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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 Dec 9, 2018, 2:00 pm
  #196  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Midwest USA
Programs: BA SIL, WN A, UA SIL, Marriott TIT (LT), Hilton DIA
Posts: 1,978
My understanding is that BA Holidays counts as a TA for the purposes of GUF upgrades. (this is a revenue ticket for 2 passengers in CW that I desire to upgrade to F)

Does anyone have any experience using them to process a GUF into revenue class availability?

Do you just call the general BA Holiday number after you make a reservation online, to have them apply the GUF, or do you do it all by phone?

thanks, (I just earned my first GUF2 today)

I could use propellor travel, but there are decent savings on a hotel/flight package thru BA Holidays, so that is my preference if they can process the upgrade without requiring AVios upgrade space.
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Old Dec 9, 2018, 7:01 pm
  #197  
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 251
Confused.com here!

Sorry for being thick......Iíve read the wiki but still not sure of the following......

I want to buy with cash 2 WTP tickets booking direct with BA . To use the GUF 2 voucher does there have to be avios availability in CW even though Iím paying cash? I get that an avios booking needs avios availability but Iím unclear on the cash booking requirements.

Thanks for patience!
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Old Dec 9, 2018, 7:25 pm
  #198  
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If you book the WT+ cash ticket with BA, there needs to be CW Avios availability. If you book the WT+ cash ticket was a travel agent, you don't need Avios availability.
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Old Dec 10, 2018, 1:26 am
  #199  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 4,726
Originally Posted by BA6501
If you book the WT+ cash ticket with BA, there needs to be CW Avios availability. If you book the WT+ cash ticket was a travel agent, you don't need Avios availability.
For now anyway..... a few trials going on around fare buckets which could change things if implemented to the wider environment.
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Old Dec 10, 2018, 2:29 am
  #200  
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Originally Posted by nachosdelux
My understanding is that BA Holidays counts as a TA for the purposes of GUF upgrades. (this is a revenue ticket for 2 passengers in CW that I desire to upgrade to F)

Does anyone have any experience using them to process a GUF into revenue class availability?

Do you just call the general BA Holiday number after you make a reservation online, to have them apply the GUF, or do you do it all by phone?

thanks, (I just earned my first GUF2 today)

I could use propellor travel, but there are decent savings on a hotel/flight package thru BA Holidays, so that is my preference if they can process the upgrade without requiring AVios upgrade space.
this is a good question and I have wondered about it before. I donít remember seeing any reports of using BA holidays like this and my suspicion is they may not do it - but I am not sure really. Hopefully someone can advise either way.
KARFA is online now  
Old Dec 10, 2018, 3:29 am
  #201  
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Programs: GGL/CCR
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Originally Posted by KARFA


this is a good question and I have wondered about it before. I donít remember seeing any reports of using BA holidays like this and my suspicion is they may not do it - but I am not sure really. Hopefully someone can advise either way.
Last time I did it they used the avios buckets so wouldn't work.
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Old Dec 10, 2018, 5:38 am
  #202  
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 251
Originally Posted by BA6501
If you book the WT+ cash ticket with BA, there needs to be CW Avios availability. If you book the WT+ cash ticket was a travel agent, you don't need Avios availability.
Great. Thanks
EGLK FLYER is offline  
Old Dec 17, 2018, 1:19 am
  #203  
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Programs: BA Gold
Posts: 203
I discovered today that if you cross 2500 TPs without having flown your 4 BA segments yet, you will still be allocated your GUF2...
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Old Dec 17, 2018, 4:32 am
  #204  
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Originally Posted by want2goeverywhere
I discovered today that if you cross 2500 TPs without having flown your 4 BA segments yet, you will still be allocated your GUF2...
Thanks want2goeverywhere. This is interesting to hear. As you might notice in the reference posts in this thread there is mention of a HHA situation where the head of the HHA could not receive a GUF due to them not being a gold. This is something along the same lines but in your case you did manage to get the GUF even though you hadn't done your eligible flights and therefore were not a gold.
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Old Dec 17, 2018, 9:39 am
  #205  
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Programs: BA Gold
Posts: 203
To clarify - I am gold but have not renewed for the year yet due to the eligible flights. I guess that makes it less noteworthy... but I wasn't sure whether or not it would land in my account yet.
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Old Dec 26, 2018, 6:28 pm
  #206  
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
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Hi, just about to receive my first GUF2,

I've read a lot about the vouchers, but still I'm not sure about one really basic thing. Is the GUF applied to one flight or a whole booking? If I'm flying WAW-LHR-JFK, JFK-LHR-WAW in ET and WT+, should I choose one flight on which I would like to be upgraded to CE/CW or I would be upgraded for all of the 4 flights?

