Exclusive: Memo Details New United Airlines ‘Super Elite’ Level

I’m incredibly lucky. On my first day as editor-in-chief of Gadling, a highly reliable source sent us this memo. Too good to be true? Absolutely. As a hopelessly loyal frequent flier, I’m definitely gonna be lining up for this new program. If only I could get a blog on BoardingArea, my life would be complete. (OK, I’d settle for a blog on Upgrd, too!)



In an effort to recognize and reward our most valuable customers, we are introducing a new elite level, Global Services Plus. Selected MileagePlus® Global Services members will be upgraded to Global Services Plus membership before the new elite level launches June 1. Please be advised of special protocols for MileagePlus® Global Services Plus members.

Nondisclosure of Program

The invitation-only Global Services Plus program and its benefits are highly confidential. The names of program members may not be shared with anyone except any third party with which United has a marketing relationship. Media speculation about who may or may not be a Global Services Plus member will likely increase in coming weeks. Please do not confirm or deny the existence of the program or anyone’s program participation, even when it seems obvious.

Identifying Global Services Plus Members

All Global Services Plus members will be identified in your reliable SHARES reservation system with the code ENTLD. They may also be recognized at the airport, where they crowd around a gate agent, demanding to be upgraded. They are known to frequently use the phrase, “Do you know who I am?” (Please note: Sometimes they know who they are.)Addressing a Global Services Plus Member

Please do not refer to Global Services Plus members by their names or look them directly in the eye. A simple “sir” and “madam” is unacceptable when speaking with a Global Services Plus member. They must be addressed as “your highness” or “your royal highness” at all times. It is also required that you bow when in their presence.

Use of Carriers

New UnitedLitters® will be used to carry Global Services Plus members to and from the aircraft. Employees are currently being trained in the use of litters. Global Services Plus members may initially choose from a wide selection of carriers, including Egyptian, Chinese and French litters. All airport ticket agents and gate agents will be required to act as royal litter bearers.

Upgrade Priority

In the unlikely event a Global Services Plus member is not seated in United Global First®
or United BusinessFirst® you are authorized to remove any passenger from the flight, regardless of status, in order to make room for the Global Services Plus member. In addition, if there is insufficient room in the overhead space for a Global Services Plus member’s luggage or pet, you are authorized to remove another passenger’s luggage and gate-check it, or to remove the lower-status passenger, if necessary.

Interaction with Other Passengers

Unfortunately, it will sometimes be necessary for a Global Services Plus-level flier to interact with other passengers. If that happens, you must refer to the other passengers as “the little people” or “peasants.” Note: Employees are encouraged to call non-Global Services Plus members “gate lice” and “kettles” in the presence of a Global Services Plus member and to laugh at the member’s jokes.

Flight Attendant Protocol

Because of their high value, Global Services Plus members will be given special latitude when dealing with United flight attendants. On occasion, these special customers may refer to an attendant as “honey” or “babe” or snap their fingers and demand the attention of a “stewardess” or “steward.” Also, they may repeatedly press the flight attendant call button for no apparent reason. If this happens, it is imperative that crewmembers respond with a smile and “yes, master.”

Customer Service

In the event of a customer-service failure – for example, if a United Global First® lie-flat seat fails to recline all the way or a Global Services Plus members’ Chardonnay is not chilled to the right temperature – you are required to take immediate corrective action. It is mandatory that the new United Cat O’ Nine Tails®, which are now being introduced on all aircraft as part of the TSA’s new SortaSafeFlying program, are swiftly used to administer punishment. An employee may either choose to self-flagellate or may opt to have a supervisor administer the punishment in the presence of the Global Services Plus member. You must continue administering the punishment until the Global Services Plus member says, “enough.”


If a non-elite or a lower-tier frequent flier acts in any way that offends a Global Services Plus member, it is to be considered an infraction comparable to interfering with a flight crew. This may include accidentally bumping up against the Global Services Plus member while boarding the aircraft, using the lavatories in United Global First®, attempting to stow luggage in an empty overhead compartment in United Global First® or the simple fact that they exist and are sitting in United Steerage® or United SteeragePlus®. These bothersome passengers may be removed from the aircraft at your whim or can be double-cuffed and left in the aft galley for the duration of the flight.

[Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons]