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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 Mar 7, 2019, 5:28 am
  #241  
Ambassador, British Airways; FlyerTalk Posting Legend
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Leeds, UK
Programs: BA GGL/CCR, GfL, HH Diamond
Posts: 43,755
Originally Posted by Frequent flyer 101
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.
i cant see it being an issue once you cancel your fiancťe from the booking.
Frequent flyer 101 likes this.
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Old Mar 12, 2019, 4:33 pm
  #242  
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Milton Keynes
Programs: BA Gold
Posts: 202
Iíve a GUF2 to use by late April and will be travelling:
26th march LHR-MUC Return
27th March LHR-Edi Return

called BA and they said I could not use GUF for the above even if booked as a single booking reference / ticket..

Could I book LHR - MUC - EDI or MIC - EDI - LHR? And the remaining sector as a single?

just hoping to get best value from the GUF2. Iíve checked availability and all good.
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Old Mar 12, 2019, 4:37 pm
  #243  
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Posts: 6,463
Originally Posted by NeilP
Iíve a GUF2 to use by late April and will be travelling:
26th march LHR-MUC Return
27th March LHR-Edi Return

called BA and they said I could not use GUF for the above even if booked as a single booking reference / ticket..

Could I book LHR - MUC - EDI or MIC - EDI - LHR? And the remaining sector as a single?

just hoping to get best value from the GUF2. Iíve checked availability and all good.
2 things:

1) you do not have to fly by the date of expiry of GUF - just need to book and upgrade by then

2) travel agents should be able to help you with your routing as they get more flex than BA when it comes to open jaws or 3/4 segments. I can't recommend Propeller enough
nufnuf77 is offline  
Old Apr 7, 2019, 4:50 pm
  #244  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Westchester Co, NY or Rio Grande Valley, TX or ???
Programs: BAEC G, WN A-, Hyatt G, HH G, MAR T, Hz PC, was [UA2P, FL A+Elite, BD G]
Posts: 2,278
GUF reissue timing?

Hi all,

First, a warm thank you to KARFA & srbrenna - this thread has helped my understanding of GUFs immensely!

I do have questions about getting a GUF reissued. First, does one ask before the GUF has expired, or does one wait until after GUF expiration? And second, is the reissued GUF dated 6 months after the original expiration date, or is it dated 6 months after the date of the request?

Thank you!
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Old Apr 7, 2019, 4:56 pm
  #245  
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Originally Posted by HPN-HRL
Hi all,

First, a warm thank you to KARFA & srbrenna - this thread has helped my understanding of GUFs immensely!

I do have questions about getting a GUF reissued. First, does one ask before the GUF has expired, or does one wait until after GUF expiration? And second, is the reissued GUF dated 6 months after the original expiration date, or is it dated 6 months after the date of the request?

Thank you!
Hi and thanks for the comments HPN-HRL ^

So the best time to ask is within the two week period before the expiry date and you can do the extension by calling BAEC. In terms of the new expiry date it should be 6 months added on to the original expiry date. Also bear in mind you just need to use the voucher by the expiry date - the actual flights can be as far in to the future as BA will allow seats to be booked which is 355 days, Hope that helps.
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Old Apr 7, 2019, 11:32 pm
  #246  
FlyerTalk Evangelist, Ambassador, British Airways Executive Club
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Somewhere between 0 and 13,000 metres high
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Posts: 30,790
Originally Posted by NeilP
Iíve a GUF2 to use by late April and will be travelling:
26th march LHR-MUC Return
27th March LHR-Edi Return

called BA and they said I could not use GUF for the above even if booked as a single booking reference / ticket..

Could I book LHR - MUC - EDI or MIC - EDI - LHR? And the remaining sector as a single?

just hoping to get best value from the GUF2. Iíve checked availability and all good.
im not entirely clear if I correctly understood what you want to fly. I see it as lhr-muc-lhr-edi-lhr over two days.

As it stands itís 2 itineraries and wouldnít be allowed under one guf (even if booked with a wrapping single pnr) but the two options you suggest (lhr-muc-edi with return via lhr or muc-edi-lhr with outbound via London would both be fine to upgrade with one guf and cheap since no stopover.
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Old Apr 8, 2019, 1:49 am
  #247  
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Originally Posted by orbitmic
im not entirely clear if I correctly understood what you want to fly. I see it as lhr-muc-lhr-edi-lhr over two days.

As it stands itís 2 itineraries and wouldnít be allowed under one guf (even if booked with a wrapping single pnr) but the two options you suggest (lhr-muc-edi with return via lhr or muc-edi-lhr with outbound via London would both be fine to upgrade with one guf and cheap since no stopover.
I think the OP would be wise to follow point 2) of [MENTION=715115]nufnuf77[/MENTION] response in post 243 as they would be able to do it. LHR-MUC-LHR-EDI-LHR would be bookable as one booking and all upgraded using one GUF.
KARFA is online now  
Old Apr 8, 2019, 3:16 am
  #248  
FlyerTalk Evangelist, Ambassador, British Airways Executive Club
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
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Posts: 30,790
Originally Posted by KARFA
I think the OP would be wise to follow point 2) of [MENTION=715115]nufnuf77[/MENTION] response in post 243 as they would be able to do it. LHR-MUC-LHR-EDI-LHR would be bookable as one booking and all upgraded using one GUF.
Good to know. I know BA wouldn't allow it directly but if TAs do that is another advantage of using them!
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Old Apr 15, 2019, 1:59 pm
  #249  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 1,296
2 quick questions on these -- I want to use a GUF2 on a reward booking:

1) do all segments have to be available in the upgraded class to apply? Or can you upgrade only the segments with upgrade availability? If yes, can you "waitlist" the other segments, or call back if you see they open up? or do they all have to be available when the GUF 2 is applied?

