Brian Sumers writes about Chairman’s Circle, United’s status above 1K and Global Services.
In some sense it’s not fair to call this elite status. Global Services, on the other hand, is actually a status level at United.
United, like every other airline, has long had special programs for high revenue customers. Prior to Global Services was created I knew a customer who flew 200,000 miles a year domestic on walkup fares. He used to get a call at Christmas from the CEO. The airline once held a departure for him when he overslept.
Recognition though dates back much farther.
United’s Revenue-Based Top Tier Elite Status
When Global Services started it was separate from Mileage Plus. You could have Global Services members who were merely Premiers (Silver), and you could even have Global Services members who weren’t enrolled in United’s loyalty program. Now it’s integrated. In contrast, at American and Delta the top services aren’t part of the mileage program.
United’s revenue-based status Global Services is the true top tier — Global Services members get their upgrades ahead of 100,000 mile flyers, and even trump the usual upgrade priority so that full fare elite passengers fall behind Global Services members (whereas a full fare Silver on a given trip will trump a mid-priced fare 1K in the upgrade queue).
They don’t publish a criteria for earning Global Services status. It’s not based on mileage flown, but revenue for the most part. They give it not just based on your own revenue but also to significant travel influencers who drive the revenue of others (such as through major corporate contracts for which they’re the decision-maker).
Above Global Services: Chairman’s Circle
Chairman’s Circle is a program that comes from pre-merger Continental Airlines. Brian Sumers suggests that there are mere hundreds of people in this program, which matches my understanding. And that they’re nominated either by United’s CEO or Senior Vice President of Sales.
The program is for the heads of companies spending at least $5 million per year with the airline. The spouse of a Chairman’s Circle member gets Global Services. And if you fall out of the program you get a soft landing to 1K or Global Services.
Benefits of Chairman’s Circle include airport meet and greet, and a dedicated reservations team. There are also benefits that sound a lot like Global Services (such as upgrades clearing 120 hours out).
Read Brian Sumer’s post to see a copy of the Chairman’s Circle welcome letter.