Status challenges exist to steal business from competing airlines and hotel chains. United Airlines offers their Global Services with unpublished requirements and does not allow status matches to the exclusive tier, but it appears they now offer a challenge – and that’s better than nothing.
If you are considering booking travel or signing up for a new credit card please click here. Both support LiveAndLetsFly.com.
If you haven’t followed us on Facebook or Instagram, add us today.
From the anecdotal evidence I have gathered, a Global Services challenge is available to those who held the status in the previous year but did not get granted the status in the current year. The first step is to check the website (as it could be in process) at mystatus.united.com.
Assuming you have not achieved Global Services from travel the previous year, you can request a status audit. Presumably, you can ask for this any time you feel like you may be eligible for Global Services in your given market but are unlikely to be approved unless you previously held GS and may have simply been overlooked in the last year.
Without a doubt, current 1K status would be a requirement and this does not appear to be a true open challenge but rather, to an extremely limited group of whom have already qualified in the past.
How High Is The Challenge?
As I posted last year, United offers limited public status challenges (which require a match from a competing carrier at the same level) to Silver, Gold and Platinum Premier levels. They do not publicly offer a status match or challenge to 1K nor Global Services.
However, for those that lost Global Services but want a challenge to regain it, they have a different type of requirement. While Delta recently changed to require some level of spending with respect to their status challenges, United and American have not followed suit – that is, with the exclusion of the Global Services challenges.
Here is what each United status challenge requires during the 90-day challenge period:
- Silver Premier Status (7,000 miles or 8 segments)
- Gold Premier Status (12,500 miles or 15 segments)
- Platinum Premier Status (18,000 miles or 22 segments)
- 1K Premier Status (32,000 miles or 45 segments)
- Global Services ($15,000 in base flight spend over 90 days)
While neither the 1K nor Global Services are public offers they seem to be available generally. In fact, there is a record on the internet from as early as 2015 from what I could quickly find, that the same challenge existed then.
Is There a Concierge Key Version?
The Points Guy found a similar offer midway through last year for American’s Concierge Key at a slightly higher, $16,000 in the same 90 days. Both suggest that required spending for the prestigious invite-only status are around $60,000 annually, though other data points indicate that as little as half as much can be good enough to get you in the door. Delta does not seem to offer an equivalent challenge.
Have you ever heard of a Global Services status challenge before? Even if you couldn’t make $60k this year, could you push $15,000 through in 90 days to complete it? Would it be worth it if you did?
Pretty sure these Q1 challenges have been going on for years, per FT discussion
I included a link to at least one from 2015 documented in the post, but I couldn’t find much on it online.
Thanks for posting. I am just a 1K for many years and never want to be Global Services. Unless your work requires that much travel and expense or you are a travel blogger doing this for a living, who wants to fly that much on any airline? Besides it is my general observation that when United boards the Global Services members first, more than 50% of them tend to end up in coach.
You earn 1K with miles and money.
Global is money regardless of miles.
A few full fare 1st class international tickets totalling in the range of $50k per year should off you a shot; the amount you have to spend is a guesstimate though.
Since I always pay my own way 1K is the best I’ll ever get.
@Joe – I won’t be participating (and wasn’t offered) but I have seen the same and can only assume it is due to last minute tickets (thus why they qualify for Global Services but sometimes do not clear upgrades).
@James – Global is money regardless of miles as long as it is in excess of 100k I am pretty sure. I spent several years on my own dime as an AA Exec with business travel accounting for 5% or less (and usually over-qualifying anyway). But with revenue requirements and more travel for business, I am sure I will not hit GS and will be lucky to clear 1K in personal travel.
Nice! $15k in 90 days is not that difficult – 2 rt’s in TATL or TPAC business class will normally get you very close. $60k a year is much tougher IMO
I think that’s a relative statement. It’s not difficult for business people who travel regularly, in premium cabins, long haul. For everyone else, it’s pretty difficult.
i know someone who actually works inside Willis Tower and she works closely with various teams like Premier membership, network planning, rev mgmt etc
the message i essentially got out of her hints is that maybe the rule-of-thumbs are more relaxed during a status-challenge window, but the typical criteria does not weigh all premium cabin fare codes/buckets equally, and at times, some *premium-cabin* fare codes might carry zero weight (and we’re talking about straight up premium fare codes, not those S/UPDI or Q-up scenarios)
so ya, before jumping on a GS challenge, make sure they give you the exact criteria of what even counts towards that $15k at all.
How do you request a global services status challenge?
First request an audit and then they will either grant you one automatically or you can request one from there. You will want to go through United customer service 1K desk.
How do you sign up for the 90 day challenge? I’m a general member looking to achieve Silver status. Can this be done in any 90 day period regardless of calendar dates?
If you fly first class all the time none of that matters. As someone stated earlier “more than half the global members sit in coach”. Who cares they haired 120 seconds before you. You don’t need any of that “status” crap flying first class.
@gregsarin That would be true if you were flying with Lufthansa… .if you fly first class, you have (without even asking for it) a car waiting for you outside the plane to bring you to the lounge.. when you arrive in Germany… but… for everything else… you don’t … so… GS matters. Whenever you can have assistance… you get it sometimes by being a Global service member… versus a first class passengers… those days of “first class” passenger.. changed… at least in the US…Thankfullly, europe is more accommodating.
I agree with @Cb. If you haven’t enjoyed the benefits of Global Services, it is very difficult to understand responses like “who cares,” “you don’t need it,” or “I don’t want it.” We enjoyed GS status for the last several years and have not lived life on an airplane – not even close; it was simply a matter of how much money was being spent on tickets (full-fare, refundable, first-class tickets). Being escorted off your plane, into a Mercedes and driven across the tarmac to make your connecting flight; having private airport check-in only for GS members; having a private, dedicated phone line with GS reps who will spend hours on the phone with you ensuring you the best itinerary and value for either your dollar or miles; receiving first-class upgrades for all family members on international flights; being able to check 6 bags with no additional charge when moving across the country – these benefits are invaluable. Due to a sudden decrease in travel this past year, we just received an email from United that this is the first year in many that we won’t be offered Global Services. Thank you, @Kylestewart for the helpful tips, as we weren’t aware of the challenge for GS. I’m hoping it works!!
As a global service member for years, during covid I lost the status and then was given the status challenge option. I met the challenge status and it has been a month and I have not heard anything. I’ve called and emailed several times, first they said it would take 7 days from the point I completed the status challenge to have the status re-instated. It has now been a month. Calling the service center does no help, no one seems to know. Had I known that this was going to be this much delay and painful I would have never bothered. I’ve not lost a month of status flying. Some would say that I’m being extra difficult, but spending the challenge status amount is no small feat. That is still a lot of money. About to dispute the charge on my amex now and fight to get my money back. Unfortunate that United can’t get its’ act together and continues to polarize its’ top customers.