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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 Dec 30, 2022, 8:27 am
  #706  
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 162
Is it possible to apply a GUF2 and then remove it without cancelling the underlying ticket?

I want to lock in the upgrade but keep options open in case Avios availability appears (in which case Iíd prefer to upgrade using Avios than using the GUF2)
chazman189 is offline  
Old Dec 30, 2022, 8:32 am
  #707  
 
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
Posts: 904
Originally Posted by chazman189
Is it possible to apply a GUF2 and then remove it without cancelling the underlying ticket?

I want to lock in the upgrade but keep options open in case Avios availability appears (in which case Iíd prefer to upgrade using Avios than using the GUF2)
yes
wmaciej is offline  
Old Dec 30, 2022, 1:01 pm
  #708  
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Las Vegas
Programs: BA Gold; Hilton Honors Diamond
Posts: 3,257
I am assuming that I can use a GUF2 with a Chase voucher, and that the usual principles will apply - i.e. that I would only need I class availability in Club and that I'd be charged one passenger worth of Avios based on that required for a redemption in PE, and two sets of TFCs based on the Club cabin?
Geordie405 is offline  
Old Dec 30, 2022, 1:06 pm
  #709  
Moderator: British Airways Executive Club
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: TPA/ABZ
Programs: BA Lifetime Gold. GGL/CCR.
Posts: 13,399
Originally Posted by Geordie405
I am assuming that I can use a GUF2 with a Chase voucher, and that the usual principles will apply - i.e. that I would only need I class availability in Club and that I'd be charged one passenger worth of Avios based on that required for a redemption in PE, and two sets of TFCs based on the Club cabin?
You are correct.
Geordie405 likes this.
golfmad is offline  
Old Jan 7, 2023, 8:14 am
  #710  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Programs: BA GGL/CCR, Hilton Diamond *, IHG, Couples Romance Rewards
Posts: 2,449
Cash value of GUF...

I can't see a discussion on the cash value of a GUF however we've just used a couple of GUF1s to upgrade a new BAH booking from revenue PE to CW and the saving is coming out at about £1250 for each GUF1 - a £2500 saving in all. We would have paid the CW fare so it is a real saving not theoretical. It did take a while for the friendly and efficient agent to process the whole thing (holiday and then use of GUF) but we got there in the end.

I'd be interested in other's experiences on this as a useful datapoint on the value of a TP run to get 2500 or 3500 tierpoints.
firstlight is offline  
Old Jan 7, 2023, 9:15 am
  #711  
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: FRA, JFK
Programs: BAEC GGL, A3*S, Bonvoy Gold, HH Gold
Posts: 1,029
I used a GUF2 on a booking for my parents, outbound upgrade to F, inbound to CW.
Still not (fully) ticketed, but should end up saving about 2,000 EUR for each of them.
That one's more of a theoretical value, but it works out to the same saving for the more realistic WTP to CW upgrade in both directions (ex-FRA).
Considering that they'd be willing to pay 2500 for Business and could do the same for 1100 using a GUF I think your valuation is pretty much spot on.
firstlight likes this.
Chiller3333 is offline  
Old Jan 18, 2023, 12:15 pm
  #712  
Hilton 25+ BadgeMarriott 10+ Badge
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 4,392
Originally Posted by chazman189
Is it possible to apply a GUF2 and then remove it without cancelling the underlying ticket?

I want to lock in the upgrade but keep options open in case Avios availability appears (in which case I’d prefer to upgrade using Avios than using the GUF2)
Originally Posted by wmaciej
yes
Just curious - until how long it is ok before cancelling? I am asking as I would like to apply my GUF2, however the outbound have only F availability, but the inbound is OK. (LHR-JFK route) - I feel that it's a waste if it was just applied to the inbound which anyway is a short night flight.
I was told that there could still be chances that A bucket becoming available if pax cancels (but doubt since I need 2 seats).

Cheers!
nldogbert is offline  
Old Jan 18, 2023, 1:31 pm
  #713  
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Las Vegas
Programs: BA Gold; Hilton Honors Diamond
Posts: 3,257
Originally Posted by firstlight
I can't see a discussion on the cash value of a GUF however we've just used a couple of GUF1s to upgrade a new BAH booking from revenue PE to CW and the saving is coming out at about £1250 for each GUF1 - a £2500 saving in all. We would have paid the CW fare so it is a real saving not theoretical. It did take a while for the friendly and efficient agent to process the whole thing (holiday and then use of GUF) but we got there in the end.

