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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 Oct 4, 2018, 1:03 pm
  #181  
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Originally Posted by srbrenna

Originally Posted by onobond
Having searched for "GUF companion fare" my only results seem to be variations on the 2-4-1 theme.

My question is whether one of the 'companions' can use a GUF, like upgrading the TATL on present ZRH deal, or does that violate any rules for this kind of ticket?

<snip>
You donít have to use the GUF yourself. Is that what you mean?
No, I was considering the companion fare from ZRH/GVA recently, fare pulled 2 weeks early, so could not use it. If we're two friends making use of this fare, but only one (that's me) has a GUF or even Avios to upgrade to F on the TATL. Can that be done leaving the 'companion' in CW within the rules of a companion ticket?
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Old Oct 4, 2018, 1:10 pm
  #182  
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Originally Posted by onobond
No, I was considering the companion fare from ZRH/GVA recently, fare pulled 2 weeks early, so could not use it. If we're two friends making use of this fare, but only one (that's me) has a GUF or even Avios to upgrade to F on the TATL. Can that be done leaving the 'companion' in CW within the rules of a companion ticket?
aha, no thatís not possible. Itís not a limitation of this particular fare rather generally on any booking all passengers must be in the same cabin on the same flights, if there are three of you on a booking either you upgrade everyone or no one.

having said that the usually strategy to deal with this is to split the booking so you can upgrade one passenger. As this fare was for two people though I donít know whether they would let you split the booking for this one.
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Old Oct 4, 2018, 1:13 pm
  #183  
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Thanks [MENTION=566057]KARFA[/MENTION] , the answer I was looking for.
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Old Oct 7, 2018, 3:08 am
  #184  
 
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I'm pretty sure I know the answer to this but I'll throw it out to my learned friends in case there is a work around. With the increasing use of chartered airlines to cover the 787 Engine issues and wider shortages of airframes (Air Belgium, Titan etc) can a GUF be used on such a flight which BA has brought in another operator to run for them? Or do I have to change to an unaffected service, still operated by BA metal in order to apply the voucher?
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Old Oct 11, 2018, 1:26 pm
  #185  
 
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Splitting Booking

OK all, so hereís my question..

Iíve booked 4 (2 adult, 2 children) CW tickets to Orlando next June on Avios. Iíve just qualified for my first GUF2. I know you canít use the voucher for part of a booking (ie 2 seats out of four).

So...could I get an agent to cancel 2, refund the avios and, critically, the taxes, then rebook 2 in Premium, apply the voucher, then link the two bookings back up?!

Any rules being breached or practicalities being overlooked?

If possible I would expect this to save me a bundle of avios and maybe a grand of cash!

Appreciate any views.
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Old Oct 11, 2018, 2:56 pm
  #186  
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Originally Posted by gcampbell
Iíve booked 4 (2 adult, 2 children) CW tickets to Orlando next June on Avios. Iíve just qualified for my first GUF2. I know you canít use the voucher for part of a booking (ie 2 seats out of four).

So...could I get an agent to cancel 2, refund the avios and, critically, the taxes, then rebook 2 in Premium, apply the voucher, then link the two bookings back up?!

Any rules being breached or practicalities being overlooked?

If possible I would expect this to save me a bundle of avios and maybe a grand of cash!
In theory, there is no reason why you can't split the existing booking into 2+2, cancel one of those bookings, and then make a new booking for 2.

However, you're dependent on there being the appropriate availability for the re-booking. If there is no CW availability at the time that you start this transaction, there is no guarantee that the cancellation of two CW award bookings will result in two CW award seats becoming available for a new booking. AIUI, you still need to CW award seats if you intend to pay the WT+ Avios rate but use the GUF2 to actually book CW.

You will also have the potential problems of managing two separate bookings, such as for seating and in the case of IRROPS.

Finally, while you would save the Avios difference between WT+ and CW for two people, I can't immediately see how you would save any cash doing this.
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Old Oct 11, 2018, 4:35 pm
  #187  
 
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This should actually be a whole lot simpler than having to cancel and rebook. Just call the Gold line and explain what you want to do. The agent should be able to split the booking into two PNRs and apply the GUF to one of them, refunding the Avios difference between WT+ and CW for two of the passengers. Note, as mentioned above, you won't save any cash.

My advice, however, would be to keep the GUF and apply it to a revenue booking through a travel agent, such as Propeller Travel. That way you can book directly into Business or First, for the price of the lower cabin, without having to find award availability.
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Old Oct 12, 2018, 1:18 am
  #188  
 
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Thank you both for the responses. My main hope was a cash refund but I take it tax is due on the actual class flown regardless of the whizzbangs and tricks you use to get there?

Maybe Iíll save it for my first upgrade to first when I go to Tokyo next month for work. It covers both legs of a return ticket right?
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Old Oct 12, 2018, 1:20 am
  #189  
 
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Originally Posted by gcampbell
Thank you both for the responses. My main hope was a cash refund but I take it tax is due on the actual class flown regardless of the whizzbangs and tricks you use to get there?

