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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 Nov 16, 2022, 5:18 am
  #691  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 4,724
Originally Posted by flashware
I've got b2b meetings all day and wanted to lock it in before the 24 hour cancellation period expired so cracked on........ she came back and said it's going to the back office but it's all locked in. She said that will be an extra 70.10 and 320,000 Avios. Excuse me, what?! It's a revenue booking. It's a GUF2. Clearly has NFI.........
You know what, I wonder if she thinks she was applying a 2-for-1 BAPP voucher? I don't have the card so have never held any, so .... weird. She never asked for my voucher number or anything and I did refer to it by name several times. Maybe worth another call in, if I can get through in between meetings. I'm worried they've buggered up the booking completely!
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Old Nov 21, 2022, 8:47 pm
  #692  
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Programs: GGL
Posts: 493
Problem GUFing on AA

I have an expiring GUF1 and have booked TLV-LHR-JFK-LAX-JFK-LHR-LCA with stop-overs in LHR, JFK, LAX, LHR. Itinerary booked with BA flight numbers bar the transcons which have AA prime numbers, and LHR-JFK LAX-JFK JFK-LHR sectors upgraded from business to first using the GUF1.

The issue is the JFK-LAX sector, which despite having A class available for sale (as per EF using UK PoS and can also be test-booked into A on aa.com) GGL line say they can see no A class when looking for upgrade availability. For example, the AA300 is showing A&I available on January 28/29/31, but GGL line claims they are "revenue A class not upgrade A class". I pushed back on there being two classes of A class which lead to 10 minutes of speaking to supervisor, but the outcome was the same.

So, are there two classes of A class, if so how does one search for the correct class, or is there a systems issue here and how does one navigate around it?

EDIT: think I can answer my own question (typical, after 10 minutes of further research). There are two A class buckets, the upgrade bucket can be found using the EF Awards & Upgrades search for AA flights.
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Last edited by Mixbury; Nov 21, 2022 at 9:06 pm
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Old Nov 22, 2022, 12:24 am
  #693  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 4,724
Originally Posted by flashware
You know what, I wonder if she thinks she was applying a 2-for-1 BAPP voucher? I don't have the card so have never held any, so .... weird. She never asked for my voucher number or anything and I did refer to it by name several times. Maybe worth another call in, if I can get through in between meetings. I'm worried they've buggered up the booking completely!
Thought it would be worth an update on this one, I called back in and the agent I got through to (straight away this time, so must have actually been the gold desk) was amazed at the few things I mentioned and confirmed that I was indeed correct and who knows what the other one was doing. I asked her to check the voucher which she said also hadn't been applied, so maybe it would have gone through without being used... maybe not, moot point as it expires in 2 weeks anyway after having already been extended. In any case, the co-pay amount was confirmed to also be incorrect, that was per person not total, so all good - sent off, and new e-ticket receipt received about 12 hours later. Sorted.

1 more GUF2 to go......
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Old Nov 22, 2022, 1:58 am
  #694  
Moderator: Hyatt Gold Passport & Star Alliance
 
Join Date: May 1998
Location: London, UK
Programs: UA-1K 3MM/HY- LT Globalist/BA-GGLfL
Posts: 12,192
Originally Posted by Mixbury
I have an expiring GUF1 and have booked TLV-LHR-JFK-LAX-JFK-LHR-LCA with stop-overs in LHR, JFK, LAX, LHR. Itinerary booked with BA flight numbers bar the transcons which have AA prime numbers, and LHR-JFK LAX-JFK JFK-LHR sectors upgraded from business to first using the GUF1.

The issue is the JFK-LAX sector, which despite having A class available for sale (as per EF using UK PoS and can also be test-booked into A on aa.com) GGL line say they can see no A class when looking for upgrade availability. For example, the AA300 is showing A&I available on January 28/29/31, but GGL line claims they are "revenue A class not upgrade A class". I pushed back on there being two classes of A class which lead to 10 minutes of speaking to supervisor, but the outcome was the same.

So, are there two classes of A class, if so how does one search for the correct class, or is there a systems issue here and how does one navigate around it?

