United Global Services: All The Benefits & Everything You Need To Know

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Many people earn elite status with United Airlines every year. Some road warriors might even earn Premier 1K, the highest level of status available to most travelers. However, there is actually another level of elite status with United that tops them all: United Global Services.

If you are a Global Services member, you can expect to be a top priority passenger and you’ll enjoy a bunch of fun perks. While this will be out of reach for the vast majority of travelers, it’s still amazing to see what United will do for some customers.

Let’s dig into United Global Services and see what it has to offer.

Elite Status on United

Having elite status with United comes with a number of perks. The higher level of status you have, the more perks you can expect. For many who travel for work, this can mean fighting to earn Premier 1K status to improve their chances of upgrades on domestic flights.

However, earning top tier Premier 1K status with United requires you (or your employer) to spend $12,000 on United flights each year. Premier Silver, Premier Gold, and Premier Platinum status levels are a bit easier to earn.

Each status level requires you to meet a Premier Qualifying Dollar (PQD) requirement plus either a Premier Qualifying Miles (PQM) or Premier Qualifying Segments (PQS) requirement.

Elite Status LevelPQD RequirementPQM/PQS RequirementSpend Waiver?
Premier Silver$3,00025,000 PQM or 30 PQSYes
Premier Gold$6,00050,000 PQM or 60 PQSYes
Premier Platinum$9,00075,000 PQM or 90 PQSYes
Premier 1K $15,000100,000 PQM or 120 PQSNo

Other than the Premier 1K status level, you can have the PQD requirement waived if you spend $25,000 across any of the co-branded United cards marketed by Chase.

Hot Tip: You can also check out our in-depth guide on the best ways of earning United points. Note: Using a United card isn’t the fastest way of accumulated points with United!)

With these basics about United status in mind, you can start to see just how elite you must be to have United Global Services.

What Is United Global Services?

United Global Services is an invitation-only elite status with United Airlines that is given to some of United’s most elite and profitable customers.

With a United Global Services membership, passengers can expect a number of perks and customer service that far exceeds anything that other United passengers receive.

Qualifying for Global Services

The eligibility requirements for Global Services remain unpublished, so it is not known exactly how one can earn an invitation. However, these members typically spend thousands upon thousands of dollars per year on full-fare (i.e. changeable and refundable) tickets. You can check your United status at mystatus.united.com.

Some have even estimated that Global Services members spend upwards of $50,000 on airfare with United each year!

Global Services Benefits

While it’s hard to confirm all the benefits that Global Services members receive, several specific benefits have been revealed. Let’s discuss some of these perks.

Upgrade Priority

When it comes to upgrade priority, Global Services members are at the front of the line. This can be especially important when booking economy class tickets on transcontinental flights.

Upgrades on Award Flights

Premier members who have one of the co-branded United cards are eligible for Complimentary Premier Upgrades (CPUs) on award flights. To upgrade, there must be space in the RN fare class.

Meanwhile, Global Services members can receive a CPU if there is space in the PN fare class, which often has much better availability. While Global Services members receive access to this PN fare class availability, Premier members do not.

More Upgrade Availability With Miles & Certificates

United Polaris Seat
Global Services members can use Global Premier Upgrades on award flights. Image Credit: United

Global Services members can also redeem United miles for upgrades into the PN fare class. As we mentioned above, the PN fare class has much better availability than the standard upgrade space (RN fare class).

Additionally, Regional Premier Upgrades (RPUs) and Global Upgrade Certificates (GPUs) can also be used by Global Services members to upgrade award tickets.

Companion Saver Award With a Cash Ticket

United Polaris Middle Seats
Book a business class cash ticket, and a Global Services companion can book a saver level business class award. Image Credit: United

When you consider the fact that those with Global Services are not only spending a lot of money on United but also traveling very frequently, the companion perk is a really nice touch from United.

If Global Services member books a cash ticket, she or he may bring along a companion for the cost of a saver level award ticket. This allows members to extend a work trip into a vacation with a spouse, loved one, or friend.

Not only that, but these companion saver level awards are available in whatever cabin the Global Services members have booked. That means if a member has paid for a business class ticket, his or her companion can book a business class award at saver level.

Mercedes-Benz Transfer Between Flights

Probably one of the coolest benefits of being a Global Services Member is a ride to your flight in a Mercedes-Benz. Now, Global Services members won’t receive this every time they connect, as it’s only used for tight connections at specific airports.

The airports with this Mercedes-Benz service include Chicago-O’Hare (ORD), Denver (DEN), Houston (IAH), Los Angeles (LAX), and San Francisco (SFO).

Global Services Customer Service

Customer service is at its best for Global Services members. They can expect a dedicated phone line that very rarely has any wait time, United staff tracking their flight status to ensure connections are made, and getting served meals before anyone else when flying business class or first class.

United really goes above and beyond for its Global Services Members!