2) if I'm booking for 2, do I need to find 2 seats on each segment in the upgraded class, or can I upgrade one passenger at a time as seats become available?

Thanks! Excited to use my first one of these!
-surgee
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Old Apr 15, 2019, 3:36 pm
  #250  
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Originally Posted by Surgee
2 quick questions on these -- I want to use a GUF2 on a reward booking:

1) do all segments have to be available in the upgraded class to apply? Or can you upgrade only the segments with upgrade availability? If yes, can you "waitlist" the other segments, or call back if you see they open up? or do they all have to be available when the GUF 2 is applied?

2) if I'm booking for 2, do I need to find 2 seats on each segment in the upgraded class, or can I upgrade one passenger at a time as seats become available?

Thanks! Excited to use my first one of these!
-surgee
1. if all eligible sectors in the booking do not have availability to apply the GUF then you can still apply the voucher but only the sectors with reward availability will be upgraded. If availability shows up later on the other sectors you can call and have the same voucher applied across to them too. You can't waitlist for reward availability.

2. yes you need to find 2 reward seats, basically everyone on a booking must be in the same cabins.
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Old Apr 15, 2019, 5:09 pm
  #251  
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Programs: BA Gold
Posts: 16
If you don't have access to a travel agent at your work, what travel agencies would you recommend for booking using the voucher?
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Old Apr 15, 2019, 10:25 pm
  #252  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 4,726
Propeller Travel.
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Old Apr 18, 2019, 1:06 pm
  #253  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Westchester Co, NY or Rio Grande Valley, TX or ???
Programs: BAEC G, WN A-, Hyatt G, HH G, MAR T, Hz PC, was [UA2P, FL A+Elite, BD G]
Posts: 2,278
Originally Posted by KARFA
Hi and thanks for the comments HPN-HRL ^

So the best time to ask is within the two week period before the expiry date and you can do the extension by calling BAEC. In terms of the new expiry date it should be 6 months added on to the original expiry date. Also bear in mind you just need to use the voucher by the expiry date - the actual flights can be as far in to the future as BA will allow seats to be booked which is 355 days, Hope that helps.
Just reporting back to say that it worked exactly as KARFA described; I received notice that my GUF2 had been extended ~24 hours after my request.
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HPN-HRL is offline  
Old Apr 22, 2019, 5:30 am
  #254  
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: London
Programs: BAEC Gold
Posts: 228
Just had my first experience using both a GUF2 and Propeller, awesome service and turnaround from initial query to flight being on hold pending BA approval, even over the Easter holiday. A simple open jaw LHR-KIX / NRT-LHR but using the GUF2 has saved us a shade over £4,400 upgrading WT+ to CW.
I would never have known about either the voucher or Propeller without all the advice given on FT - so thank you all! - and the other half is now seeing the sense of my awayday to Edinburgh next week to get the 80TPs to trigger the next voucher!
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Old Apr 23, 2019, 11:52 am
  #255  
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Programs: BA GfL
Posts: 110
Hi,

Long time lurker, first time poster.

I am GGL and Gold for life.

I am used to paying a lot in taxes and fees when using Avios tickets, but historically understood that the costs of upgrading a purchased WT+ ticket to CW were minimal as the APD is the same. I had not, however, done this in a long time as I have a lot of Avios and don't fly much when work isn't paying.

My wife wanted me to get tickets for her sister and my niece (aged 9) to come visit in the summer. SFO-EDI. I decided to buy WT+ tickets and upgrade using GUF2 and one of my jokers to get availability.

I called the GGL line and did this. The tickets were expensive at £1855 each. Then at the end of the call the agent said that if there were any "taxes" to pay I would get a call the next day. I said there shouldn't be as APD is the same.

Today 3 weeks later I checked the booking and it was showing both in WT+ and CW and my GUF2 was still in my account. i called and they said they would sort it. Then they said they had to check the "taxes". I again said the taxes should be the same. The agent went away and quoted my £509 a person. I asked her to check and she said yet £509 in taxes, fees and charges. I pointed out that up until this time she had only said "taxes" and these were surely actually BA fees. She said I could downgrade back to WT+ if I wanted to. I said I wanted to cancel the ticket as I had told the original agent I would do in the 24 hour window if they called back with a large extra expense. I also said that I know that she doesn't set policy and is working from a script but they needed to stop saying "taxes" as it was very misleading. She said that they were now very high and even higher for flights originating in the US. She then went away and checked my original call/spoke to a supervisor and said that I could cancel as they hadn't called me back.

So it is resolved, I can cancel the tickets if I want to. I can possibly buy business class tickets for less than the total BA price with another airline, or just downgrade them to economy.

Three questions

1. The wiki suggests a cost of £110 for LHR-NYC upgrade fees from WT+ to CW, is £509 each really correct?
2. Is this a change in recent years, a cost of £1018 to use a GUF2 massively reduces its value?
3. Is BA being deliberately misleading and calling these taxes?

Last edited by MrALIG; Apr 23, 2019 at 12:03 pm
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