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BA Gold Upgrade Voucher Discussion and Wiki Thread

Old Sep 16, 2017, 2:32 pm
FlyerTalk Forums Expert How-Tos and Guides
Last edit by: Prospero


Summary
This is a guide to gold upgrade vouchers which BA issues. In the wiki there are a number of frequently asked questions, and in the posts below there is a lot of detail and information on these vouchers.

Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is a Gold Upgrade Voucher?
Gold Upgrade Vouchers are awarded when you reach certain Tier Point levels and allow you to an upgrade to the next travel class.

Q: How do I qualify for a Gold Upgrade Voucher?
You will be awarded a Gold Upgrade Voucher for Two (GUF2) when you reach 2,500 Tier Points. Two Gold Upgrade Vouchers for One (GUF1) are awarded when you reach 3,500 Tier Points. You have the option to choose another two GUF1s at 7,000, 8,000 and 9,000 Tier Points.

Q: When will I know I have a voucher?
The voucher will appear on your BAEC homepage when you hit the required Tier Points in the same place as any Amex 241s that you may have.



Q: How long is the voucher valid for?
The voucher is valid for 12 months must be redeemed within one year of its issue.

Q: Do I have to travel by the expiry date?
No. You must book your ticket by the expiry date so you can travel up to 355 days after.

Q: Can the voucher be extended?
If you do not redeem the voucher within twelve months you can request an extension. Extensions are usually granted for a further six months.

Q: Where can I use the voucher?
You can use the voucher for a one class upgrade on any BA published fare on flights operated by BA.

Q: Can I use the voucher for a one way ticket?
Yes. The voucher can be used for a one way booking. FT opinion may say that this is not a good use but your individual circumstances will influence this.

Q: Where can I upgrade to?
You can upgrade to the next cabin on any BA flight:
  • Euro Traveller to Club Europe
  • World Traveller to World Traveller Plus
  • World Traveller Plus to Club World
  • Club World to First (where fitted on the aircraft)
Q: What cabin would an economy booking upgrade to?
As the voucher will upgrade you to the next available cabin, an economy (Euro Traveller / World Traveller) booking would upgrade you to Club Europe (from ET) on the short haul flight and World Traveller Plus (from WT) on the long haul flight.

Q: I havenít got a companion. Can I still use a GUF2?
Yes. You can use a GUF2 on your own for a single or return journey. GUF2 can be divided to two GUF1 meaning that if you want to use it as a solo traveller, ask first through customer service to divide it.

Q: Does the voucher have to be used in conjunction with a paid fare?
No. Gold Upgrade Vouchers can be used either with a paid fare or a journey booked with Avios.

Q: Can I use the Gold Upgrade voucher with an Amex 2-4-1 voucher?
Yes. You can combine a GUF with a companion voucher (also known as a 2-4-1). This is a great way to really get a really good value use for the voucher as you will save a very large amount of Avios.

Q: Can I use the Gold Upgrade voucher with a Lloyds voucher?
No. A Lloyds voucher cannot be combined with a Gold Upgrade voucher.

Q: Can I UuA a ticket and then use my GUF voucher?
No. Tickets can only be upgraded using the Gold Upgrade voucher or Avios, not both.

Q: Are bookings made with the Gold Upgrade voucher flexible?
Only if the underlying ticket is in a flexible bucket. For example a J ticket upgraded to First will be flexible according to the original ticket rules. The same applies to redemption tickets.

Q: Can I use the Gold Upgrade voucher on another oneworld airline?
Yes, currently only with AA when certain conditions of use are fulfilled.

Q: Is the voucher valid on franchise operated flights?
Yes. Gold Upgrade vouchers are available for British Airways and franchise operated flights only.

Q: Can I use the voucher on an itinerary that includes non-BA flights?
With a booking direct with BA this is fine. For a TA booking you canít include non-BA flights. However, there are the occasional reports of a few slipping through where some Travel Agents have managed to apply a GUF to a booking which includes both BA and non-BA flights on BA codeshares.

Q: Can I upgrade an existing booking?
Yes. Please call the BA Service Centre to do this. If you have booked with a Travel Agent then the voucher must be used at the time of booking. Additional taxes and fees may apply. UPDATE - As of January 2018 the restriction to TA bookings no longer applies so if you book with a TA you can apply the GUF at any time by contacting BA directly up to 24 hours before your flight to process the upgrade - see post 3 for more details.