Private Check-in

Global Services members never have to worry about check-in lines when departing Chicago-O’Hare (ORD), Newark (EWR), or San Francisco (SFO). There are dedicated check-in areas just for them, which can be a huge benefit if running late.

Priority Boarding

While United sometimes struggles to get flights out on time and leaves passengers huddling around the gate, Global Services members will be the first to board and get settled into their seats.

Final Thoughts

Though most people will never spend enough to be considered for an invite to Global Services, a look at the benefits of membership is a great insight into how customer service at an airline could work.

Global Services members not only receive a number of benefits, but United really looks after them to ensure their travel experiences are seamless and enjoyable.


Frequently asked questions

What is United Global Services?

Global Services is an invitation-only elite status with United Airlines that provides upgrade priority, allows upgrades on award bookings, provides increased award and upgrade space, and more.

How do you earn Global Services status?

The requirements are not publicly available, but some have guessed that you must spend at least $50,000 on flights with United per year.

Spencer Howard

About Spencer Howard

Always a fan of flying, it was only natural that Spencer was drawn to finding a way to improve the travel experience. Like many, he started this journey searching for cheap flights to take him around the world. This was fun for a while, but Spencer was intrigued by the idea of flying in business and first class! Throwing himself into what became an extensive research project, Spencer spent 3-4 hours per night learning everything he could about frequent flyer miles over the course of several months (he thinks this is normal).

Disclaimer: Any comments listed below are not from the bank advertiser, nor have they been reviewed or approved by them. No responsibility will be taken by the bank advertiser for these comments.

37 comments

  1. 40K USD actually is enough, that’s how I did it the last two years.

    Reply

  2. $40K could be enough but the point is, as the author states, the invitation is “given to some of United’s most elite and *profitable* customers”. So you’re stating revenue ($40K), we can’t tell how profitable your tickets were to United. I’ve hdone over $40K for several years but all on low margin non-refundable tickets so I’ve not been invited. Buying more refundable tickets, or buying business class outright is definitely going to help your chances of getting a Global Services invitation.

    Reply

  3. Distant Traveler August 5, 2018

    I was confirmed yesterday for GS, YTD I’m ~$70K of spend with 7x Polaris round-trips to EU from NA and eighth R/T in another week plus a lot of mainline United flights (not only regional).

    Reply

  4. One of your members shoved an oversized bag into an overhead compartment. Flight 4149 Halifax to Newark today after staff told him not to. The “guy” gave the staff member a hard time. He shoves it in and busted the door. We sat in airport for 6 hours to finally be told flight canceled. Now spending night. That “AH” got on the next flight that was booked up. So to let you know you have an “AH” in your program. I’ll spread the word. Hope he wasn’t a united executive. And why can’t your 14 dollar voucher buy booze?

    Reply

  5. It is published that Global Services for Life is a perk after 4 million paid miles. I am at 3.9 million, so UA only has a little time left to close that loophole.
    Note also that Global Services is the FOURTH boarding group, not the first, after handicapped, military, and families with children. Boarding Group 1 is FIFTH. UA skirts this by referring to the others as “preboarding”, but they rearely start preboarding until after the published boarding time.
    BTW, while GP members may not have United Club automatically, I received United Club for life at 2 million and 1K for life at 3 million. Nice perks, but recently UA reduced the awards miles by roughly a factor of 3, giving 11 miles/dollar instead of 2.5 miles per mile flown. A huge reduction in benefit. THey are compensating slightly by giving free meals and drinks to 1K flyers.

    Reply

  6. Joost de Jong November 17, 2018

    I am not sure about the $40K. I do about $500k miles a year, mostly in business. Only crickets regarding GS so far.

    Reply

    • Um, sorry, nope. If you spent $500k per year, you would be flying private, not United, and if you spent $500k per year, United would have granted you GS long ago. Nice try though.

      Reply

    • Well, let’s talk about what spending $500k a year on business class looks like. The average round-trip business class price w/ tax as the longest flight UA hold, from SFO/LAX to PEK/HND/HKG/ is about $5k and it takes 11+12 +2= 25 hours per round-trip, so basically you spend more than 1/3 of your life on an airplane with no social life and jet lag every second. Can’t imagine how a human being would survive that.

      Reply

  7. GS for 2019: 68k PQD, 212 PQM

    Reply

  8. Jan Chaddock February 1, 2019

    Thank you for this information.

    Reply

  9. I have been given GS status since the United-Continental merger every year but two, when I was Premium 1K.

    While I cannot 100 % verify what I am presenting here, I feel that it makes sense and this is what I think.

    There is no pre-set $ value for GS, rather they look at the normal distribution of money spent and give it to probably to the top 1%. There is a factor if someone is renewing the GS or has a long continuous history of being GS member.

    So if the economy is bad, to be in the top 1% is easier as business people travel less so you would need less revenue to qualify. On the other hand, in a good economy, with more business and flying, the amount needed for qualification would be higher.

