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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 havent 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 cant 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 cant 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 doesnt earn any tier points or Avios you wont 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 cant be applied to a selection of passengers on a booking, and has to cover all of them - you cant 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 14, 2017, 1:38 am
  #46  
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: UK
Programs: BD Gold, BAEC Gold, Hilton HHonors
Posts: 881
Thanks for this guide - it's very helpful!

mrs-so3003 and I usually retain gold with our flying, although since our year dates are quite different there can be anomalies, and in her last year she got to 2500 TPs and earned a GUF2. For various reasons she's potentially not going to requalify as gold this year (although year end not until February, and a lot can change before then) - if we still had the GUF2 unused at that point, and asked for it to be extended, would it still be available for use in the event that she had dropped down to silver?
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Old Nov 5, 2017, 2:33 am
  #47  
 
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Nice email this morning and even encouraging the use of travel agents!
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Old Nov 13, 2017, 2:25 pm
  #48  
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[MENTION=566057]KARFA[/MENTION] I hadn't seen this topic before, excellent work my dear fellow and many, many thanks for taking the time to do it ^
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Old Nov 14, 2017, 2:51 am
  #49  
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Originally Posted by Tobias-UK
[MENTION=566057]KARFA[/MENTION] I hadn't seen this topic before, excellent work my dear fellow and many, many thanks for taking the time to do it ^
Thanks Tobias-UK. Very much a jointly written guide with srbrenna so he deserves at least as much thanks as me for this one
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Old Jan 11, 2018, 4:34 am
  #50  
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Archived

Terms and Conditions (as of September 2017)


1. 1 x Gold Upgrade for Two voucher can be earned by Gold Members when they earn 2,500 Tier Points and 2 x Gold Upgrade for One vouchers can be earned when they earn 3,500 Tier Points. Gold Upgrade vouchers are a single cabin class upgrade available on a single or return booking. For example:
  • Euro Traveller to Club Europe
  • World Traveller to World Traveller Plus (where fitted on the aircraft)
  • World Traveller to Club World (where World Traveller Plus is not fitted on the aircraft)
  • World Traveller Plus to Club World
  • Club World to First (where fitted on the aircraft)
  • World Traveller Plus to Club World
  • Club World to First (where fitted on the aircraft)
2. Gold Upgrade for Two vouchers can be used for up to two travellers on the same reservation, or a single traveller, but cannot be divided and when used cannot be used again. Existing Gold Upgrade for Two vouchers awarded to Members' accounts also cannot be divided.

3. Gold Upgrade vouchers must be booked within 12 months from the date of issue.

4. Gold Upgrade vouchers can be used in conjunction with any published fare sold directly by British Airways, including Avios points redemption bookings. However, it excludes group bookings and those sold as part of a packaged holiday. Gold Upgrade vouchers may be used in conjunction with eligible industry or agency discounted fares only.

5. Gold Upgrade vouchers cannot be used in conjunction with any bookings that have already been subject to an upgrade (Avios points for Upgrade or Gold Upgrade vouchers), or any other promotions/offers.

6. Rules of the ticket are governed by the original fare paid. In the case of redemptions tickets Standard Redemption Rules apply.

7. Gold Upgrade vouchers are available for British Airways and franchise operated flights only. Partner and codeshare flights excluded.

8. Gold Upgrade vouchers cannot be applied to a booking containing any other carriers than British Airways.

9. To upgrade a new Avios points booking please go to ba.com or contact your Service Centre, or to upgrade an existing Avios points booking please contact your Service Centre. To upgrade a new paid booking please go to ba.com or call your local Service Centre. Gold Upgrade vouchers cannot be redeemed at the airport.

10. When a Member books Gold Upgrade vouchers direct with British Airways the Member must pay for the ticket, but is permitted to give the ticket and upgrade to someone else.

11. The Member and/or those travelling using Gold Upgrade vouchers will be personally responsible for any tax payable by them as a result of this offer.

12. Gold Upgrade vouchers are not an entitlement to travel and are subject to reward capacity restrictions.

13. Cancellations: If you cancel your upgraded booking the rules of the original ticket apply. If a cancellation is made more than 24 hours before departure your Gold Upgrade voucher(s) will be reinstated, provided the Gold Upgrade is within its 12 month validity period. If a cancellation occurs within 24 hours of departure, the Gold Upgrade voucher(s) will be invalid for further use.

14. If using your Gold Upgrade voucher(s) on an existing booking and your ticket has already been issued, you will need to send in your tickets 21 days in advance of travel, for your tickets to be re-issued. If you hold an e-ticket this will take 24 hours. For bookings made through a travel agent, Gold Card Upgrade vouchers can only be used before the booking has been ticketed.

15. Infants: 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.

16. Household Accounts: 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.

17. Standard booking lead times apply for your area. Members are responsible for paying additional taxes, fees and carrier charges.

*Standard booking lead times apply. Members are responsible for paying additional taxes, fees, charges and carrier charges.
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Old Jan 11, 2018, 4:37 am
  #51  
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: London, UK
Programs: BA GGL, A3 Gold, M&M SEN, FlyingBlue Gold, AS MVP Gold, Hilton Diamond, IHG Spire Amb
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This has just landed in my inbox:
As a Gold Guest List Member, you receive a Gold Upgrade voucher for one or two people when you reach at least 2,500 Tier Points. This entitles you (and a companion) to a free cabin upgrade* when you next book British Airways flights with us or a Travel Agent.

