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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 Jan 19, 2023, 3:36 am
  #721  
Ambassador, British Airways; FlyerTalk Posting Legend
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Join Date: Apr 2012
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Not sure what you mean by a regular booking. If it was a regular booking it would be one ticket and one PNR. I assume your TA would artificially have to fiddle these two bookings to try and get this as one airline PNR.
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Old Jan 19, 2023, 3:41 am
  #722  
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Also note this:

https://www.britishairways.com/en-gb...ditions-of-use

​​​​​​5. It’s possible to upgrade a maximum of 6 Sectors per booking; Travel may not originate from or transit though the same city more than once in each direction.
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Old Jan 19, 2023, 6:47 am
  #723  
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: SYD, GOT
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Posts: 2,843
We are dancing around my question.

BA does not sell for example SYD-SIN-LHR-DUB-LHR-JFK-LHR-CPH-LHR-SIN-SYD.

So it must be split into two ticket numbers. One for the SYD-DUB and one for DUB-JFK. You could also split this at SIN but that would be more expensive. BA also do not sell SYD-JFK so nothing to be gained by carving off DUB and CPH. Incidentally AY do but very restricted to their flights.

Yes I could look, at a RTW but pricing out of AU is just incredible, but BA are a price leader.

if I just wanted it purchased I would purchase two tickets and wrap it in one PNR

BA sales reported that
- yes it is 6 sectors but two tickets so it is 2 GUFs
- TA interpreted 2 tickets as two PNRs

so
- does any one have experience of two tickets in one PNR to validate the number of GUFs required and does it really need to be two PNRs. I am not exactly sure on the mechanics of a PNR. Like can you add a ticket later?


KF
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Old Jan 19, 2023, 7:04 am
  #724  
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See the post above though. Whether your TA can fiddle this in to one PNR doesn't really matter since you can't apply one GUF across the whole thing.

Travel may not originate from or transit though the same city more than once in each direction
This was specifically brought in to try and stop exactly this kind of approach of sticking in multiple trips in one booking and only needing one GUF.
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Old Jan 19, 2023, 2:48 pm
  #725  
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
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KARFA, thanks for your info. I was nota ware of that one.

Although, as I highlighted earlier, I am GUF rich due to COVID, so applying two GUFs is not my issue, I am not trying to shirk that, my question is whether anyone has any experience whether you can apply two GUFs into one PNR. It does really matter (to me) if my TA can put it into one PNR. Is there something about GUFs that demand physically separate PNRs?
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Old Jan 19, 2023, 2:57 pm
  #726  
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It will just get rejected. The BA Trade Support team rigorously follow the rules I am afraid - one of the disadvantages of going through a TA. They will see LHR in there more than once, and get out their reject stamp and red ink pad. It is not worth trying.

You would be better off just having as two bookings and using two separate GUFs.
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Old Jan 19, 2023, 3:36 pm
  #727  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
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Originally Posted by Koru Flyer
KARFA, thanks for your info. I was nota ware of that one.

Although, as I highlighted earlier, I am GUF rich due to COVID, so applying two GUFs is not my issue, I am not trying to shirk that, my question is whether anyone has any experience whether you can apply two GUFs into one PNR. It does really matter (to me) if my TA can put it into one PNR. Is there something about GUFs that demand physically separate PNRs?
Of course you can have more than one guf per PNR - if you use 2 guf1s for example for 2 passengers on a single booking - or more should you wish to travel with 3 or more in a single booking. However the question is really if you can use more than one guf for a single passenger (ie on a single ticket) where KARFA 's knowledge comes in. If you leave enough time in the middle of your trip then that gives space for recovery from misconnects if you book two separate flight sequences.
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Old Jan 19, 2023, 5:05 pm
  #728  
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
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I am not sure what rule I am breaking. I apply one GUF to SYD/LHR/SYD and a second GUF to LHR/JFK/LHR. There is no dispute that I need two GUFs (I am not sure why we go back to breaking of rules?). The question is whether one passenger can have two separate tickets in one PNR with a different GUF applied to each ticket.