Maybe Iíll save it for my first upgrade to first when I go to Tokyo next month for work. It covers both legs of a return ticket right?
It does indeed, but if it's just you travelling and you have a GUF2 then you're wasting it of course.... YMMV!
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Old Oct 29, 2018, 1:58 pm
  #190  
 
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Finally looking at using one of my GUF2's that are about to expire (still has the ability to extend, though).

Any suggestions on how to get a decent ex-AMS trip to BKK with actually making good use of the GUF2 voucher? From my searching BA only seems to operate CW and no F to BKK from LHR.

Current itinerary I'm looking at is AMS-LHR-HKG-BKK vv return; however HKG-BKK is CX. With some digging, I can hopefully find it on a BA code however it sounds like if booking via channels other than BA then it's a no go based on this entry in the Wiki:
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 can’t 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.

With that in mind, any other thoughts on ex-AMS to BKK fares that will allow the LHR-XYZ legs to be GUF2 from CW to F, without booking via BA?
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Old Nov 12, 2018, 7:52 am
  #191  
 
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Using the vouchers
Gold Upgrade vouchers must be used within 12 months from the date of issue - but can be applied to flights up to 355 days in the future - the actual date of the GUF’ed flight doesn’t have to be in the validity period of the voucher. However, making a booking including a GUF beyond the original validity date of the voucher can be difficult - and if the booking is cancelled beyond the original validity date of the voucher the GUF is not returned.
Karma: Thank you and sbrenna yet again for this excellent guide.

Could I please seek clarification of the above timing issue, e.g.

GUF2 voucher issued Apr 4, 2018
One-way ticket (SAN-LHR) booked May 17, 2018 (i.e. the Booked Date in the BA online info) for
Travel Mar 13, 2019 (no return yet booked)
GUF2 expiration date Apr 4, 2019

Question: if I book the return (LHR-SAN) before travel on Mar 13, 2019, how far into the future can the return leg be?
355 days from when:
the Booked Date (May 17, 2019 less 10 days), or 355 days from the outward journey (Mar 13, 2020 less 10 days)?
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Old Nov 27, 2018, 4:25 pm
  #192  
 
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Hi,

Was just about to use my 1st GUF2 on a MAN>LHR>JFK return base price in WTP £775 each. On the quote page for the CW upgrade it was quoting circa £650 each in taxes/surcharges! Is this the WTP bug mentioned at the head of this article? Am I also right in thinking the same itinerary with BA Holidays on a 3 night hotel canít be upgraded with GUF2?
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Old Nov 28, 2018, 3:45 am
  #193  
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Originally Posted by cheshirepete
Hi,

Was just about to use my 1st GUF2 on a MAN>LHR>JFK return base price in WTP £775 each. On the quote page for the CW upgrade it was quoting circa £650 each in taxes/surcharges! Is this the WTP bug mentioned at the head of this article? Am I also right in thinking the same itinerary with BA Holidays on a 3 night hotel canít be upgraded with GUF2?
It sounds like it is the bug. Easy way to tell is just do some quotes for revenue bookings for the same flights in WTP and CW and see what the difference is in taxes/fees.charges - you should be paying only that difference.

If you had a BA holiday booking I would have thought you could apply a GUF later on direct with BA subject to reward availability - from earlier this year you can apply GUFs to existing TA bookings by contacting BA direct (see the addition to the reference post on this point) so I would have thought that was possible with a BA holiday booking too?
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Old Nov 28, 2018, 4:22 am
  #194  
 
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Originally Posted by flashware
Finally looking at using one of my GUF2's that are about to expire (still has the ability to extend, though).

Any suggestions on how to get a decent ex-AMS trip to BKK with actually making good use of the GUF2 voucher? From my searching BA only seems to operate CW and no F to BKK from LHR.

Current itinerary I'm looking at is AMS-LHR-HKG-BKK vv return; however HKG-BKK is CX. With some digging, I can hopefully find it on a BA code however it sounds like if booking via channels other than BA then it's a no go based on this entry in the Wiki:
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.

With that in mind, any other thoughts on ex-AMS to BKK fares that will allow the LHR-XYZ legs to be GUF2 from CW to F, without booking via BA?
My first port of call would be Propeller Travel If you don't ask you will never know....
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Old Nov 28, 2018, 4:38 pm
  #195  
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Originally Posted by Full Score
Karma: Thank you and sbrenna yet again for this excellent guide.

Question: if I book the return (LHR-SAN) before travel on Mar 13, 2019, how far into the future can the return leg be?
355 days from when:
the Booked Date (May 17, 2019 less 10 days), or 355 days from the outward journey (Mar 13, 2020 less 10 days)?
Thanks for your comments Full Score, I am glad the guide is proving to be useful.

If I understand the question, the return leg can only be up to 355 days from the day you book. BA releases flights at 355 days out so for example if you made the booking tomorrow, flights are only available up to 18 November 2019 so the last date your return can be is 18 November 2019.
KARFA is offline  

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