United Global Services: Everything to know

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In the world of frequent flier status, the top tier qualifications typically seem pretty unattainable unless you’re a true road warrior. After all, 100,000 “butt-in-seat” miles and spending over $15,000 per year with an airline is no joke!

But United offers an even more elite status level that’s not even published on United.com — United Global Services. In this post, we’ll discuss how to (possibly) qualify for Global Services membership and what benefits might follow if you’re invited to join the club.

What is United Global Services?

United Global Services is an invitation-only, ultra-exclusive secret status given to United’s most profitable and loyal customers. It is also the highest level of elite status one can have with United — meaning you receive the best treatment, the best upgrades, the best service and the best perks when traveling with United.

United publishes the details of the airline’s Premier Silver, Premier Gold, Premier Platinum, and Premier 1k elite statuses. But United Global Services status is so exclusive that it’s not even written about on United.com! That’s because United Global Services status is reserved for uber-frequent fliers and is mostly kept secret by United.

How to become a United Global Services member

So you’re probably thinking…where do I sign up?! Well, unfortunately, United Global Services is invitation only, and the requirements for an invite remain a mystery. What we do know is that the qualifications for Global Services are well beyond United’s other elite status requirements.

For anyone familiar with United’s loyalty program, there are clearly defined thresholds that must be met to qualify for United’s other statuses. These thresholds include spending money with United to meet PQD (Premier Qualifying Dollars) and flying with United to meet PQM or PQS (Premier Qualifying Miles or Premier Qualifying Segments). 

For example, to qualify for United Premier 1k status, you need to spend over $15,000 with United to meet the PQD waiver each year. Though the other tiers allow a PQD waiver with enough spend on a United co-branded credit card, Premier 1k status requires the full spending amount each and every year. In addition to the PQD requirement, you need to fly at least 100,000 miles with United (PQM) or take 120 segments (PQS). That’s a lot of time in the air!

So while the requirements to be invited to Global Services are unclear, we know that you must go above and beyond the $15,000 and 100,000 PQM/120 PQS threshold each year. We speculate that you need a minimum of ~$50,000 in spend with United to qualify, though some Global Services members regularly spend upwards of $100,000 with United each year. Wow!

Global Services benefits

The fun really begins when discussing the incredible treatment United Global Services members receive when traveling with United. Global Services members get the best of the best in all categories, including first overall priority when it comes to boarding, upgrades, lounge access and rebooking in the case of irregular operations.

Global Services members also have a dedicated phone line to reach United and their own check-in areas at select airports such as in San Francisco (SFO), Newark (EWR), and Chicago O’Hare (ORD). Global Services members with tight connecting flights are eligible for a Mercedes Benz transfer on the tarmac at select airports as well — the ultimate in layover luxury. This service is currently only available at ORD, Denver (DEN), Houston (IAH), Los Angeles (LAX) and SFO, but keep an eye out for United to increase this service.

Finally, Global Services members get additional perks for flying, such as a companion saver award on any cash ticket booking. This allows members to bring along a friend or family member at the lowest award cost (saver level) when booking a flight with cash in any class of service. Global Services members also have increased access to complimentary upgrades on both paid and award flights. For example, Complimentary Premier Upgrades (CPUs) are significantly easier to “clear” for Global Services members as they can upgrade based on additional fare class inventory. This means Global Services members have more flexibility when booking flights AND will be upgraded to first class and business class more frequently. Not bad!

Bottom line

I can only dream of a world where I utilize the Global Services private check-in area and am whisked between flights in a shiny new Mercedes Benz. But for folks with deep pockets who fly religiously with United, Global Services is United’s best of the best service for its most loyal and elite fliers

But keep in mind that Global Services is invite-only, and nobody truly knows the qualification thresholds. So it may not be worth holding your breath for that ever-exclusive invite!

Featured image by Anatoliy Lukich/Shutterstock.

Jake Pearring is a contributor to Million Mile Secrets, he covers topics on points and miles, credit cards, airlines, hotels, and general travel.

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