Another booking I have is a return WAW-LHR-LAX-LAS-LAX-LHR-WAW, where the WAW-LHR-WAW, and LHR-LAX-LHR legs are on BA (marketed+operated), but the LAX-LAS-LAX legs are on AA(operated, BA marketed) - can I apply a GUF to this booking ? (I know I wouldn't be upgraded for the AA operated LAX-LAS-LAX flights, but I don't really care on those 40 minutes hops).

Thanks for any feedback.
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Old Dec 26, 2018, 6:42 pm
  #207  
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Originally Posted by Thomas PL
Hi, just about to receive my first GUF2,

I've read a lot about the vouchers, but still I'm not sure about one really basic thing. Is the GUF applied to one flight or a whole booking? If I'm flying WAW-LHR-JFK, JFK-LHR-WAW in ET and WT+, should I choose one flight on which I would like to be upgraded to CE/CW or I would be upgraded for all of the 4 flights?
The GUF applies to the whole booking and any flights which are upgradable (so BA flights with reward availability in the next cabin) would be upgraded. If there is availability in J for all the short haul and long haul flights all would be upgraded by the one GUF.

Another booking I have is a return WAW-LHR-LAX-LAS-LAX-LHR-WAW, where the WAW-LHR-WAW, and LHR-LAX-LHR legs are on BA (marketed+operated), but the LAX-LAS-LAX legs are on AA(operated, BA marketed) - can I apply a GUF to this booking ? (I know I wouldn't be upgraded for the AA operated LAX-LAS-LAX flights, but I don't really care on those 40 minutes hops).
You can apply the GUF if this is booked direct with BA, and the WAW-LHR-LAX and LAX-LHR-WAW flights can be upgraded.
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Old Jan 3, 2019, 1:48 am
  #208  
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Programs: BA Gold
Posts: 203
Hi,

I have 2 GUF2 in my account that I am working out how to get the most value from...

What happens if I:
- book flights with GUF2 for two persons
- then one of us has to change our flight itinerary for some reason (after departure of the outbound flight)

Can this booking then be split and both passengers remain in the higher class of travel for the return flight?
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Old Jan 3, 2019, 2:50 am
  #209  
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Originally Posted by want2goeverywhere
Hi,

I have 2 GUF2 in my account that I am working out how to get the most value from...

What happens if I:
- book flights with GUF2 for two persons
- then one of us has to change our flight itinerary for some reason (after departure of the outbound flight)

Can this booking then be split and both passengers remain in the higher class of travel for the return flight?
The booking would have to be split if both passengers are no longer on the same itinerary. In that scenario I would be fairly confident in predicting that the GUF would only apply to one booking and the other booking would be 'un-GUF'ed' with the passenger dropping down to the un-upgraded cabin.
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Old Jan 3, 2019, 5:08 am
  #210  
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 7,464
Originally Posted by KARFA
The booking would have to be split if both passengers are no longer on the same itinerary. In that scenario I would be fairly confident in predicting that the GUF would only apply to one booking and the other booking would be 'un-GUF'ed' with the passenger dropping down to the un-upgraded cabin.
Not correct.

Iíve done exactly what the OP is trying to do (change one person of a GUF2 itinerary after the first sector was flown). The BA ticket agent at T5 split the passengers, I made changes to my ticket (pushed out the last 2 sectors of my journey by about 6 months) and the other passenger remained exactly as booked - in F for all sectors as per the GUF was used for. I was rightly charged the change fee of the underlying I class fare (which I had no problem paying for since I needed the flexibility.

OP - youíll need a decent ticket agent to do this, but it is very much possible.
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