    One important aspect though, you must fly on actual UA flights, not on a codeshare. You get points and miles on a codeshare, but they do not count toward GS.

    Reply

  10. Samuel Haines June 20, 2019

    GS used to be a better program before the United merged with Continental. A downgrade as far as the customer experience is concerned both at airports and flights. Having Newark and Houston as hubs after the merger certainly made it even worse.

    Reply

  11. My company gets GS if you’re at a certain tier (job level) or above. About 30 people get it. We have United as a preferred partner for all travel. (4k employees)

    Reply

  12. Joanna Karatzas August 31, 2019

    My husband got GS for 2019 with about 175,000 miles and $43,000 in premier qualifying dollars. He has received the status every year since 2012. We have liked the service although we have never experienced the top tier of other airlines.

    Reply

  13. The going spend has been $50k – in the major markets. If you are in a big hub city like SFO where the United loyalty runs deep, the spend requirement is higher than a smaller non-hub city.

    On another web site, we did polls of spend and miles flow to hit GS. We found the mileage didn’t matter, I had a co-worker that didn’t even hit 1k, yet his spend was north of $50k and received GS.

    $50k was the pretty solid number, everyone on my team that crossed it got GS the following January. Under $50k in our major market and no love.

    Reply

  14. Plane Princess November 13, 2019

    I travel what I feel like is a boat load for work. But my flights are not long. I rack up segments.

    I am at 105k miles for the year and 135 segments with multiple flights remaining from now until the end of the year.

    I have 1k from last year and clearly achieved for this year.

    I have paid $35k PQD.

    I am RARELY upgraded and feel no love or perks.

    Does this year seem to be easier for people to gain perks with United? It seems everyone is 1k.

    I am thinking of switching to delta…. thoughts?

    Reply

  15. I am at 254k (PQM) & 160 (PQS) with over $60K spent, with several trips yet to finish this year. Would this get me to GS with United? Almost all flights were Business class.

    Thanks

    Lee

    Reply

    • Hi Lee,

      The eligibility requirements for Global Services are not published, so there is no way to be certain. With that said, I would think those figures would give you a very good chance of being invited.

      Reply

      • Jarrod

        Thanks for the Info..
        I ended up with the following

        PQM 302,988
        PQS. 184
        PQD $81,534.00

        99% of PQD was first or Business Class.

        Let’s see if that qualifies for GS…

        Reply

    • Keep me posted. I hope to get it this year too. Best of luck, I have had 1k for 5 years and spent $54,000.

      Reply

  16. I’m lucky at almost 5M miles so I crossed the threshold at 4m a while ago. My sense is you need ~ 150-200k miles with 4-6 international business class trips to drive up your $. Another benefit across mileage plus program that is great is the spouse/significant other shared status. I think this works at all levels (e.g., 1K as well), but my wife has Global Services status. This is great when she travels, and in helping get upgrades for her family on combined trips. I think it is why she is still married to me …..

    Reply

  17. Is the Private Check-In benefit only useful if one has luggage or is there something else the GS flyer would use it for?

    Reply

  18. I just made GS myself with $77k spent in 2019. In order to qualify you have to use United Only, not flying let’s say Lufthansa and think that because they are partners, you get points too with United. So remember:

    * Use only United (aka UA metal);
    * If you can use business class versus economy, that’s a plus…
    * you have to have spent minimum 100k for the past 3 years…
    * it also helps if you are not flying out from a very busy airport… like SFO… where people/corporate people are traveling out of big cities and also have a larger portfolio…

    I flew $40k in 2018 and didn’t manage to get GS. So now I am GS for 2020 and can’t be happier.
    It’s achievable if work allows you to travel, otherwise, I guess you must have to win the lottery. 😉

    Reply

  19. Helen Hoesing February 12, 2020

    Why does my comment state that it “is waiting moderation”? Helen

    Reply

    • Hello Dr Helen. We get dozens of questions and comments each day. These go into a queue and are answered by one of our staff members or writers who is familiar with the topic and can answer your question as accurately as possible. This process can take a couple days. It also ensures spam and profanity are not posted automatically
      to the blog. Thank you for your patience and for reading.

      Reply

  20. Dr Helen Hoesing February 13, 2020

    I am a global for life united member. Recently I booked a ticket for the least expensive and most restricted fares I read that premium seats for these tickets were not available but were for global members. However, when I tried to book the seat I was told that was not true. Has this changed and if so why? Helen

    Reply

    • Hello Dr. Helen. First, to be clear, we are not affiliated with United Airlines, we are Upgraded Points, a blog specializing in providing travel, points, and miles resources. Regarding your question, I am assuming you are referring to purchasing a basic economy fare ticket. Unfortunately, as you mentioned, these tickets are not upgradeable. Additionally, I was unable to find any information that Global Services members would get upgraded on such fares. You might want to make a call to your Global Services dedicated customer service line and ask them this question for a definitive answer.

      Reply

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