I'd be interested in other's experiences on this as a useful datapoint on the value of a TP run to get 2500 or 3500 tierpoints.
For a pure cash booking the value for the GUF is simply the difference in the fare component between the two classes. If you have a large delta between the two then you save more. You would pay the taxes, fees and carrier charges for the higher cabin irrespective of whether it was a cash booking or you use the GUF to upgrade.

From my perspective I am really starting to question the value of the GUF and whether making the push to 2500 TPs is worth it. As an example, the additional TFCs on a NCL - LHR - LAS return where you use a GUF2 to upgrade from PE to Club amount to £414 per person, so £828 for two. However, being based in the US and booking a US - UK return the additional TFCs amount to $1100 per person, so $2200 per couple. That's £1785 at this moment's exchange rate - so more than double the cost. That is a major disincentive from the get go.

I have just used a soon to expire GUF2 to book two one-way tickets from Newcastle to Stockholm in Club for later this year. That cost me 45,000 Avios and $4 in total. If I had made the booking using cash I'd have saved £177 per person by using the GUF2 to upgrade. It's probably not the best use of a GUF2 but it means I am getting almost 2p / Avios which I don't think is too bad. It's certainly better than letting the GUF2 go to waste.
Geordie405 is offline  
Old Jan 18, 2023, 1:55 pm
  #714  
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 222
Some DP. Just grabbed last 4 A class in August from SYD-LHR one way. Having used all my jokers, the GUFs come really handy and no complaints for £1.3k taxes and surcharges.
Still is offline  
Old Jan 18, 2023, 2:06 pm
  #715  
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: SYD, GOT
Programs: BA GGL; SK EBG; QF LTG; Hilton Diamond, A-Club Platinum, Marriott Platinum
Posts: 2,837
If I have a ticket ex AU (SYD) to EU (stopover) and then have a ticket ex EU to US. Both returns.
- I assume two tickets would be two GUFs? (BA do not have a through fare AU to US).
- I know I can have two tickets on one PNR BUT can I have two tickets with different GUFs on the one PNR? (one pax). Or s the way that BA handles GUFs per PNR or per ticket number?

Asking as while it is stop in EU it is only short so could be affected.

Thanks,

KF
Koru Flyer is offline  
Old Jan 18, 2023, 2:10 pm
  #716  
Ambassador, British Airways; FlyerTalk Posting Legend
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Leeds, UK
Programs: BA GGL/CCR, GfL, HH Diamond
Posts: 43,750
Yes, 1 GUF per booking, so if it's two bookings it would need two GUFs.

How are you getting then on one PNR?
KARFA is offline  
Old Jan 18, 2023, 2:13 pm
  #717  
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 222
IIRC GUFs can only apply up to 6 sectors, your 2 returns should exceed that limit, so need more than 1 GUF regardless.
Still is offline  
Old Jan 18, 2023, 9:58 pm
  #718  
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: SYD, GOT
Programs: BA GGL; SK EBG; QF LTG; Hilton Diamond, A-Club Platinum, Marriott Platinum
Posts: 2,837
Agree - it is two tickets, although 6 sectors that require GUFs, and could have it as low as 4 sectors but I like changing flight numbers in SIN.

The two tickets can go onto one PNR, that is no problem, but the TA says that for me to GUF both tickets I will need the GUFs on separate PNRs. i.e. that BA can only deal with one GUF per booking. I would like to know if that is correct, or if the TA has misunderstood BA when they aid one GUF per ticket, as being one GUF per PNR?

Thanks,

KF
Koru Flyer is offline  
Old Jan 19, 2023, 1:54 am
  #719  
Ambassador, British Airways; FlyerTalk Posting Legend
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Join Date: Apr 2012
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Programs: BA GGL/CCR, GfL, HH Diamond
Posts: 43,750
Yes it would be two bookings and two GUFs needed.
KARFA is offline  
Old Jan 19, 2023, 3:32 am
  #720  
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: SYD, GOT
Programs: BA GGL; SK EBG; QF LTG; Hilton Diamond, A-Club Platinum, Marriott Platinum
Posts: 2,837
Agree. However, Does it need to be two PNRs. If it were a booking without a GUF, I would have the two tickets on one PNR. But the TA is insisting it cannot be done due to the GUF.

(one PNR while technically separate tickets does give a degree of cover for a missconnect that is clearly due to the fault of the airline. No guarantee, and you certainly cannot jump up and down until blue in the face)
Koru Flyer is offline  

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