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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 Nov 4, 22, 3:30 am   -   Wikipost
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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 Sep 13, 22, 12:37 pm
  #1006  
 
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 1,254
Originally Posted by kb1992 View Post
Actually this year is different. Many GS/1Ks already have their PP extended to 7/31/2023, even though they might not qualify next year.
Yes as I mentioned, that's an unintended side effect of extending points. But since they didn't envision that scenario when they developed the PP program, I doubt they developed the software to go through and reclassify someone from PN waitlist to PZ waitlist if the sponsor no longer has GS status, since that situation wasn't really supposed to exist (under the original PP plan the points would have either cleared to PN already or expired)
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Lux Flyer is offline  
Old Sep 13, 22, 6:25 pm
  #1007  
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 24
New GS Agents

Well, I have now officially joined the ranks of my fellow GSers who have experienced the rank incompetence of these so called GS agents who on occasion answer the GS line. Just got off the phone with one of these agents. I was within the 24 hour SDC parameters and called to get an earlier flight to IAH for my connecting flight to LHR. I knew 20 seconds into the call where I stood with this lady. I elected to stay with her and experience the full Monty treatment. I had booked a Z fare and there were two empty J seats, one being in the Z bucketso I was good to go, or so I thought. When she proceeded to tell me the fare difference I interrupted her and said, Maam, you know there is no chargeable fare difference in this circumstance. She put me on hold for four minutes. Only to immediately tell me about city pairs and that this was an exception that she could not and would not push. I politely disagree with her and referenced the numerous times that I had done this within the 24 hour parameter. She put me on hold again and upon her return she emphasized that perhaps other reps had done this in the past but that she would not be among their ranks. She then proceeded to tell me the fare difference for changing my short, typically 37 minute flight to Houston. $1750 was needed before she would make the change. I politely refused and indicated this call was over. She then proceeded to lecture me about City pairs and making changes to that holy grail of protocols. Since I refused the upcharge, I inquired about my reservation and had she made any changes. She had and it took a good three minutes for her to restore it. The sheer incompetence of this lady was mind boggling. And the utter gall to lecture me was unbelievable. Call was 37 minutes in duration. I immediately called my local United Club and in less than two minutes my flight was changed and my seat assignment done. Amazing experience. Never again. I could have HUCAdnext time I will.
Rocketman1 is offline  
Old Sep 13, 22, 7:43 pm
  #1008  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Lahaina, HI & Los Angeles, CA
Programs: UA GS
Posts: 2,386
Originally Posted by telemark27 View Post
Nope!



Indeed, believe it was FRU (May 22 via SYD)! She was great!
FRU is definitely one of the best. I believe Florence (also LAX GS Rep) is FRU's daughter.
LAXOGG is offline  
Old Sep 13, 22, 10:20 pm
  #1009  
LIH
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: ORD | LGA | 2E
Programs: UA GS 1.6MM UC | AA CK 0.7MM AC | Bonvoy Plat | Hertz PC
Posts: 978
Originally Posted by Rocketman1 View Post
Well, I have now officially joined the ranks of my fellow GSers who have experienced the rank incompetence of these so called GS agents who on occasion answer the GS line. Just got off the phone with one of these agents. I was within the 24 hour SDC parameters and called to get an earlier flight to IAH for my connecting flight to LHR. I knew 20 seconds into the call where I stood with this lady. I elected to stay with her and experience the full Monty treatment. I had booked a Z fare and there were two empty J seats, one being in the Z bucketso I was good to go, or so I thought. When she proceeded to tell me the fare difference I interrupted her and said, Maam, you know there is no chargeable fare difference in this circumstance. She put me on hold for four minutes. Only to immediately tell me about city pairs and that this was an exception that she could not and would not push. I politely disagree with her and referenced the numerous times that I had done this within the 24 hour parameter. She put me on hold again and upon her return she emphasized that perhaps other reps had done this in the past but that she would not be among their ranks. She then proceeded to tell me the fare difference for changing my short, typically 37 minute flight to Houston. $1750 was needed before she would make the change. I politely refused and indicated this call was over. She then proceeded to lecture me about City pairs and making changes to that holy grail of protocols. Since I refused the upcharge, I inquired about my reservation and had she made any changes. She had and it took a good three minutes for her to restore it. The sheer incompetence of this lady was mind boggling. And the utter gall to lecture me was unbelievable. Call was 37 minutes in duration. I immediately called my local United Club and in less than two minutes my flight was changed and my seat assignment done. Amazing experience. Never again. I could have HUCAdnext time I will.
I have realized that I've been hoodwinked, I focused on attaining and maintaining GS status for the sake or irrops help and I find myself dreading the prospect of interacting with a help desk employee. I'm a sucker. Airlines are famous for poor customer service experiences with byzantine explanations but the fact that I now expect a horrific experience when I ask for the smallest (within the rules) accommodation is just remarkable.

