Advertiser Disclosure

What are United Global Services status benefits?

by on Tue October 6, 2015 • 21 Comments


United’s Global Services, introduced around 2003, is an unpublished, invitation only level of status in the United MileagePlus Premier program that is designed to reward its most profitable customers with an exceptional level of service.

While United doesn’t publish a specific list of benefits for Global Services, there are some that have been publicly disclosed, while others are more ad hoc that we detail below.

How to qualify for Global Services

This is probably the most opaque part of the Global Services program.

There are no published qualification requirements but generally people who qualify…

  • Spend a significant amount of money on United operated flights relative to other Premier level fliers (some think this means $50,000 or more per year, but it varies)
  • Concentrate much of that spending on full fares (Y/B in Economy, F/J/C/D in Business / First Class)

Some members qualify with less of the above via…

  • Influencing a significant amount of corporate travel spending
  • Being a relatively large spender in a home airport with a unique competitive situation
  • Having flown over 4 million lifetime miles on United and receiving lifetime Global Services status
  • Being designated as the annual companion of a lifetime Global Services member

Even with those guidelines, nothing is set in stone, as a variety of factors are used which constantly change to determine Global Services eligibility.

Invitations to Global Services are sent early each calendar year.

What are the possible benefits?

Global Services members get the base Premier level benefits of the status level they qualify for (which more often than not is Premier 1K) and in addition to those benefits, they have been reported to receive these additional benefits, though since they are mostly unpublished they may change at any time:

Highest priority on lists for Complimentary Premier Upgrades, trumping 1Ks and all other Premier members. One exception is if a Premier member buys a high Y/B/M fare and gets an instant upgrade to First Class, while a Global Services member is flying on a discount fare. Global Services members get upgraded into the ‘PN’ fare bucket at their upgrade window, which tends to be more generous than the ‘RN’ bucket used for other elites (read more about United fare codes here).

Expanded upgrade inventory for upgrading with miles / certificates. Global Services members get to upgrade into the ‘PN’ fare bucket when upgrading from Coach using miles, Global Premier Upgrades, or Regional Premier Upgrades. This fare bucket ties more closely to actual revenue ticket availability than upgrade / award inventory for non Global Services members, which comes out of the ‘R’ bucket.

Award ticket upgrades. Global Services members have the ability to upgrade award tickets with their Regional and Global Upgrade certificates.

Saver awards for companions. If you’re flying on a paid premium cabin ticket, you can bring along a companion for the Saver level number of miles, even if Saver awards aren’t available on that flight.

Access to Global First Class lounges. When flying on a Business Class ticket, Global Services members can use the United Global First Class lounges, which are typically reserved for passengers in Global First on 3 cabin planes. The lounges are available at San Francisco, Washington Dulles, Chicago, Hong Kong, Tokyo, and London Heathrow.

Priority boarding. If you fly United a lot, you hear this whenever the gate agent makes the boarding announcement. Global Services members get their own private boarding time, just before 1Ks, First Class, and other priority travelers board.

Private check-in. At Newark, Chicago, and San Francisco airports Global Services members get to use a private check-in facility with a door that opens to the very front of the priority security line. Los Angeles will be getting a Global Services check-in lobby when renovations of that terminal are complete.

Priority check-in. At airports without a Global Services facility, there are often counter positions assigned to serve Global Services members first.

Mercedes Benz transfer. United will pick some Global Services members with tight connections from the jetway in a Mercedes Benz to reach a connecting flight. This is available at all U.S. hubs (San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Newark, Denver, Washington Dulles, and Houston).


First meal choice. When sitting in First or Business Class, Global Services members have top priority for getting their choice from the menu.

Priority reservations. Global Services members get top priority when calling United reservations, and have typically been handled by agents dedicated to serving Global Services customers.



The following two tabs change content below.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Miles dont expireas long as card is open
Learn more

Partner Offer

50,000 bonus points

Intro Offer

$0 introductory annual fee the first year, then $95

Annual Fee


Foreign Transaction Fee Waived

Yes - transfer to United MileagePlus, Southwest Rapid Rewards, Marriott Rewards, and more

Points Can Transfer to Airline Miles ?

Still confused? Have a question?

Leave a comment below -- we'll reply shortly -- no need to use your real name. Or, use the email form at the top of the page for private advice.

"These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered."

21 thoughts on What are United Global Services status benefits?

  1. EE

    Does United send the luggage handles? I just made GS this year but they didn’t come in the welcome kit. I originate from small Airport and have to gate check a lot. Those Would be great time saver.

  2. Cristine Sinnott

    How do I contact them directly? I was told by premier 1K there isn’t a number – we have been global status for years until 2017

    1. savage m0f0

      On the back of your MileagePlus card (in the untied App) is the special global services number. You are obviously lying.

  3. Marc

    If I have Global services, would I be able to link my partner or spouse to the privileges of Global services? If so how do I do that?

  4. Levi

    I have heard or at one time heard you could purchase the Global Entry membership without achieving any type of status. Is this a possibility?

      1. savage m0f0

        it also depends on the fare class $80K made of up lots of domestic economy tickets makes United less profit than $60K on full fare business class tickets

  5. R Long

    When I sign in to my account as a global service member I get a summary that says I have 8 premier upgrades–six are GPU and two are RPU. What do I need to do to take advantage of those available upgrades?


      @R Long – When you have a reservation you want to upgrade, you can go to the ‘manage reservations’ page and there will be a blue button that says ‘Redeem Upgrade’ at the bottom.

      The ‘GPU’ can be used on any flight United flies, including long haul international, which is where most people try to use these. You need to book a ‘W’ or higher coach fare to use them, though as Global Services you probably already do that.

      The ‘RPU’ can be used on domestic flights and some of the shorter international flights, though you probably get free upgrades on most of those already. ‘P.S.’ flights from NY to SF / LA need an ‘RPU’ so you can use them there.

      Or, if you don’t have a use for them, you can apply them to the reservations of friends or family. Just load up their reservation while logged into your account and do the ‘Redeem Upgrade’ option.

      There’s more info on the whole thing here, but as a Global Services you have a very good shot of getting use out of them.

    2. Greg

      Just call United after booking and ask to use the upgrade (GPU is for any flight either in US or international where as the RPU is normally for within the US and some international destinations)

  6. JJ

    Was curious as to how far in advance they provide complimentary upgrades from coach to business/first on UA flights. Is it at booking or within a certain number of days or hours from departure? Thanks


      @JJ – Global Services get complimentary upgrades 120 hours (5 days) in advance. They also tend to get upgraded into ‘PN’ class rather than ‘RN’ class. PN class tends to have more availability.


      @Billy – Do a whole lot of expensive flying! Global Services qualification isn’t published, but we’ve heard many GS’ spend $50,000 or more a year on business / first class or high coach fare tickets with United.

  7. Jonnie

    wow, very interesting! my parents have global services but when I asked them if they can get me a global service ticket for my spring break trip, they said yes. but when I go online to check if I can qualify for global serv benefits if my parents aren’t traveling with me, I can find any info. I asked my parents and they hv no clue. can you pls shed some light?



      @Jonnie – Until early last year your parents were right – an award ticket booked from their account would give you Global Services status on the trip. Unfortunately that’s no longer the case as United changed the policy.

      Though if they want to upgrade you with miles or a certificate, you would get the Global Services priority for that.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

X Email Alerts
Hear about new offers and tips