Q: Do I have to travel myself when I use the Gold Upgrade voucher like the Amex 2-4-1?
If you book with BA you can use the voucher for any other person or persons. However you must pay for the booking yourself either through your account on ba.com or through the Service Centre. If you book through a TA then the voucher owner must travel on the booking.

Q: If I cancel the booking will I get the Gold Upgrade voucher back?
If you cancel more than 24 hours before departure then the voucher will be reinstated to your account if the original validity has not expired. If you cancel within 24 hours then the voucher will not be available for further use. Any refund on the other part of the ticket will be subject to the original fare rules.

Q: Does there have to be Avios availability in the upgraded cabin to use the Gold Upgrade voucher?
No. There only needs to be discounted revenue fare availability in the cabin you are upgrading to (A for First, I for Club and T for WT+).
It used to be the case that you had to book through a Travel Agent to achieve this, and that direct bookings with BA required Avios availability in the cabin you are upgrading to. With changes to GUF2 made in 2019, this is no longer the case.

Q: Can I book the outbound leg using an Amex 2-4-1 and GUF2 and then add the inbound when it becomes available?
Yes. This can be done in the same way as adding a return leg to a booking using the Amex 2-4-1 voucher.

Q: Can I use the Gold Upgrade voucher on flights that do not originate in the UK?
Yes. Flights do not have to originate in the UK. A GUF can be used on an ex-EU booking - there is no requirement to start and finish in the UK or your Executive Club resident country.

Q: Can I use two GUF1s to upgrade two classes?
No. Nice try

Q: Can the Gold Upgrade voucher be used by anyone in the Household Account?
Any Household Account Member who earns Gold Upgrade vouchers must redeem them personally. Gold Upgrade vouchers are not part of the Household Account pool and cannot be redeemed by another Member of the Household Account. Household Account Members who earn Gold Upgrade vouchers are subject to applicable Household Account redemption rules, whereby the Gold Upgrade vouchers can only be used for members within the Household Account. These upgrades cannot be allocated to Executive Club Members under age 18. An upgrade earned by a member under 18 is allocated to the Head of that Member's Household Account, but the head must be a gold card holder. If the head is not a gold the voucher is effectively lost since it canít be allocated.

Q: Will I earn Tier Points and Avios with the Gold Upgrade voucher?
Yes. You should earn tier points and Avios in line with the original selling class of the booking and not based on the cabin you upgraded in to - although sometimes mistakes do seem to happen and you do end up earning based on the cabin you upgraded to. As a reward booking doesnít earn any tier points or Avios you wonít earn anything from a reward booking to which you had applied a GUF.

Q: I have more than two people in my booking. Can I just upgrade two of them?
No. A GUF canít be applied to a selection of passengers on a booking, and has to cover all of them - you canít end up with a booking for four people where two are still in CW and the other two are upgraded to F. If necessary you can as BA to split the booking so that those not being upgraded are under one booking reference, and those being upgraded by the GUF are in a new separate booking reference.

Q: Does an infant use an available upgrade?
No. If an upgraded booking contains an infant travelling on an infant fare, the infant will be automatically upgraded with the adults. Child fares will be subject to the same rules as adults.
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BA Gold Upgrade Voucher Discussion and Wiki Thread

Old May 22, 2018, 9:42 am
  #136  
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 540
Originally Posted by KARFA
did you make the booking using a TA?

Are the BA flights booked under a BA flight number or an AA codeshare?
on the BA website. BA flight number.
Dubh is offline  
Old May 22, 2018, 9:57 am
  #137  
Ambassador, British Airways; FlyerTalk Posting Legend
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Leeds, UK
Programs: BA GGL/CCR, GfL, HH Diamond
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Originally Posted by Dubh
on the BA website. BA flight number.
ok. you can apply a GUF to a booking made with BA which includes BA flights and non BA flights if there was reward availability on the BA flights. I am struggling to see why the answer was no. there doesn't even have to be reward availability on all the BA flights, just some - although obviously the upgrade only applies to the BA flights were there was reward availability.