EDIT: think I can answer my own question (typical, after 10 minutes of further research). There are two A class buckets, the upgrade bucket can be found using the EF Awards & Upgrades search for AA flights.
Correct! Some BA agents didn't look at the upgrade bucket in the early days of this benefit but most know what to do now. Very little A class released by AA. My experience is that unless it is an early or late flight there won't be any in advance. On the day AA upgrade their ConciergeKey people to F and it is too late to get BA to process an upgrade as they need 24 hours notice.
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Old Nov 22, 2022, 4:50 am
  #695  
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 4,389
hi all,

I tried to recently use a GUF2 and for the flights that is applicable, the correct class was available - what I found curious - they had to send the request to the backoffice for recalculation of any possible tax difference. I was told that they would come back to me in max 7 days.
Is this normal procedure now? The last time I did it, the agent when there was availability just did a quick call to check on this tax differences and it was all processed and confirmed in the same call.

Cheers!
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Old Nov 22, 2022, 4:52 am
  #696  
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Join Date: Apr 2012
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Programs: BA GGL/CCR, GfL, HH Diamond
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Depends on the specifics of the itinerary and whether the agent can coax the system to do it automatically there and then. I have found sometimes they can, but sometimes they can't and it needs sending off for calculation.
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Old Nov 27, 2022, 2:03 pm
  #697  
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: UK
Programs: GGL (2021-), BA Emerald (1999-2021), GGL 2021-, SPG Platinum, HHonors Diamond
Posts: 269
Advice on usage of 2x2-4-1s and 3 GUFs

Hi all - so I'm looking for some advice on how to use a bundle of Vouchers and some Avios for a family trip to the west coast.

In my account I currently have 2 x BA Amex 2-4-1 vouchers, 1 x Barclays mastercard cabin upgrade voucher, 1 x GUF2 and 2 x GUF1's with around 300k avios.

Travelling as a family of 4 (2 adults, 2 kids 12 and 14 yo). Most likely we'll be just fine with Economy (arghh!) on the outbound as we'll opt for a day flight - I might upgrade to WTP with the GUFs.

Return, I'm looking for CW.

My understanding is that I can book the 2 Amex 2-4-1s for Economy outbound and WTP return. Then I use the GUFs to upgrade the return leg to CW ( I might also upgrade the outbound to WTP).

Is my logic correct? I presume you can combine a 2-4-1 Amex with a GUF - and in this case it is 2 x 2-4-1's on 2 PNRs ?

I presume that as long as there is availability for the 2-4-1 booking - if there are seats open on the next cabin up, the GUF can be used for the upgrade - I know its more complex due to fare class but let's leave this out from this discussion for now as I just want to validate my basic understanding and if there is an obvious better solution I am missing.

So, appreciate your thought on whether it would be possible to get more value from the GUFs / is the above logic correct?

Many thanks!
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Old Nov 27, 2022, 9:48 pm
  #698  
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: UK
Programs: BD Gold, BAEC Gold, Hilton HHonors
Posts: 884
Originally Posted by 62aClubWorld
Hi all - so I'm looking for some advice on how to use a bundle of Vouchers and some Avios for a family trip to the west coast.

In my account I currently have 2 x BA Amex 2-4-1 vouchers, 1 x Barclays mastercard cabin upgrade voucher, 1 x GUF2 and 2 x GUF1's with around 300k avios.

Travelling as a family of 4 (2 adults, 2 kids 12 and 14 yo). Most likely we'll be just fine with Economy (arghh!) on the outbound as we'll opt for a day flight - I might upgrade to WTP with the GUFs.

Return, I'm looking for CW.

My understanding is that I can book the 2 Amex 2-4-1s for Economy outbound and WTP return. Then I use the GUFs to upgrade the return leg to CW ( I might also upgrade the outbound to WTP).

Is my logic correct? I presume you can combine a 2-4-1 Amex with a GUF - and in this case it is 2 x 2-4-1's on 2 PNRs ?

I presume that as long as there is availability for the 2-4-1 booking - if there are seats open on the next cabin up, the GUF can be used for the upgrade - I know its more complex due to fare class but let's leave this out from this discussion for now as I just want to validate my basic understanding and if there is an obvious better solution I am missing.

So, appreciate your thought on whether it would be possible to get more value from the GUFs / is the above logic correct?

Many thanks!
Yes you can combine GUF1/2 with AMEX 241, and it can be done as one booking (I think) meaning all you need is the appropriate fare class in PE/CW/F in order to make the booking. For example if there was 2xA class seats available you could book into First (x2 people) and it would be priced as CW Avios for 1 person, plus 2 people's taxes/charges.