As I'll continue to shout from the rooftops, it doesn't have to be this way. I continue to find the customer service experience for CKs on AA to be truly amazing. I just get to talk to a human who will do anything within reason to effectuate what I want to happen. Their route network isn't as good, their labor issues are going to be worse, but man-oh-man do they have the HVF thing figured out right now.
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Old Sep 13, 22, 10:24 pm
  #1010  
 
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: 5,165
Originally Posted by LIH View Post
I have realized that I've been hoodwinked, I focused on attaining and maintaining GS status for the sake or irrops help and I find myself dreading the prospect of interacting with a help desk employee. I'm a sucker. Airlines are famous for poor customer service experiences with byzantine explanations but the fact that I now expect a horrific experience when I ask for the smallest (within the rules) accommodation is just remarkable.

As I'll continue to shout from the rooftops, it doesn't have to be this way. I continue to find the customer service experience for CKs on AA to be truly amazing. I just get to talk to a human who will do anything within reason to effectuate what I want to happen. Their route network isn't as good, their labor issues are going to be worse, but man-oh-man do they have the HVF thing figured out right now.
Yes they do -- Everything changed for me when Kirby took over UA as I had lived through this before -- even the long time loyal UA employees know what is coming... t's not going to get better for HVF at UA -- trust me....
bmwe92fan is online now  
Old Sep 13, 22, 10:29 pm
  #1011  
LIH
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: ORD | LGA | 2E
Programs: UA GS 1.6MM UC | AA CK 0.7MM AC | Bonvoy Plat | Hertz PC
Posts: 978
Originally Posted by bmwe92fan View Post
Yes they do -- Everything changed for me when Kirby took over UA as I had lived through this before -- even the long time loyal UA employees know what is coming... t's not going to get better for HVF at UA -- trust me....
While I'm an e30 guy... I know you're right...
LIH is offline  
Old Sep 13, 22, 11:12 pm
  #1012  
 
Join Date: May 2011
Programs: UA GS
Posts: 1,296
Originally Posted by Rocketman1 View Post
Well, I have now officially joined the ranks of my fellow GSers who have experienced the rank incompetence of these so called GS agents who on occasion answer the GS line. Just got off the phone with one of these agents. I was within the 24 hour SDC parameters and called to get an earlier flight to IAH for my connecting flight to LHR. I knew 20 seconds into the call where I stood with this lady. I elected to stay with her and experience the full Monty treatment. I had booked a Z fare and there were two empty J seats, one being in the Z bucketso I was good to go, or so I thought. When she proceeded to tell me the fare difference I interrupted her and said, Maam, you know there is no chargeable fare difference in this circumstance. She put me on hold for four minutes. Only to immediately tell me about city pairs and that this was an exception that she could not and would not push. I politely disagree with her and referenced the numerous times that I had done this within the 24 hour parameter. She put me on hold again and upon her return she emphasized that perhaps other reps had done this in the past but that she would not be among their ranks. She then proceeded to tell me the fare difference for changing my short, typically 37 minute flight to Houston. $1750 was needed before she would make the change. I politely refused and indicated this call was over. She then proceeded to lecture me about City pairs and making changes to that holy grail of protocols. Since I refused the upcharge, I inquired about my reservation and had she made any changes. She had and it took a good three minutes for her to restore it. The sheer incompetence of this lady was mind boggling. And the utter gall to lecture me was unbelievable. Call was 37 minutes in duration. I immediately called my local United Club and in less than two minutes my flight was changed and my seat assignment done. Amazing experience. Never again. I could have HUCAdnext time I will.
I had the same agent or her clone last week. Mid-con, within 24 hours, SDC into the same fare bucket, multiple seats left for sale and was told that it was $780 to change to the earlier flight. Multiple holds, multiple no's, pricing is dynamic explanation (?) and then a long uncomfortable silence while she undid everything she'd already done. Waste of 30 min.
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limey1K is offline  
Old Sep 14, 22, 12:05 am
  #1013  
LIH
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: ORD | LGA | 2E
Programs: UA GS 1.6MM UC | AA CK 0.7MM AC | Bonvoy Plat | Hertz PC
Posts: 978
Originally Posted by limey1K View Post
I had the same agent or her clone last week. Mid-con, within 24 hours, SDC into the same fare bucket, multiple seats left for sale and was told that it was $780 to change to the earlier flight. Multiple holds, multiple no's, pricing is dynamic explanation (?) and then a long uncomfortable silence while she undid everything she'd already done. Waste of 30 min.
Right, where as a GS the prior experience was "I'm on UA XXX, I'd like to move to UA YYY, I think I'm on a D fare and it looks like there are 1,2,3 seats left in that bucket..."

