you correctly point out, it also seems very unusual (perhaps even foolish?) to create an adversarial relationship like this between United's most lucrative customers and the airline where every request for an exception starts with the presumption of a metaphorical "crime" that must be investigated & ruled out.
Couldnt have said it better. Terrible customer experience even when resolution is favorable.
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Gate45 is offline  
Old Aug 31, 22, 2:16 pm
  #951  
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: SFO
Programs: UA GS 2mm
Posts: 69
LHR GS lane

Flying LHR-SFO. Was really nice to have a GS lane for boarding (vs the normal mess at the gate). Also another line for 1k. Havent seen that before.


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kj5hp is offline  
Old Aug 31, 22, 2:33 pm
  #952  
 
Join Date: May 2011
Programs: UA GS
Posts: 1,400
Originally Posted by kj5hp View Post
Flying LHR-SFO. Was really nice to have a GS lane for boarding (vs the normal mess at the gate). Also another line for 1k. Havent seen that before.


How many GS queued up?
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limey1K is offline  
Old Aug 31, 22, 2:36 pm
  #953  
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: ORD / PHX
Programs: UA LT 1K 3MM (former 12 yr GS), Bonvoy Amb/LT Plat
Posts: 1,094
Theyre also very good about GS and 1K separation in HND/NRT, HKG 🥲, and to a lesser extent SIN.
Very orderly and organized.
tcdtcd is offline  
Old Aug 31, 22, 2:46 pm
  #954  
 
Join Date: May 2011
Programs: UA GS
Posts: 1,400
Originally Posted by tcdtcd View Post
Theyre also very good about GS and 1K separation in HND/NRT, HKG 🥲, and to a lesser extent SIN.
Very orderly and organized.
Good to know. My experiences have been LIM, AMS, MXP, SYD, SJD and a handful of others. All seemed pretty disorganized,
limey1K is offline  
Old Aug 31, 22, 3:25 pm
  #955  
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: New York City
Programs: UA GS 1MM
Posts: 271
Originally Posted by tcdtcd View Post
Theyre also very good about GS and 1K separation in HND/NRT, HKG 🥲, and to a lesser extent SIN.
Very orderly and organized.
And CDG.
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benewr is offline  
Old Aug 31, 22, 3:57 pm
  #956  
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: ORD / PHX
Programs: UA LT 1K 3MM (former 12 yr GS), Bonvoy Amb/LT Plat
Posts: 1,094
Originally Posted by limey1K View Post
Good to know. My experiences have been LIM, AMS, MXP, SYD, SJD and a handful of others. All seemed pretty disorganized,
👍MXP and AMS boardings were horrendous this summer, IME!
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tcdtcd is offline  
Old Aug 31, 22, 6:04 pm
  #957  
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Corvallis, Oregon, USA
Programs: UA GS (3MM); Hilton Lifetime Diamond; Marriott Lifetime Gold; AMEX Plat; Hertz Pres
Posts: 269
In my experience GS treatment at LHR is great from check-in to boarding ... the one thing that would make it even better would be a way to get through "fasttrack" security faster. It's been a 30 minute wait last two times I was there.
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Oregonflyer is offline  
Old Sep 1, 22, 7:20 am
  #958  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Houston
Programs: UA GS 2MM/Lifetime UC, QFF Platinum, HH Diamond, HawaiianMiles
Posts: 7,854
Originally Posted by tcdtcd View Post
👍MXP and AMS boardings were horrendous this summer, IME!
Also MUC, they announced all pre-boarding groups together. 2 separate occasions, so at least consistent
kirkwoodj is offline  
Old Sep 1, 22, 9:09 am
  #959  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Southern California
Programs: United MileagePlus Premier 1K, Delta SkyMiles Diamond Medallion
Posts: 922
Originally Posted by ctownflyer View Post
Correct, but I think that they started policing it this year, where they comb over your entire travel history and upcoming travel to see what other exceptions have been booked, and then notate your PNR with their discoveries. Even when they are misinterpreting the rules, they add lengthy notes so that other agents are disinclined to help.

There's very little value left in the GS program at this point. AA EXP has better service in many cases.
agreed I feel as though all 50 + of my future records have been checked over to make sure they are all booked in the correct fare class , even when rebooked due to schedule changes. I feel UA doesnt have anything better to do !
unitedbusiness is offline  
Old Sep 1, 22, 1:24 pm
  #960  
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Bucks County
Programs: UAL GS & Million M; Delta Gold Medallion (2 mio +); American; Hyatt Platinum Passport, Omni Platinum
Posts: 1,429
LIS and FCO as well
manstein58 is online now  

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