I'm fairly sure you'd need a second PNR to have mixed cabins (ie if you end up booking 2 pax into CW and 2 pax into PE for the same flight I don't think that can be ticketed on one PNR but others may know better)

Not sure the maths would stack up but consider whether Gold Priority Award would be helpful for you - ie twice number of Avios to force open a revenue seat for reward availability. Might not be worthwhile but worth a look with a GUF to spend.

Also if you're intending going in economy one way, premium economy back, the overall taxes/charges etc may end up being more expensive than just buying a revenue ticket so double check that too.

Good luck!
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Old Dec 5, 2022, 4:43 am
  #699  
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Programs: BAEC GfL
Posts: 349
I may have missed the answer to my questions after going through these 47 pages so apologies if this has already been answered.

1. Can I use a GUF2 on a BA Holiday booking ex UK, if yes is the best way to make make the booking in the lower class and call BA holidays to Upgrade on the basis that I or A class is available
2. Can I use a GUF2 on a BA Holiday booking ex UEU, if yes is the best way to make make the booking in the lower class and call BA holidays to Upgrade on the basis that I or A class is available. The Ex EU commences in Dublin do I call BA Holidays in the UK or in Bremen?

Thanks in advance for assitance
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Old Dec 5, 2022, 9:00 am
  #700  
Ambassador, British Airways; FlyerTalk Posting Legend
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Leeds, UK
Programs: BA GGL/CCR, GfL, HH Diamond
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1. Yes that should be fine - not sure on best way whether to book and then call to upgrade, or call and do both together. Should be fine either way.

2. Yes exEU is fine too. I am not a BAH expert so not sure whether you need to call UK or Bremen - hopefully someone else who has done it will confirm.
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Old Dec 5, 2022, 2:02 pm
  #701  
 
Join Date: Mar 2021
Location: Near Manchester
Programs: BAEC Gold
Posts: 400
Hi, I've earnt two GUF1s, one 'classic' and one of the new ones where you can use it to reduce the avios required if you travel Solo.

Whilst I'm Gold now, when I want to use the classic GUF in 2024 I may have dropped down to Silver. I presume I can still use the GUF to travel for myself and my wife (who will still be Gold)?
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Old Dec 5, 2022, 2:22 pm
  #702  
Moderator: British Airways Executive Club
Hilton 5+ BadgeHyatt 5+ Badge
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Scotland & London
Programs: BA GGL, IHG Diamond Ambassador, Hilton Diamond, Hyatt Globalist, Mucci des Salons Ouvrants
Posts: 3,161
I think you may be confusing GUFS with 241s. As far as I am aware, the ability to reduce AVIOS as a solo traveller is linked to the new type of 241 vouchers. GUFs have not changed.

A GUF1 allows an upgrade to the next cabin (with applicable taxes to be paid). A GUF2 is for 2 people.

Regards

aks120
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Old Dec 6, 2022, 6:08 pm
  #703  
 
Join Date: Mar 2021
Location: Near Manchester
Programs: BAEC Gold
Posts: 400
My apologies 😥. I did mislead myself. I was trying to multi-task and made a right numpty of myself.

Yes, with regards to the GUF1, once earned does it matter if BAEC status drops to Silver when it is applied?
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Old Dec 6, 2022, 7:49 pm
  #704  
Moderator: British Airways Executive Club
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: TPA/ABZ
Programs: BA Lifetime Gold. GGL/CCR.
Posts: 13,395
Originally Posted by LancashireFlyer
My apologies 😥. I did mislead myself. I was trying to multi-task and made a right numpty of myself.

Yes, with regards to the GUF1, once earned does it matter if BAEC status drops to Silver when it is applied?
I cannot speak from experience as Ive never been in that situation. My guess is that you earned the GUF and Im sure you will be able to use it regardless of your current status.
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Old Dec 6, 2022, 10:17 pm
  #705  
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: UK (previously Singapore and HK)
Programs: BA GGL, Bonvoy Titanium Elite
Posts: 49
I have a pre-pandemic GUF1(extended twice) about to expire and looking for ways to retain some benefit without knowing when I will travel. E.g. I often visit my brother in Germany so am thinking I could book an Avios return in Y for some date next summer and upgrade it with the GUF1.

If I need to change an Avios booking currently, it is free as I’m GGL. Will the GUF1 upgrade survive any future changes I make (ie. Changes after the original expiry date of the GUF)?
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