United’s Global Services Status Challenge

Filed Under: United

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

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As mentioned above, Global Service is United’s status with unpublished criteria, though you can typically expect you’ll need to spend at least $50,000 per year to qualify, or need to have influence over big travel accounts.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

Bottom line

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?

  1. Lots of other benefits to Global Services that are less known. For example being able to have agents create saver award space when none is available, forcing a companion’s upgrade to business class through when you’re flying paid business on the same flight, opening up saver business space, and clearing into a different upgrade bucket for business class that is more readily available than the one for 1K’s.

  2. Ben, have they sent you an offer to re-activate your MP account? Kirby would do anything for a quick buck 😉

  3. When I was GS a couple years ago, Air China canceled our first leg from SYD-Beijing-MUC a few months from departure. The GS United rep spent almost an hour searching award availability for our return to Munich. She didn’t like the option to route us through India, so she ended up creating saver award space from SYD-MUC to allow us to return to Munich on our original saver level award instead of making us use more miles to return when there wasn’t any space available. We ended up having to fly SYD-LAX-IAH-MUC, but it was better than spending more miles. I’ve also been picked up in LHR and driven to my next gate for a tight connection to MUC when our incoming flight was delayed departure from ORD.

  4. If one can afford around $50,000 to re-qualify each year, then he/she obviously does not need to take the challenge during this covid time. If one is that wealthy, he/she could fly first class on the time, will have dedicated check-in counter, priority baggage, first class lounge access. If one has that kind of cash, being put in the lousy upgrade list or spending time to search for an award is not what he/she cares of. Purchasing First class ticket, taking a limousine to the airport, he/she could be “Global Services” at anytime, any place, and most importantly, with any carrier of his/her choice, not limited to United.

  5. Wait, GS didn’t come with United Club access already? Wow. $50k spend and still stuck waiting at the gate with all the plebes.

  6. GS is not a goal anymore for me. I was GS for several years when GS was an amazing program (pre-merger). GS now is just mediocre. I really wouldn’t want it even if you gave it to me for free. That would mean I would have to fly United, and I certainly won’t be doing that.

  7. I’d be happy to take it but, with an invitation only situation, how do you re-qualify? Get another invitation?

  8. I have been GS in the past 1K now. Haven’t seen any offer. Do you think they would respond to a request to be given the challenge?

  9. The biggest benefit of GS (not mentioned in the article) is that upgrades clear into the PN fare class. You are MUCH more likely to clear in advance in premium markets like EWR-SFO. Also you can upgrade award tickets.

    This is my first year as GS and I have saved about $2k on personal travel vs when I was 1K. Couldn’t be happier.

  10. Good call on the PN. I used to trade CRUs for SWUs with a GS back in the day and actually clear the upgrades.

  11. @John never hurts to ask. I would welcome this challenge and hopefully can travel the last 3 months of this year. (dpending on Covid measures)

  12. I called the 1K service desk to inquire and they told me that the offer is only for those who have been GS in the past.

  13. @Cal That sucks 🙁 understandable though. I would probably give it a try although difficult with all the current restrictions..

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