joemac547
Topic Author
Posts: 69
Joined: Tue Oct 10, 2006 5:57 am

What Is UA Global Services?

Tue Oct 10, 2006 6:15 am

I have been a United 1k for many years now, and have lately been wondering what the "Global Services" level in the Mileage Plus program is. I usually hit my 1k quota early in the year and after that point spread my travel amongst other airlines and alliances. United's web site (which is not all that great to start with) really doesn't explain what extra benefits, if any, G.S. provides. I know it is by invitation only, and I sense it is related to actual revenue United derives from me. Unless somebody at United can explain what the real-world perks are (and I have asked various CS agents at the airport, and they really couldn't answer the question), I have no incentive to travel even more with them. Can somebody here help?
 
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Stitch
Posts: 26773
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2005 4:26 am

RE: What Is UA Global Services?

Tue Oct 10, 2006 6:16 am

While not an official part of the Mileage Plus program, UGS does offer some MP benefits.

United Global Services was launched in 2003 as a way to recognize (and cultivate the continued loyalty and largesse of) what United considers to be their absolute best customers. Before the launch of UGS, United had a VIP program, which was station-specific (so you could be a VIP in SFO, for example, but maybe not in DEN or ORD).

Like the VIP program, it is invite-only. Like Mileage Plus elite status, you can earn UGS at any time during the year. I don't recall if UGS status ends on an MP calendar year (February), or if it ends one year from the date status being granted. You may be re-invited to the program, either on a recurring basis or after having been dropped for one or more years.

Based on UA's own information, it is revenue-based, roughly the top 1% of UA's elite membership and is rumored to be around 18,000 people in 2005. However, there are people who have been invited who, on the surface, do not meet this revenue criteria. They may be old VIPs who have been added (this happened in 2003, at least, when UGS replaced the VIP program), they might influence a great deal more revenue then they themselves generate (travel director of a Fortune 50 company, for example), and some just fly hundreds of thousands of miles a year, or for some reason or another, UA feels they are worth inviting into the program. It has been said that UA Regional Sales managers also have the ability to recommend (if not actually invite) people into the program, which might explain why one person gets in when another does not when they have similar revenue patterns. It has been claimed that the top 100 accounts for the previous year in each Sales Area are invited into the program.

Fare basis also matters to some extent in the calculations. A refundable B Economy Class fare upgraded to Business Class is said to have more weight then a non-refundable Z Business Class fare because it implies the person is more likely to buy an expensive last-minute fare on UA then choose a cheaper fare on a competitor, and UA wishes to encourage that behavior.

While we do not know exactly what it takes to be invited, to maintain your status, you must fly at least 50,000 miles on United®, United Express® or Ted in United First® (F, A, and P), United business® (C, D, and Z), or full fare Economy® (Y and B) during your status year.

There is no published criteria, so information is both incomplete and conflicting.

Present and past benefits as stated by UGS members include(d):

  • Automatic Mileage Plus Premier Executive status (also known as GP).
  • 100% Redeemable (RDM) Mileage Bonus on UA and US flights as well as transatlantic segments flown on LH.
  • 120 Hour Upgrade Window when using 500 mile certificates or Y/B fare complimentary upgrade.
  • Ability to open award and upgrade First and Business seats when none are available (not a guaranteed benefit - especially now that the ranks have swelled).
  • Ability to use the International Arrivals Lounge, regardless of ticketed cabin (normally restricted to revenue and award First and Business passengers).
  • Ability to use the First Class check-in counter, regardless of ticketed cabin.
  • Access to the International First Class Lounge, regardless of ticketed cabin (this seems to be more station specific and/or you know the IFL staff personally).
  • Ability to board first, regardless of assigned Seating Area or ticketed cabin.
  • Access to private Customer Service offices at most hub and gateway airports (similar to the old "1K Rooms") to handle ticketing and travel issues (note that they are not intended to be pseudo-lounges like the 1K Rooms were).
  • Access to a private, toll-free (domestic and international) reservations number.
  • Access to special "UGS Conciereges" at many international gateways and hubs who will escort you to connecting flights/terminals, similar to the old "United First Concierge" program.


In addition to the automatic Premier Executive status, UGS members can also be Premier Executive 1K's (GK) if they earn 100,000 EQMs or 100 EQS' during a qualifying year. So in addition to their UGS benefits, they also receive the six annual SystemWide Upgrades (SWUs) that 1K status grants. To my knowledge, there is no special code for Million Miler UGS members - they are either GK's (if 1K) or GP's (if 1P).
 
UAL4ever
Posts: 51
Joined: Tue Aug 16, 2005 2:45 pm

RE: What Is UA Global Services?

