I guess desperate times call for desperate measures, as United Airlines is offering a targeted Global Services status challenge.
United Airlines Global Services status challenge
United Airlines is targeting some MileagePlus members with a Global Services status challenge. Global Services is United’s invitation-only status, and requirements to earn this aren’t published, but you can typically expect it takes $50,000+ of spending annually to be invited.
It seems like it’s mostly Premier 1K members being targeted for this offer, though it’s possible that others may receive an invitation as well.
For those who are targeted:
- You need to spend $12,000 in a 90-day period to receive the status
- Global Services will be valid through January 31, 2022
- Members can pick their start date from the challenge, between July 1, 2020, and January 1, 2021
In happy times, @united's PR team loves to get cagey about the Global Services loyalty tier. It doesn't publish guidelines for the super-secret level, and you join by invitation only. But it's a pandemic now. For just $12K, @United will give me, a 1K member, this vaunted status. pic.twitter.com/g2PoyyphT8
— Brian Sumers (@BrianSumers) August 10, 2020
United Airlines just recently announced that it’s extending Global Services status by 12 months for existing members, and as of 2021 is adding United Club access as a Global Services perk.
What are the benefits of United Global Services?
As mentioned above, Global Service is United’s status with unpublished criteria, though you can typically expect you’ll need to spend at least $50,000 per year to qualify, or need to have influence over big travel accounts.
Perks of Global Services include the following:
- Higher priority for just about everything, from upgrades to standby
- Access to special check-in facilities
- Priority boarding ahead of first class
- Special treatments in the event of irregular operations, and sometimes even tarmac transfers when connecting
- United Club access even on domestic flights (as of 2021)
This is an interesting offer…
Understandably airlines are desperate for cash at the moment, so this is an interesting play on United’s part. A lot of people really want Global Services status for the “soft” treatment and because they think it’s cool, but will people really fly more and spend more right now in order to get it?
I have a couple of additional thoughts here:
- With international business travel down so much, spending $12,000 in 90 days could prove really difficult for business travelers
- This shouldn’t cost United much or dilute the status too much, given that business travel is projected to be down for years, and it’s highly unlikely we’ll see demand recover to 2019 levels anytime before the status will expire
United MileagePlus members (particularly Premier 1Ks) may be targeted for a Global Services status challenge. This is an interesting promotion on United’s part, and I sure do wonder how many people will take advantage of this.
What do you make of United’s targeted Global Services status challenge?