perhaps HUACA?
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Old May 22, 2018, 10:34 am
  #138  
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 540
Originally Posted by KARFA
ok. you can apply a GUF to a booking made with BA which includes BA flights and non BA flights if there was reward availability on the BA flights. I am struggling to see why the answer was no. there doesn't even have to be reward availability on all the BA flights, just some - although obviously the upgrade only applies to the BA flights were there was reward availability.

perhaps HUACA?
think I'll just do the 6 month extension
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Old May 23, 2018, 5:09 am
  #139  
Ambassador, British Airways; FlyerTalk Posting Legend
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Leeds, UK
Programs: BA GGL/CCR, GfL, HH Diamond
Posts: 43,750
Originally Posted by Full Score
I can now answer my own question. Today I phoned BA and tried to use a 2-4-1 and GUF2 as above. Unfortunately, they wouldn't allow me to use my account to upgrade a 2-4-1 booked on her account even though I'd have been travelling with her. The primary account holder needs to be the same for the 2-4-1 and GUF2.
Sorry for the delay in replying Full Score. Thanks for reporting back, I have added a note to post 4 to reflect this.

Originally Posted by Full Score
Another quick question to which I can't find the answer above: I used a GUF2 to upgrade an Avios booking from U to Z - ONEway. (I needed to ensure that I snagged the only two seats available in the whole of March 2019, SAN-LHR.)

Technically I have used the above GUF2, but, if I wanted to add ANOTHER ONEway LHR-SAN at a later date (but before the GUF2 expires),
(a) is the return portion of the GUF2 still available for me to use?
and, if not,
(b) is there any way to avoid having to cancel the initial booking in order to add the return segment, as, if doing so, I would risk losing the original upgrade?
The GUF should cover all flights in a booking - the upgrade itself doesn't have to be done all at the same time, you can imagine a situation where there is reward availability to upgrade to on an outbound leg and the GUF is applied, and if reward availability opens up later on the inbound leg you can also do the upgrade to that leg using the already applied GUF.

So I think the question comes down to whether you can add in the LHR-SAN segment to the existing SAN-LHR segment. I think you should be able to add it in later and do so without having to cancel and re-book, so done as a change. This is in essence the main way folks book reward flights when released at 355 days so book the outbound one way, then when the inbound gets released a few days later call to add that in to the existing booking.
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Old May 24, 2018, 4:30 pm
  #140  
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Cayman, San Diego, London
Programs: BA Lifetime Gold, AA 4MM Lifetime Platinum, Hilton Diamond, IHG Diamond Amb, Bonvoy Lifetime Gold
Posts: 1,062
Thank you, Karfa. Extremely helpful, as always.
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Old Jun 5, 2018, 9:13 am
  #141  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: EDI
Programs: BA Gold, QF LTG, TK Elite, IHG Amb & HH Diamond
Posts: 235
Does anyone know if it's still possible to extend GUF2 vouchers please? I just phoned BAEC and the agent said extensions aren't allowed. Is this correct?
onemoretrip is offline  
Old Jun 5, 2018, 9:17 am
  #142  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 4,726
Originally Posted by onemoretrip
Does anyone know if it's still possible to extend GUF2 vouchers please? I just phoned BAEC and the agent said extensions aren't allowed. Is this correct?
Usually they're happy to extend for 6 months. Is this the first extension request for the voucher?
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Old Jun 5, 2018, 10:12 am
  #143  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: EDI
Programs: BA Gold, QF LTG, TK Elite, IHG Amb & HH Diamond
Posts: 235
Originally Posted by flashware
Usually they're happy to extend for 6 months. Is this the first extension request for the voucher?
Thanks Flashware, yes it's the first request. Should I call again and see if another agent will do it?
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Old Jun 5, 2018, 10:26 am
  #144  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 4,726
Originally Posted by onemoretrip
Thanks Flashware, yes it's the first request. Should I call again and see if another agent will do it?
Yep, sounds like a good candidate for HUACA!
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Old Jun 8, 2018, 6:16 am
  #145  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
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Programs: BA Gold, QF LTG, TK Elite, IHG Amb & HH Diamond
Posts: 235
Originally Posted by flashware
Yep, sounds like a good candidate for HUACA!
Yes, I phoned back and the staff member agreed to extend the voucher by 6 months.
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Old Jun 13, 2018, 1:57 pm
  #146  
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Paynesville, Vic
Programs: BA Gold AVIS Presidents Club
Posts: 360
Hi has anyone tried to apply a GUF to a Defence Discount fare via a TA? I dont think it will be possible as one has to access the BA site via a log in to the DD site... but I thought that Id ask. Technically Im sure it may be possible to book a revenue ticket via the DD site and then look for a reward upgrade, but as demonstrated on FT, the most likely way to succeed with an upgrade J to F from Lhr to Syd is to use a TA for a revenue booking- out of OSL for example - at full fare.
Thanks
OF
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Old Jun 13, 2018, 3:11 pm
  #147  
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Programs: BAEC GGL/CR; Hilton Diamond; Mucci des Puccis
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Apologies for being a bit lazy, but I thought I'd ask rather than wading through t&c as it strikes me this is probably not an unusual situation.