We've listened to your feedback and are making improvements to the voucher booking process. If you book with a Travel Agent you no longer need to use it at the time of booking; simply contact us directly up to 24 hours before your flight to upgrade. If you'd like to make any further changes after you've redeemed your voucher, please contact us directly. Your dedicated Gold telephone number is 0800 408 111 or if calling from overseas +44 161 448 3048.

That means it's now easier than ever to enjoy your upgrade. Please note the voucher is only valid if you - the Executive Club Member – is travelling on the flight and is subject to availability.
I am somewhat worried that this may mean an end to GUF booking into revenue classes.
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Old Jan 11, 2018, 4:39 am
  #52  
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: UK
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Originally Posted by wmaciej
This has just landed in my inbox:


I am somewhat worried that this may mean an end to GUF booking into revenue classes.
Received the same but as a gold member instead of GGL
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Old Jan 11, 2018, 4:41 am
  #53  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: London
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Originally Posted by wmaciej
I am somewhat worried that this may mean an end to GUF booking into revenue classes.
Me too, but perhaps I am being too pessimistic...
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Old Jan 11, 2018, 4:45 am
  #54  
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
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Originally Posted by flying_pig
Me too, but perhaps I am being too pessimistic...
They didn't say you could "no longer" use it at the time of booking. So perhaps still books into I/A fare class if used immediately by TA or can be done over the phone with BA later but requires award space?
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Old Jan 11, 2018, 4:48 am
  #55  
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Guide updated due to recent change for applying GUFs to TA bookings.
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Old Jan 11, 2018, 4:51 am
  #56  
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Originally Posted by Swibbz
They didn't say you could "no longer" use it at the time of booking. So perhaps still books into I/A fare class if used immediately by TA or can be done over the phone with BA later but requires award space?
That may be the case, so if booking with a TA and applying the GUF at the time you still use the revenue selling classes - but if applying the GUF later you do it direct with BA and can only use reward availability.

Certainly some clarity on this would be welcome.
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Old Jan 11, 2018, 2:05 pm
  #57  
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
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I sort of had a question on a similar vain.

A) (Making a booking with a TA then calling BA - do you therefore need reward avail instead of I/A classes?)

But, using a GUF with other airlines in the PNR....

B) If I book direct through BA, I can have other airlines in there too. I need reward avail instead of I/A.
C) If I book through a TA, officially I am not allowed other airlines in the PNR. No reward avail required.

With the recent change commented on in previous posts, I am wondering the following;

I make a revenue booking with a TA, which includes other airlines. I then call BA and apply the GUF. A) comes into play. If the answer is that you don't need reward avail, does that then open a loophole of using a GUF, with I/A, with other airlines in the PNR????

Hope I've explained that well enough
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Old Jan 12, 2018, 3:38 am
  #58  
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Hi surryson I have tried to put some comments in reply to your post.

Originally Posted by surryson
I sort of had a question on a similar vain.

A) (Making a booking with a TA then calling BA - do you therefore need reward avail instead of I/A classes?)
Yes this is the assumption for the new route that when you contact BA to apply your GUF for your TA booking you would need reward space and could not use the revenue selling classes. It is expected that a GGL could use a joker to force reward space though.

But, using a GUF with other airlines in the PNR....

B) If I book direct through BA, I can have other airlines in there too. I need reward avail instead of I/A.
C) If I book through a TA, officially I am not allowed other airlines in the PNR. No reward avail required.

With the recent change commented on in previous posts, I am wondering the following;

I make a revenue booking with a TA, which includes other airlines. I then call BA and apply the GUF. A) comes into play. If the answer is that you don't need reward avail, does that then open a loophole of using a GUF, with I/A, with other airlines in the PNR????

Hope I've explained that well enough
I would expect if you make a booking with a TA which includes non-BA flights you would not be able to use this new route for applying the GUF later directly with BA. This is very similar to UuAs to TA bookings which also can only be done if the booking only has BA flights.

Hope that helps.
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Old Jan 12, 2018, 3:51 am
  #59  
 
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Originally Posted by KARFA
Hi surryson I have tried to put some comments in reply to your post.



Yes this is the assumption for the new route that when you contact BA to apply your GUF for your TA booking you would need reward space and could not use the revenue selling classes. It is expected that a GGL could use a joker to force reward space though.



I would expect if you make a booking with a TA which includes non-BA flights you would not be able to use this new route for applying the GUF later directly with BA. This is very similar to UuAs to TA bookings which also can only be done if the booking only has BA flights.

Hope that helps.
Has this not always been the case though, even if undocumented? Ive upgraded Corp TA bookings using GUFs by calling up the GGL line if I see last minute reward availability in F. Done this quite a few times over the last few years. Its one of the reasons I really love the two single GUFs. Also done it with BA Holidays.


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Old Jan 12, 2018, 3:57 am
  #60  
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Originally Posted by oxtailsoup
Has this not always been the case though, even if undocumented? Ive upgraded Corp TA bookings using GUFs by calling up the GGL line if I see last minute reward availability in F. Done this quite a few times over the last few years. Its one of the reasons I really love the two single GUFs. Also done it with BA Holidays.
For a TA booking you should only have been able to apply a GUF at the time of booking, and not subsequently either via the TA or BA - I think your post is the first time I have heard about this being done so not sure if you were lucky or there really was some loophole I didn't know about?

My only thought is does the control of the booking pass to BA within 24hrs of the flight? Perhaps at that point BA would do a GUF?
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