Now, unless I can do it in the app I assume its impossible. GS is totally worthless.
LIH is offline  
Old Sep 14, 22, 9:37 am
  #1014  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: IAH/EWR-LGA/MIA
Programs: UA Global Services 2.9MM, Marriott Bonvoy Ambassador (Lifetime Titanium) Elite
Posts: 1,922
Any recent Welcome Lounge experiences? I notice the Wiki still says must show physical GS card, but those haven't been around for awhile, so I assume they're now accepting the virtual card on the app?
st530 is offline  
Old Sep 14, 22, 9:56 am
  #1015  
 
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: 4,404
Originally Posted by Rocketman1 View Post
I knew 20 seconds into the call where I stood with this lady. I elected to stay with her and experience the full Monty treatment.
Masochist.
I hang right up and pray I don't get the same agent again. Or I DM United on Twitter, where I now often get better service (albeit slower) than the GS line.
ctownflyer is offline  
Old Sep 14, 22, 11:21 am
  #1016  
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Programs: UA GS | Marriott Titanium / LT Platinum
Posts: 378
Originally Posted by st530 View Post
Any recent Welcome Lounge experiences? I notice the Wiki still says must show physical GS card, but those haven't been around for awhile, so I assume they're now accepting the virtual card on the app?
If you're referencing the Swiss / Lufthansa ones, I believe app / boarding pass are sufficient these days.

While LH (but even more so Swiss) used to be terrible about proof of the right status to access lounges, for all of my travel over the past 3-4 years, their lounges have all correctly identified my privileges simply by scanning my boarding pass.
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n8-the-gr8 is offline  
Old Sep 14, 22, 1:16 pm
  #1017  
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Programs: United Global Services, Amtrak Select Executive
Posts: 3,678
Originally Posted by cesco.g View Post
Bruce is a very nice agent indeed, but (to my surprise) never was part of the actual GS team back when that existed. Nevertheless he is one of the top agents at LAX.
Chatted with Bruce a bit on Monday at LAX, both in the UC & then on the plane. He is a true mensch!
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physioprof is offline  
Old Sep 14, 22, 3:21 pm
  #1018  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: BOS<>NYC<>BKK
Programs: UA 4.2MM LT-GS; AA1MM; Amtrak SE; MAR LT TITAN; PC Plat; HIL DIA; HYA GLOB
Posts: 4,167
For the first time in memory, there was a GS agent at my departing flight from IAD (to BOS) today. She said there were seven (!) GS on the flight.
wxguy is offline  
Old Sep 14, 22, 3:26 pm
  #1019  
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Doylestown
Programs: UAL GS & Million M; Delta Gold Medallion (2 mio +); American; Hyatt Platinum Passport, Omni Platinum
Posts: 1,380
Originally Posted by wxguy View Post
For the first time in memory, there was a GS agent at my departing flight from IAD (to BOS) today. She said there were seven (!) GS on the flight.
Think there will be fewer GS a year from now? Or will GS be but a memory? It is asad shell of what it once was. Everything is like pulling teeth
manstein58 is offline  
Old Sep 14, 22, 4:39 pm
  #1020  
 
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: 4,404
Originally Posted by manstein58 View Post
Think there will be fewer GS a year from now? Or will GS be but a memory? It is asad shell of what it once was. Everything is like pulling teeth
GS will have upgrade priority over 1K, which costs UA exactly $0. And a Club membership with no guesting privileges to minimize costs. No reason to get rid of that if people will still spend $50K on UA for those benefits.
UA can't even spare a shiny membership card like their competitors manage to do.
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