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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 Feb 15, 2019, 6:57 am
  #226  
Ambassador, British Airways; FlyerTalk Posting Legend
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Some minor updates to the reference posts on two points:

- it seems BA are now approving GUFs for TA made bookings when they include non BA flights
- A class for DXB & BOS routes i) no longer possible for a TA to apply a GUF in to first on these routes; ii) it appears BA will allow joker use for these routes if F selling class is still open
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Old Feb 15, 2019, 7:31 am
  #227  
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Originally Posted by KARFA
Some minor updates to the reference posts on two points:

- it seems BA are now approving GUFs for TA made bookings when they include non BA flights
- A class for DXB & BOS routes i) no longer possible for a TA to apply a GUF in to first on these routes; ii) it appears BA will allow joker use for these routes if F selling class is still open
Interesting. Thanks for posting. Hopefully there will be some official clarification at some point in the not too distant future.
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Old Feb 15, 2019, 2:36 pm
  #228  
 
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Originally Posted by KARFA
..... A class for DXB & BOS routes i) no longer possible for a TA to apply a GUF in to first on these routes; ii) it appears BA will allow joker use for these routes if F selling class is still open
Just to add to this info: Last month I had two RTW AONE3s issued by BA which included LHR-DXB-LHR. There was F availability and they automatically booked both tickets into F class, rather than A class which, as you know, has been withdrawn on the DXB and BOS routes. (Both of us are BA Gold; I'm not sure if this played any part in making the seats available.)
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Old Feb 21, 2019, 7:58 am
  #229  
 
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Firstly a big thanks to srbrenna and KARFA for the time invested in putting this together.

So I am planning a trip in Feb 20 for a cruise in the Caribbean for the 2 of us. We will likely route LHR - MIA - SJU - MIA - LHR using a GUF 2, Joker (if required) and a companion voucher. We will spend 3 days in MIA on the outbound. I understand about booking 355 days out on BA to snag the seats we want, and also to call in for the return.
What I want to do though for the return, ideally on AA, is to book on the same PNR, so we can interline the luggage on the return without picking up and rechecking in MIA.
does anyone know how many days in advance AA open their redemptions for booking? Is the only way to do this, assuming they are different to BA, to keep phoning in as they open to add to the PNR to add each sector?
Thanks in advance.
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Old Feb 21, 2019, 8:08 am
  #230  
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Originally Posted by Beano HK
Firstly a big thanks to srbrenna and KARFA for the time invested in putting this together.


Thanks. Glad you are finding it useful.

So I am planning a trip in Feb 20 for a cruise in the Caribbean for the 2 of us. We will likely route LHR - MIA - SJU - MIA - LHR using a GUF 2, Joker (if required) and a companion voucher. We will spend 3 days in MIA on the outbound. I understand about booking 355 days out on BA to snag the seats we want, and also to call in for the return.
What I want to do though for the return, ideally on AA, is to book on the same PNR, so we can interline the luggage on the return without picking up and rechecking in MIA.
does anyone know how many days in advance AA open their redemptions for booking? Is the only way to do this, assuming they are different to BA, to keep phoning in as they open to add to the PNR to add each sector?
Thanks in advance.
AA flights are released at 330 days. However, as you are using a companion voucher then you can only have BA flights on that booking so your MIA-SJU-MIA AA flights would have to be a separate booking. You wouldn't be able to merge or link the bookings for bag check either.

In terms of checking bags through both BA and AA have a policy of not checking through bags on to separate oneworld bookings. It does seem generally AA agents can be more helpful and do it, but I guess if the policy says they shouldn't you can't rely or plan for that to happen.
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Old Feb 21, 2019, 8:12 am
  #231  
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You'll also have to collect bags at customs of your first USA port and re-check anyway. So don't worry too much about interlining.
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Old Feb 21, 2019, 8:22 am
  #232  
 
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Originally Posted by KARFA
AA flights are released at 330 days. However, as you are using a companion voucher then you can only have BA flights on that booking so your MIA-SJU-MIA AA flights would have to be a separate booking. You wouldn't be able to merge or link the bookings for bag check either.

.
Thanks. As I'm rather miles rich, I may keep the voucher for a CPT hop which is perhaps more value. If I didn't use this, and flew as a normal Avios redemption can I then add the AA redemptions in?
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Old Feb 21, 2019, 8:26 am
  #233  
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Originally Posted by Beano HK
What I want to do though for the return, ideally on AA, is to book on the same PNR, so we can interline the luggage on the return without picking up and rechecking in MIA.
Originally Posted by mikeyfly
You'll also have to collect bags at customs of your first USA port and re-check anyway.
Why isn't SJU-MIA-LHR a domestic --> international itinerary? I'm sorry if I'm missing something obvious.
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Old Feb 21, 2019, 8:29 am
  #234  
 
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Originally Posted by mikeyfly
You'll also have to collect bags at customs of your first USA port and re-check anyway. So don't worry too much about interlining.
Thanks Mikey. I had it in my head that Puerto Rico was a US state rather than a territory, thus negating a Customs check on the return which makes the connection tight.
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Old Mar 5, 2019, 10:40 am
  #235  
 
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Question about redeeming a GUF1 directly with BA - I'm making a booking for a return flight in WTP, but only the inbound leg has redemption availability in CW. Can I use a GUF1 for a one-way upgrade? (For context - this is a booking I'm making for a member of my family, which I gather rules out using a TA)

Thanks
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Old Mar 5, 2019, 10:44 am
  #236  
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Originally Posted by jk156
Question about redeeming a GUF1 directly with BA - I'm making a booking for a return flight in WTP, but only the inbound leg has redemption availability in CW. Can I use a GUF1 for a one-way upgrade? (For context - this is a booking I'm making for a member of my family, which I gather rules out using a TA)

Thanks
yes you can use it just to upgrade the inbound only. If CW reward availability opens up later call and the GUF will also be applied to the outbound.
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Old Mar 5, 2019, 10:44 am
  #237  
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Originally Posted by jk156
Question about redeeming a GUF1 directly with BA - I'm making a booking for a return flight in WTP, but only the inbound leg has redemption availability in CW. Can I use a GUF1 for a one-way upgrade?
Yes. And if availability opens up for the other sector sometime before the fight you can call to upgrade that sector too.
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Old Mar 7, 2019, 12:06 am
  #238  
 
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If I use Asia Miles to redeem flights on BA operated flights, can I use my GUF2 to upgrade those tickets?
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Old Mar 7, 2019, 12:11 am
  #239  
 
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Originally Posted by rooivalk
If I use Asia Miles to redeem flights on BA operated flights, can I use my GUF2 to upgrade those tickets?
Nope, as these would not be 125- stock.
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Old Mar 7, 2019, 4:42 am
  #240  
 
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Are there any potential problems if 1 passenger cancels which I've used a GUF2?

Booked BUD-LHR-MCT in WTP and used GUF2 to upgrade to CW for 2 people, all booked via propeller.

But it's looking likely like my fiancťe won't get her passport back in time (visa application), cannot get the passport back as it would delay the process too long and her country doesn't have emergency passports.
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