United Global Services: 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$12,000100,000 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.

CREDIT CARDCARD INFO
UnitedSM Explorer Card
  • Earn 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on tickets purchased from United, and 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Fee: $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
Chase United MileagePlus® Club Card
  • Includes United Club membership
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on tickets purchased from United, and 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Fee: $450
United MileagePlus® Explorer Business Card
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on tickets purchased from United and select business purchases
  • 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Fee: $95

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

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 courtesy of 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 courtesy of 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 First Lounge Access When in Business Class

Global Services members can access United Global First lounges even when they are not flying Polaris first. However, members must be flying in business class to have access.

United Club Hong Kong
Global Services do not receive United Club membership as part of their benefits. Image courtesy of United.

It’s interesting that members do not receive a United Club membership even with the amount of money they spend on United. When you consider that every Diamond member with Delta Air Lines receives access to all SkyClubs through a complimentary membership, it seems United is really lagging behind in this respect.

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.

FAQ

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.

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7 comments

  1. Phenex · April 11, 2018 · Reply

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

  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.

  3. Distant Traveler · August 5, 2018 · Reply

    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).

  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?

  5. Nengadai · September 7, 2018 · Reply

    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.

    • Stephen Au · September 17, 2018 · Reply

      Hey Nengadai,

      Thanks for providing us with this information! It’s very helpful. Congratulations on nearly achieving Global Services for life.

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