The reason I have from the TA why this cannot be done is "it needs to be approved by BA which can take up to 48 hours and we cant stop the segments from marrying in that time". Not sure why two separate tickets in a PNR would spontaneously marry, but I do not work in ticketing so I have no idea if this nonsense or not? And what impact the marrying of segments would have?

I guess there is just no knowledge of this?

KF

Last edited by Koru Flyer; Jan 19, 2023 at 5:24 pm
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Old Jan 20, 2023, 3:59 am
  #729  
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: London, UK
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Looking at the past few months, Propeller Travel has been able to apply to GUF's into one PNR for two separate bookings in the same record multiple times
by making it clear in the OSI to BA that each GUF pertains to a specific PQ (the price quote that collates specific segments into a ticket, at least in Sabre terminology) as opposed
to applies to the entire PNR. 3 Approvals, one denial. Not sure if that helps in any way, but it does seem possible but not consistent.
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Old Jan 20, 2023, 8:48 pm
  #730  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
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Originally Posted by KARFA
question, does this mean I can or can't upgrade an 8 sector booking where I would only be upgrading 4 sectors?

I.e. would a DUB LHR JFK LAX SFO cash J booking GUFed to A work because I am only looking to GUF 4 sectors or would it not work as the whole ticket is 8 sectors?
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Old Jan 21, 2023, 2:02 am
  #731  
 
Join Date: Jan 2022
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Originally Posted by chris1979
question, does this mean I can or can't upgrade an 8 sector booking where I would only be upgrading 4 sectors?

I.e. would a DUB LHR JFK LAX SFO cash J booking GUFed to A work because I am only looking to GUF 4 sectors or would it not work as the whole ticket is 8 sectors?
Will be no problem. I and many others have done this without issue.
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Old Jan 21, 2023, 4:00 am
  #732  
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Jsut to clarify if one purchased return SYD SIN LHR LAX as one ticket this would only require one guf.
however purchasing SYD SIN LHR DUB // Dub LHR lax would be 2 gufs as itís 2 tickets (but also passes through same city twice
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Old Feb 10, 2023, 12:39 pm
  #733  
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
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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?
Originally Posted by golfmad
You are correct.
I wanted to revisit this question as it seems that BA won't allow a GUF2 to be used in conjunction with a Chase voucher.

The BA Trade Support website at https://www.britishairways.com/en-gb...d-card-upgrade specifically says that a GUF cannot be used in conjunction with Amex / Chase vouchers. It's also interesting that when using a GUF to upgrade on AA flights then there has to be a TATL flight in the itinerary. You apparently can't use a GUF on a solely US domestic itinerary.

Looking at the BAEC T&Cs at https://www.britishairways.com/en-us...ditions-of-use it's phrased slightly differently.

It says "Vouchers can be applied to AA operated transatlantic and US domestic flights only" which I took to mean that I couldn't redeem them for DFW - HKG for example, but could upgrade LAS - LAX - LAS as that was domestic. It also says "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" which doesn't explicitly mention Amex / Chase vouchers.

So which is correct? Can I used my GUF2 with my Chase voucher? Can I used it on wholly domestic US itineraries?
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Old Feb 10, 2023, 12:54 pm
  #734  
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Originally Posted by Geordie405
I wanted to revisit this question as it seems that BA won't allow a GUF2 to be used in conjunction with a Chase voucher.

...

So which is correct? Can I used my GUF2 with my Chase voucher?
I have used a GUF many times with Chase vouchers and with the Chase 10% discount.

My wife and I are traveling later this month on a booking that has been GUFed using a Chase Travel Together ticket. It was booked about a month ago. Perhaps the rules have changed very recently?
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Old Feb 10, 2023, 1:24 pm
  #735  
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
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Originally Posted by golfmad
I have used a GUF many times with Chase vouchers and with the Chase 10% discount.

My wife and I are traveling later this month on a booking that has been GUFed using a Chase Travel Together ticket. It was booked about a month ago. Perhaps the rules have changed very recently?
Maybe? If anyone else uses a GUF in connection with an Amex or Chase voucher hopefully theyíll comment here too.

How have you been booking these? I assume you phone up and have an agent do it all in one go, or are you booking the lower class online and then applying the GUF? Can you get the Chase 10% discount over the phone or just online?
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