As travel has gotten more stressful the benefits of elite status are even more valuable. In some cases, what used to be free for everyone is now only free for those customers that fly most frequently. I value my American Airlines Executive Platinum status more highly than any status I’ve earned, including 1K service with United Airlines. However, Global Services is another matter. For those not aware, Global Services is an invitation-only status level that United bestows on their best customers.
What defines a best customer? Well, United doesn’t list the requirements for Global Services in writing. My best friend accrued almost 300,000 Premier Qualifying Miles (PQMs) and just over $100,000 Premier Qualifying Dollars (PQDs) and was invited for the first time. There are notional reports of folks getting Global Services with a lot less travel than that. It’s strongly believed that flights on United metal are the primary measuring stick, and that premium travel is much more highly scored. I’m guessing here, but it’s safe to say that if you’re spending $50,000 or more on mostly full-fare coach and higher tickets, you’ve got a reasonable shot.
Why is Global Services so special? Let’s take a look at some of the benefits:
- Complimentary Premier Upgrades (CPUs) on award flights. This is a nice plus that you can still pick up with a credit card, but I’m assuming the CPUs for Global Services clear out of the PN bucket as opposed to RN. In my general experience, PN has considerably more availability than RN or R.
- Regional Premier Upgrades (RPUs) on award flights. Again, more flexibility to make sure you’re sitting up front on domestic flights.
- Global Premier Upgrades (GPUs) on award flights. This is a big plus, especially considering that Global Services members will have the ability to clear out of the PN bucket. That potentially means you can book a saver award ticket to Europe and upgrade to business class with a GPU at no cost (unless there are extra taxes/fees). That’s a huge plus given the normal revenue restrictions for using GPUs.
- Exclusive Global Services check-in areas at Chicago O’Hare (ORD), San Francisco (SFO) and Newark (EWR).
- While Global Services doesn’t come with a United Club membership, you do get access to the premium arrivals lounges in Frankfurt (Lufthansa), London Heathrow and Zurich (Swiss) no matter what class of service you’re traveling in.
- Priority boarding before all other elites on all United-operated flights.
- Next flight guarantee for you and one companion when your flight is cancelled.
- Tarmac transports in a Mercedes-Benz at Chicago (ORD), Denver (DEN), Houston (IAH), Los Angeles (LAX), Newark (EWR) and San Francisco (SFO). United monitors your connection time and picks you up at the gate if you have a tight connection.
A couple more benefits thanks to readers commenting on this post:
- The ability to convert R inventory (an upgrade bucket) to IN inventory (saver business award).
- An agent can force saver economy availability out of the T fare bucket when X and XN aren’t available.
- A soft landing to 1K status if you don’t re-qualify for Global Services.
- When the Global Services member is traveling on a revenue ticket, they can request a saver award seat in the same cabin for their spouse.
The Global Services welcome kit is a nice, upscale kit that introduces you to those benefits. It also comes with customized luggage tags and beverage vouchers for use on those rare cases where you might find yourself in coach.
Global Services is a suite of benefits crafted to make the life of the very frequent traveler more tolerable. From upgrade benefits to tarmac transfers, the process is very seamless. I know a handful of Global Services members who all swear by the level of service they receive.
The chances I qualify for Global Services anytime soon are pretty close to zero. But, if I did, the benefits I would enjoy the most are clearing upgrades out of the PN bucket followed closely by being able to use my GPUs on award tickets. In the 3 years I was a 1K member, I was never able to use all of my GPUs because of the revenue restrictions (you’re required to buy at least a W class fare to qualify for an upgrade and can be waitlisted at time of booking).
The post A Summary Of United Airlines Global Services Benefits was published first on Pizza In Motion.
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