Come October, I should have freshly minted GGL status (i.e. jokers), plus GUF2 and 2xGUF1, plus an Amex 241. The plan if possible is to go with the family (3 of us including a 3 year old) to Singapore in F in February.

I am hoping I'll be able to invoke jokers to open up 3 seats out and back, then book CW seats for me and wife using the 241, the child separately, then upgrade to F using the GUF2 and one of the GUF1s.

Does this work? If not, are there any other strategies that do?
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Old Jun 13, 2018, 3:17 pm
  #148  
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Programs: GGL/CCR
Posts: 1,899
Originally Posted by bisonrav
Apologies for being a bit lazy, but I thought I'd ask rather than wading through t&c as it strikes me this is probably not an unusual situation.

Come October, I should have freshly minted GGL status (i.e. jokers), plus GUF2 and 2xGUF1, plus an Amex 241. The plan if possible is to go with the family (3 of us including a 3 year old) to Singapore in F in February.

I am hoping I'll be able to invoke jokers to open up 3 seats out and back, then book CW seats for me and wife using the 241, the child separately, then upgrade to F using the GUF2 and one of the GUF1s.

Does this work? If not, are there any other strategies that do?
Yes that would work but tbh I'd probably rather do an exAMS to BKK with a SIN stopover GUFd via a TA into F. The avios way would cost about 400k avios (off the top of my head!) for the 3 plus a 241 plus about 1.6k in taxes. For about £1300 each and and the GUFs you'd all earn TPs and about 50k+ avios back each....
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teledude is offline  
Old Jun 13, 2018, 3:18 pm
  #149  
Moderator: British Airways Executive Club
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: TPA/ABZ
Programs: BA Lifetime Gold. GGL/CCR.
Posts: 13,399
Originally Posted by bisonrav
Apologies for being a bit lazy, but I thought I'd ask rather than wading through t&c as it strikes me this is probably not an unusual situation.

Come October, I should have freshly minted GGL status (i.e. jokers), plus GUF2 and 2xGUF1, plus an Amex 241. The plan if possible is to go with the family (3 of us including a 3 year old) to Singapore in F in February.

I am hoping I'll be able to invoke jokers to open up 3 seats out and back, then book CW seats for me and wife using the 241, the child separately, then upgrade to F using the GUF2 and one of the GUF1s.

Does this work? If not, are there any other strategies that do?
Almost.

If you're going to book two tickets (one for the two of you with the 2-4-1 and the third for junior) then you'll probably have to use two jokers to open up the space. If you're lucky you will find one F reward seat available and then just use the GUF2 for the two adults.
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Old Jun 13, 2018, 3:41 pm
  #150  
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Programs: BAEC GGL/CR; Hilton Diamond; Mucci des Puccis
Posts: 5,929
Originally Posted by teledude
Yes that would work but tbh I'd probably rather do an exAMS to BKK with a SIN stopover GUFd via a TA into F. The avios way would cost about 400k avios (off the top of my head!) for the 3 plus a 241 plus about 1.6k in taxes. For about £1300 each and and the GUFs you'd all earn TPs and about 50k+ avios back each....
Cunning plan which I like - it definitely does pay to hang out with devious people... I take it I'd need to use a joker to open up the F availability? (assuming there's no F availability open for 3 seats).
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