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United Global Services: Everything you need to know about the airline’s invite-only status tier

What happens when you go beyond United 1K

A passenger scans their boarding pass prior to boarding the plane.
United Airlines

Most major airlines have a loyalty scheme that rewards frequent flyers with various levels of status and associated perks. Some have an extra invite-only level of status that is applied to some of their most valued customers. For United, this is “Global Services.”

Not much has actually been published about Global Services, with United’s MileagePlus program seemingly capping out with Premier 1K status. However, you may notice Global Services members called for pre-boarding, spot one of their dedicated check-in kiosks, or see it written on the side of one of those carts they use to transport elite members from the lounge to the gate.

But what does status actually get you? And how do you achieve it in the first place? Let’s take an in-depth look at everything we know about United Global Services, one of America’s biggest airlines’ secretive top-tier status.

There is only one published way to receive the status

Amenity kit on United Polaris flight
There is only one published way to receive Global Services status on United’s website—and that’s through the company’s Million Miler program. Flying a million miles on United Airlines gets you “Gold” status for life, two million will get you “Platinum,” three million will land you Premier 1K for life, and you’ll need to clock a staggering four million miles before you’re given Global Services.

The Million Miler program also allows you to share your status with a household member. So, if you have Global Services for life, you can give it to your spouse or one of your children, too. This applies to your current status and not the level of Million Miler you are. So, if you only have a million miles logged but also have Global Services due to how frequently you fly, you can share Global Services with another household member.

Spend seems to be key

United Club lounge entrance
Four million miles is a lot, but luckily, there are other ways to get invited to the program. United hasn’t published the details, but the consensus on forums like FlyerTalk and sites like Reddit seem to indicate invites are linked to how much you spend on flights in a year. Almost all sources indicate your annual spend has to be north of $50,000 to get an invite. As for exactly how far north of that figure you have to go, there are a couple of factors to consider.

If you’re flying from a major hub, such as Newark or San Francisco, then you’ll likely have to spend more before you get a Global Services invite than someone flying out of a small regional airport. Despite multiple flight segments allowing you to snag regular statuses with a lower spend, the opposite seems to be true for Global Services. People who hit $50,000+ with a handful of full-fare business-class tickets seem more likely to get the status than those who somehow grind out that level of spending in the domestic economy.

The status can also be gifted by United and is usually offered to individuals in charge of booking employee travel at large companies. For smaller companies, putting at least $50,000 a year into United’s PassPlus travel program will land you a Global Services nomination. According to some reports, this figure may have increased to $75,000.

There are some major perks

Person using United's Premier access desk
Premier 1K, United’s on-paper top status, already has some excellent perks, such as pre-boarding, upgrade priority, and a free annual CLEAR membership. Global Services retains all of these perks and adds even more.

You can access United Clubs while flying domestically (though you can’t bring a guest) and arrivals lounges in London, Heathrow, and Zurich, no matter your class of travel. You can also use special airport check-in lanes and dedicated check-in areas in major hubs. Those areas also come with a shortcut to the front of the security line.

Global Services has a dedicated customer care line, and its members will experience heightened customer service. Often, this involves a call before a delay or cancelation has even been officially announced and a call from United’s team outlining your various options. If you’re running late, a team member may pluck you from the security line, and a tight connection at one of United’s hubs could see you get driven across the tarmac in a Jaguar I-Pace.

Upgrade requests from Global Services members are also at the top of the priority list. You can also upgrade friends and family, and those upgrades have the same priority as other Global Services upgrades. Unlike other MileagePlus members, Global Services members can upgrade award flights (flights purchased with miles) should they wish. This can help if you want to save some miles and make use of excess “plus points.”

Finally, there is increased access to saver award space in both business class and economy. So you’ll have plenty of miles anyway due to the demands of the status, and those miles will likely go a lot further. It is worth noting that Global Services still won’t get you access to United’s top-tier Polaris lounges. Those are for people on an international business class itinerary only.

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