In the world of loyalty programs, one that has remained shrouded in a bit of mystery is United Global Services. If you haven't yet heard of them it's understandable because you have to be a member in order to view their full listing of benefits. It's a shame too because they offer some amazing advantages that more people deserve to learn about. We've taken it upon ourselves to share some of these best-kept secrets so you'll know that there's much more to them than the lack of shared public information.
What is Global Services?
Global Services is the elite status that is assigned to members only through United. It's offered as an option by invitation only. When we say that it's an elite membership, we're not kidding. You have to do some serious spending to even be considered for an invitation to join. In order to qualify, you must spend a minimum of $50,000 in a calendar year period. If this is you, then you stand a lot to gain through enrollment in the program. But you still can't join unless you're invited.
What are the perks of membership?
One of the greatest perks of membership is that you get to create your own award availability. What does this mean? It means that as a United customer you're going to get the best possible service. You got it. It's an airline-centric club. You have the ability to create an award ticket that will give you a better choice for premium seating aboard flights where there are seats available, particularly in the T and thee R buckets. You can log onto your account through United and have a clear view of what is available and you can create an award ticket for any United flight and there are no time or other restrictions.
You get access to a secret phone line
Membership in this club gives you access to a telephone line that is manned by United Agents that are there to help you specifically. This is much different than being routed through the automated system of a call center. This line gives you a direct connection to a real person on the other end of the line. From what we've been told, there are no wait times and you receive prompt and courteous service.
You get upgrades to a different class of fare
Global Services entitles you to priority upgrades to the PN fare class so you have a better chance of getting to ride in the front. Of course, this is only available if there are seats available, but if there are, you're at the top of the priority list. You get complimentary upgrades in fare and this can be a very sweet and pleasant surprise. United does its best to take good care of the elites that are in this program.
No guarantees but upgrades are always possible
If you're booked in a lower fare section but there are seats open in the business class, as a member of the elite club, United will bump you directly into business class with no problem. Even though there are no guarantees, especially if the flight is heavily booked, it's always a possibility. It's nice to receive this kind of special treatment now and then.
Another perk of global services is that you're going to be among the first to board. You receive a special invitation to board the flight ahead of all of the other nonmember United customers. That means you're going to be the first to be served your pre-departure drink. This will be nice since the average time to complete the boarding process is about 45 minutes.
Priority food service
With Global Services membership you also get to order your meal first. This means that you'll be the first to be served. Even if you're sitting in the economy cabin, you're still going to be served first just as if you were seated in first class. It may rile some of the other passengers in Economy, but that's not your problem. Additionally, the food and drink are free for you.
First class lounge access
As a Global Services member, you also have access to the many Global First lounges. These are elite lounges that require to those with an International First Class flight ticket, but you won't be denied access as long as you're a Global Services elite member and you have an international business class ticket.
You get a fancy tarmac transfer
Membership does have its privileges. Global Service members are offered a special ride in a Mercedes Benz for tight flight connection schedules. How cool is it to have an agent waiting for you when you get off the plane to whisk you away to the next waiting plane? Talk about VIP services.
If you have a paid business class ticket, your companions may also get a bump upward to business class. What a great way to make friends and influence people. As long as there is availability with a window of 24 to 72 hours for the flight, this is yet one more great perk associated with Global Service membership.
Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker