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Plenty of United Airlines passengers reach elite status every year, and the most loyal flyers even reach Premier 1K, the highest status tier in the MileagePlus program.
However, there’s another tier above Premier 1K that isn’t published on the airline’s Premier status page: It’s called Global Services.
As a United Global Services member, you can expect top-notch treatment and five-star customer service both in the air and on the ground.
Here’s how to reach the Global Services status tier with United and what to expect in terms of benefits.
What is United Global Services?
United Global Services is an invitation-only, top-tier level of the United MileagePlus program, beyond the publicly listed Premier 1K status.
Being a Global Services member comes with many benefits, such as check-in assistance, expedited security screening, priority boarding, upgrade priority, United Club access and language assistance.
With United Global Services, the airport experience revolves entirely around you. Passengers looking for help outside of the airport have access to a United Global Services phone number and email dedicated to top-tier members only.
A similar VIP service called United Signature Service is available for an extra cost, but United Global Services members receive all the perks automatically.
United Signature Service, provided by Global Airport Concierge, is available at the following airports:
» Learn more: Great ways to earn United MileagePlus Miles
How to qualify for status with United
The more frequently you fly with United or its partners, the higher up the status ladder you can climb. The higher the status you reach, the more perks you can expect.
In addition to flying at least four flight segments on United, you must meet the following requirements to reach elite status in the MileagePlus program:
MileagePlus Premier level
12 PQF and 4,000 PQP, or 5,000 PQP.
24 PQF and 8,000 PQP, or 10,000 PQP.
36 PQF and 12,000 PQP, or 15,000 PQP.
54 PQF and 18,000 PQP, or 24,000 PQP.
For example, you must fly at least 54 Premier Qualifying Flights, or PQFs, and spend $18,000 on United flights — or spend $24,000 on United flights to qualify for the officially published top-tier Premier 1K status. Premier Qualifying Points, or PQPs, are based on the base fare of any flight you purchase.
» Learn more: The guide to United Airlines Premier elite status
How to get United Global Services
Although there are no published criteria required to reach this super-secret status level, it’s speculated that you must spend at least $50,000 per year on United flights through its booking platform or fly at least 150,000 miles annually.
The elite status table above really puts things into perspective, as the supposed requirements to reach United Global Services are more than double the requirements needed for Premier 1K status.
Flying 4 million lifetime miles with United is another way to become a Global Services member. Either way, reaching this exclusive status tier isn’t going to be cheap or quick.
» Learn more: Best United Airlines credit card offers
Benefits of being a United Global Services member
After spending so much money with one airline, you better believe that you’ll get some extra special treatment when flying United. Although not every Global Services perk has been publicized, you can expect some of the following benefits.
If you’re cutting it close to your flight, you don’t have to wait in a general check-in lane to check your luggage as a Global Services member. A private check-in lane is available to you at Chicago-O’Hare, Newark and San Francisco airports.
Global Services members are invited to board United aircraft in the same group as unaccompanied minors, passengers with disabilities, active military members, families traveling with children ages two and younger and Premier 1K members.
This group boards first, before Group 1, which includes passengers flying in Polaris business class.
United uses a clearing order for who gets the first shot at a better seat. As a Global Services member, you’re at the top of that list. This comes in handy for trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacific flights booked in economy class.
Should your flight be delayed or canceled, a designated concierge will monitor flight changes and rebook you without hassle. In some cases, this will happen before you even know of a cancellation. Your name will be prioritized on a rebooking list.
Tarmac car transfers
If your layover is short and you’re at risk of missing your flight, you might find yourself riding in style to your next gate in a fancy car, such as a Mercedes-Benz or a Jaguar (available at select airports).
Star Alliance Gold status
Global Services members receive Star Alliance Gold membership, which comes with benefits when you fly with other airlines in the Star Alliance.
Perks include priority airport check-in, priority baggage handling, airport lounge access, priority boarding, extra baggage allowance, access to Gold Track priority lanes, priority reservation waitlist and priority airport standby.
When flying on a domestic United flight, Global Services members are able to enter United Club airport lounges. Polaris lounges are open to all passengers with a Polaris ticket, including Global Services passengers.
If you earn your Global Services status through the Million Miler program, your significant other who lives in the same household gets to share your Global Services benefits, and they don’t even have to fly with you on the same itinerary to get the perks.
Additionally, when you buy a cash ticket, your travel companion can join you for the cost of a saver award ticket in miles, no matter which class you’re flying in. This comes in handy if your plus one wants to join you on a work trip, for example.
Global Services customer service
Forget wait times and corny hold music. As a Global Services member, you have access to a United Global Services phone number 24/7 as well as a dedicated email address.
» Learn more: How to earn United miles
United Global Services, recapped
It takes a lot of time and money to get invited to United Global Services, and only the most profitable elites make the cut. Most flyers will never be invited, so don’t sweat it if you’re not seeing Global Services on your boarding pass.
Reaching MileagePlus Premier 1K status is sufficient to receive many meaningful benefits with United, but if you fly enough to be invited to the Global Services circle, you might as well reap the benefits of your hard work on the road.
(Top photo courtesy of United Airlines)
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