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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 Sep 15, 2022, 3:27 pm
  #661  
Moderator: British Airways Executive Club
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: TPA/ABZ
Programs: BA Lifetime Gold. GGL/CCR.
Posts: 13,385
Originally Posted by Dicksbits
If you renew GGL at 3,000 points are you eligible for GUF2?
The GUFs are independent of GGL status although most GUFs are probably earned by people with GGL status. You earn the first GUF2 at 2,500 and don't need to be GGL to enjoy it.
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golfmad is offline  
Old Sep 16, 2022, 12:02 am
  #662  
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 842
Hi, Used a GUF on a transatlantic flight from J to F - a cash J ticket upgraded to F.

In MMB, it's showing the selling class as A, and showing 210 tier points instead of 140. Is this normal? Should I expect to actually receive 210 tier points vs 140, or is MMB displaying this wrong. The agent needed to do a lot of manual work to ticket the booking.
zen100 is offline  
Old Sep 16, 2022, 4:27 am
  #663  
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Ealing
Programs: Usual Amex Cent. GGL.
Posts: 1,524
Originally Posted by golfmad
As if by magic:

BA<->AA Reciprocal Upgrades

And there is more good news to come. Not on upgrades but in a major area currently dragging down the value of Avios.

Hopefully the reintroduction of paying more than 1 for AVIOS Gold forces. The person I was chatting to recently told me that the 1 thing was purely down to the extra manual work required to make it not 1, and being so busy they didn't currently have the time. At least I think that's how she explained it.
Deckard is offline  
Old Sep 16, 2022, 5:02 am
  #664  
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: FRA, JFK
Programs: BAEC GGL, A3*S, Bonvoy Gold, HH Gold
Posts: 1,028
Originally Posted by zen100
Hi, Used a GUF on a transatlantic flight from J to F - a cash J ticket upgraded to F.

In MMB, it's showing the selling class as A, and showing 210 tier points instead of 140. Is this normal? Should I expect to actually receive 210 tier points vs 140, or is MMB displaying this wrong. The agent needed to do a lot of manual work to ticket the booking.
Sounds like the agent forgot to set the SSR FFTJ (I think that's what it's called).
While GUFs book into A, there usually is a comment on the ticket that ensures they are credited as the original fare class.
​​​​​If that's missing, which happens every now and again, they credit as 210.
Chiller3333 is offline  
Old Sep 16, 2022, 6:46 am
  #665  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Programs: BA GGL/CCR, Hilton Diamond *, IHG, Couples Romance Rewards
Posts: 2,433
Originally Posted by Deckard
Hopefully the reintroduction of paying more than 1 for AVIOS Gold forces. The person I was chatting to recently told me that the 1 thing was purely down to the extra manual work required to make it not 1, and being so busy they didn't currently have the time. At least I think that's how she explained it.
I've had this but managed to get the 35 cash component to reduce avios on a batch of tickets. The GGL agent had the time and patience to sort it out but I was told the default was 1.
firstlight is online now  
Old Sep 16, 2022, 6:49 am
  #666  
Ambassador, British Airways; FlyerTalk Posting Legend
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Leeds, UK
Programs: BA GGL/CCR, GfL, HH Diamond
Posts: 43,667
Some more commentary about GPRs here Gold Priority Reward, only 1/0.50 available?

But basically since April they have been told to price GPRs using only the highest avios lowest cash rate.
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KARFA is online now  
Old Sep 16, 2022, 6:55 am
  #667  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Programs: BA GGL/CCR, Hilton Diamond *, IHG, Couples Romance Rewards
Posts: 2,433
Originally Posted by zen100
Hi, Used a GUF on a transatlantic flight from J to F - a cash J ticket upgraded to F.

In MMB, it's showing the selling class as A, and showing 210 tier points instead of 140. Is this normal? Should I expect to actually receive 210 tier points vs 140, or is MMB displaying this wrong. The agent needed to do a lot of manual work to ticket the booking.
You might, we benefitted from this on a guf2 upgrade to F, so both ways an extra 70 tps, and then the BAH offer doubled it 😉
firstlight is online now  
Old Sep 20, 2022, 2:59 pm
  #668  
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Programs: BAEC Gold
Posts: 81
Originally Posted by KARFA
No it hasn't changed. I am afraid they are simply wrong.

TAs can apply a GUF but only at he time of booking. Once the booking is made you must process a GUF with BA.

I think based on your experience you may be best waiting!
So... made it to GGL (yay) - but now there isn't the A class availability. It seems the first agent I spoke to added notes to my booking telling other agents that "IT" bookings aren't eligible for upgrade, which the super friendly GGL agent politely corrected.

But now I'll need to move my flights around to find new A availability
rob_88 is offline  
Old Sep 28, 2022, 12:55 pm
  #669  
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Las Vegas
Programs: BA Gold; Hilton Honors Diamond
Posts: 3,251
Originally Posted by Geordie405
How long does it usually take for a GUF2 to appear in ones BAEC eVoucher dashboard?

My BAEC account shows Ive earned one as I exceeded 2500 TPs last Monday but it doesnt show up as available.

If I try to book / upgrade using Avios the GUF2 option isnt available there either.
Originally Posted by KARFA
have you got any email about earning it yet?