Tue Oct 10, 2006 6:22 am

My Grandfather, who is a 1K with United has the same question and has been investigatin this for a while now. From what I understand Global Services is another level above 1K. In terms of upgrades, standby lists, priority boarding, check in, and anything else a Global services is ahead of a 1K. In terms of how to earn this status you are correct.

Quoting Joemac547 (Thread starter):
I sense it is related to actual revenue United derives from me.

The only way to get invited to be a Global Services member is by flying paid First Class/ Business class on a consistent basis. Only then will you be invited. For Example, If I fly 120,000 miles a year paid economy I will be 1K but if I fly that in First/Business I will be invited to be Global Services.
 
ord
Posts: 1407
Joined: Tue Jul 20, 1999 10:34 pm

RE: What Is UA Global Services?

Tue Oct 10, 2006 6:58 am

Quoting UAL4ever (Reply 2):
The only way to get invited to be a Global Services member is by flying paid First Class/ Business class on a consistent basis. Only then will you be invited.

This is not necessarily true. A client of mine is Global Services and has been for the past few years. He travels domestically almost every week and always economy. He does fly United Business about four times a year to China and another 2-3 times a year to Europe. I think he just generates a lot of revenue for United.
 
UAL4ever
Posts: 51
Joined: Tue Aug 16, 2005 2:45 pm

RE: What Is UA Global Services?

Tue Oct 10, 2006 8:40 am

Quoting ORD (Reply 3):
He does fly United Business about four times a year to China and another 2-3 times a year to Europe.

Does he pay for those tickets. If he buys that many business class roundtrip tickets a year that would be the difference. If not for that I don't think they would let him be Global Services.
 
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Stitch
Posts: 26773
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2005 4:26 am

RE: What Is UA Global Services?

Tue Oct 10, 2006 9:29 am

Quoting UAL4ever (Reply 4):
Does he pay for those tickets. If he buys that many business class roundtrip tickets a year that would be the difference. If not for that I don't think they would let him be Global Services.

I know a number of Global Services 1K members who buy only Economy Class tickets. However, most of those tickets are high-value unrestricted tickets so their "personal RASM" is upwards of 50 cents.
 
N1120A
Posts: 26555
Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2003 5:40 pm

RE: What Is UA Global Services?

Tue Oct 10, 2006 9:37 am

Quoting UAL4ever (Reply 4):
Does he pay for those tickets. If he buys that many business class roundtrip tickets a year that would be the difference. If not for that I don't think they would let him be Global Services.

Adding to what Stitch said, it is entirely possible to pay more for a full fare Y ticket than a discounted F ticket, particularly when you are talking about domestic travel. United has encouraged this behavior more and more since many companies have adopted a "no First" policy for many employees, as a way to get them away from Southwest's very attractive unrestricted economy fares that offer arguably better service. If you read Flyertalk, you will see that many of United's requalification programs for UGS specifically target people who fly full Y.
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
warreng24
Posts: 574
Joined: Fri Nov 18, 2005 9:38 am

RE: What Is UA Global Services?

Tue Oct 10, 2006 1:12 pm

I would also post this question in the UA FlyerTalk forum.

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=504
 
mymiles2go
Posts: 169
Joined: Thu Nov 06, 2003 4:00 pm

RE: What Is UA Global Services?

Tue Oct 10, 2006 1:45 pm

Quoting Warreng24 (Reply 7):
I would also post this question in the UA FlyerTalk forum.

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/forum...f=504

Most of the folks on this thread are FT'ers  Wink
 
joemac547
Topic Author
Posts: 69
Joined: Tue Oct 10, 2006 5:57 am

RE: What Is UA Global Services?

Wed Oct 11, 2006 1:22 am

Thanks for the info, everybody. I was not aware of FlyerTalk and have just registered and will also post the question there. From what Skitch posted, the only perk that would interest me is the 120 hour clear upgrade list - 20 hours ahead of where I think I am now as 1K. (although I do remember fondly the old 1K lounges and the reps with the red carnations meeting me when transferring at hubs!)
 
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Stitch
Posts: 26773
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2005 4:26 am

RE: What Is UA Global Services?

Wed Oct 11, 2006 3:43 am

Quoting Warreng24 (Reply 7):
I would also post this question in the UA FlyerTalk forum.



Quoting Mymiles2go (Reply 8):
Most of the folks on this thread are FT'ers

Yup. We got so many questions about GS on FT that I just created a Notepad file on it that I can cut and paste. Big grin

Quoting Joemac547 (Reply 9):
From what Skitch posted, the only perk that would interest me is the 120 hour clear upgrade list - 20 hours ahead of where I think I am now as 1K.

Well as a GS member, customer service - especially in irregular operations - is often far better then 1Ks receive. Most GS' I have spoken to say that is what really makes the program worthwhile to them and what they miss the most when they become "just a 1K" again.

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