When did you cross the threshold?

there are quite a few instances i have heard of GUFs at 2.5k and 3.5k not crediting. usually they should appear within a week of passing the threshold, so you may have to call up and chase.
Originally Posted by Geordie405
KARFA no emails about earning it yet, no. Ill give it a little while yet. Good news is that I dont need to redeem it immediately
So just as an update to this and having reached out to BA once via the webform and once via chat the GUF2 was manually credited today. It's valid for 12 months from today, as opposed to the date I passed the 2500 TP threshold which is good. One thing I did notice is that the voucher number for my newest voucher is 3809 more than the last voucher I received (in December last year). I am not sure if BA issues the vouchers sequentially but, if so, it would imply only 3809 BAEC members earning a GUF2 in the last 9 months.
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Old Sep 28, 2022, 1:13 pm
  #670  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Programs: BA GGL/CCR, Hilton Diamond *, IHG, Couples Romance Rewards
Posts: 2,433
Originally Posted by Geordie405
So just as an update to this and having reached out to BA once via the webform and once via chat the GUF2 was manually credited today. It's valid for 12 months from today, as opposed to the date I passed the 2500 TP threshold which is good. One thing I did notice is that the voucher number for my newest voucher is 3809 more than the last voucher I received (in December last year). I am not sure if BA issues the vouchers sequentially but, if so, it would imply only 3809 BAEC members earning a GUF2 in the last 9 months.
I'm not surprised if that's the case with the lack of travel. 2500 tps is still 9 business class long haul returns not many baec members will be achieving that level of travel yet.
firstlight is online now  
Old Sep 29, 2022, 6:38 am
  #671  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: London
Programs: BA Lifetime Gold & GGL & CCR, HH Diam, Bonvoy Titanium, IHG Spire, Tastecard
Posts: 7,549
Originally Posted by Geordie405
I am not sure if BA issues the vouchers sequentially but, if so, it would imply only 3809 BAEC members earning a GUF2 in the last 9 months.
pre pandemic, I am sure the number banded about for GGLs was 4,500 or so so that would fit with your number ish (it could also be though that GUF2 and GUF1 have the same numbers so that would impact number of 'members' who might have earned those 3809 GUFs)
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chris1979 is offline  
Old Sep 30, 2022, 8:35 am
  #672  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Programs: BA GGL/CCR, Hilton Diamond *, IHG, Couples Romance Rewards
Posts: 2,433
OK I've done some sums based on the extensive voucher collection that Mrs. firstlight has achieved. I thought that this might be interesting to people.
Assuming vouchers are offered using an ascending number sequence the rate of issue is:

GUF2 - 64 per day (averaged over the last 4 month period)
GUF1 - 12 per day so 6 off 2 GUF1 @ 3500TP awards (averaged over 2 months)

Discounting the very few who are getting GUF2 and GUF1 at very high tierpoint thresholds this would show that 60 odd people are achieving 2500 TPs but only about 10% of that are achieving 3500TPs. Consequently there will only be a handful of new GGLs created every day.
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Old Oct 16, 2022, 8:27 am
  #673  
 
Join Date: Jan 2022
Programs: BAEC
Posts: 1,598
I've been through this excellent wiki as well as the accomanying thread. It's clear what the conditions are when I cancel a booking. But what happens if I've made my booking, applied the GUF, and then there's a schedule change or cancellation? Will the upgrades still apply on the new itinerary? I ask because I'm usually pretty organised and can book certain trips 6 months ahead (I'm pretty sure when Christmas is coming). And while there might be plenty of A availability at t-6 months, when the cancellations roll in at t-2 or 3 months, there might not be any left.
RichieMc is offline  
Old Oct 16, 2022, 7:51 pm
  #674  
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: SYD, GOT
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Posts: 2,826
Originally Posted by RichieMc
But what happens if I've made my booking, applied the GUF, and then there's a schedule change or cancellation? Will the upgrades still apply on the new itinerary? I ask because I'm usually pretty organised and can book certain trips 6 months ahead (I'm pretty sure when Christmas is coming). And while there might be plenty of A availability at t-6 months, when the cancellations roll in at t-2 or 3 months, there might not be any left.
In my experience when BA cancels the flight the ticket is treated like a cash fare in the upgraded cabin. i.e. you will be reaccommodated as per usual rebooking or cancellation procedures (3/14 days). Which may mean you are rebooked into F or JCD for example, if the policy is to be rebooked onto another airline you will also keep the upgraded cabin. Where it becomes an issue is if you used a TA who is not overly familiar with GUFs and they try to rebook in the lower class and then try the GUF - or all sorts of variations, and you need to get on top of the process before it is too late.

KF
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Koru Flyer is offline  
Old Oct 16, 2022, 8:59 pm
  #675  
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Originally Posted by Koru Flyer
In my experience when BA cancels the flight the ticket is treated like a cash fare in the upgraded cabin. i.e. you will be reaccommodated as per usual rebooking or cancellation procedures (3/14 days). Which may mean you are rebooked into F or JCD for example, if the policy is to be rebooked onto another airline you will also keep the upgraded cabin. Where it becomes an issue is if you used a TA who is not overly familiar with GUFs and they try to rebook in the lower class and then try the GUF - or all sorts of variations, and you need to get on top of the process before it is too late.

KF
Quite - ideally you used GUF w TA at the time of booking (rather than BA). TA booking guffed later by BA are recipe for disaster (I use sabre and when BA reissues a ticket when they process the GUF - rather than TA processing it at the time of booking) I lose most control. yet if customer calls ba they still ask customer do all changes through TA. TA then has to call ba and do exactly what the pax wanted... on phone with BA...
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