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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 Feb 18, 2023, 7:48 am
  #751  
Moderator: British Airways Executive Club
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: TPA/ABZ
Programs: BA Lifetime Gold. GGL/CCR.
Posts: 13,399
Originally Posted by KARFA
Mine havenít posted automatically for any level over the last 2/3 years so I have just chased them manually.
Bizarrely, for the first time (that I've noticed) my 2,500 GUF didn't post. The 3,500 ones did. I have been meaning to chase but it's been so reliable for me in the past I thought it was perhaps my error. I've checked and it's not.
golfmad is offline  
Old Feb 18, 2023, 3:20 pm
  #752  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: vie
Programs: BAEC GfL; LH M&M FQTV; FB Platinum,SPG Gold ; A-Club Gold;HHonnors Diamond
Posts: 172
GGL Redemption Space Release - The GGL Joker

I am a little bit confused, about the GGL redemption space relaese, vulgo the GGL Joker.

In former times, I think until 2019, if you wanted to upgrade from Club to First, using a GUF2 voucher, you needed Z Class availability or if A Class available,
you had two Jokers per year to get the redemption space release to open Z-Class.Sometimes nevertheless I ended up in A-Class.

Since appr. 2019 booking with BA directly, you need Z or A Class availabiltiy for this upgrade.
So my understanding is, that for the upgrade a GGL redemption space release means top open Z or A Class for the upgrade with no need for A-Class to be open.

Dealing with the GGL-Team I was told that there is no GGL redemption space release possible, if there is no A Class available.
Makes no sense nower days.
There was also the special situation of showing A1 for the flight, needing 2 seats to upgrade.So first I was thinking they can't request 2 seats, because 1 seat is still available in A. But I was told no.No space release if no A Class available.

But what's the purpose of a space release in need of A Class availabilitiy, if with A Class availbility alone, you can upgrade without necessity of using a Joker ?

Please, can somebody explain me the actual rules of Feb.2023.

Is one Joker still for one sector to upgrade, or the whole booking ?

Many thanks,
Ettrich
ettrich is offline  
Old Feb 18, 2023, 10:35 pm
  #753  
Moderator: Hyatt Gold Passport & Star Alliance
 
Join Date: May 1998
Location: London, UK
Programs: UA-1K 3MM/HY- LT Globalist/BA-GGLfL
Posts: 12,198
Originally Posted by golfmad
Bizarrely, for the first time (that I've noticed) my 2,500 GUF didn't post. The 3,500 ones did. I have been meaning to chase but it's been so reliable for me in the past I thought it was perhaps my error. I've checked and it's not.
MY 2,500 and 3,500 posted but my 7,000 8,000 and 9,000 have all required emails.
Markie is offline  
Old Feb 18, 2023, 10:44 pm
  #754  
Ambassador, British Airways Executive Club, easyJet and Ryanair
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: UK/Las Vegas
Programs: BA Gold (GGL/CCR)
Posts: 16,110
Originally Posted by Markie
MY 2,500 and 3,500 posted but my 7,000 8,000 and 9,000 have all required emails.
Thatís because you must make the choice between 50,000 Avios, GUF or Joker.
Tobias-UK is offline  
Old Feb 19, 2023, 3:44 am
  #755  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Oxford, United Kingdom
Programs: BA GGL, NH SFC, IHG Diamond, Radisson VIP, HH Diamond, SPG Gold
Posts: 858
I just rang GGL to ask if an upgrade was available for one of my existing bookings. The booking is made on BAH, which is INV-LHR-MIA-LIM rtn. When I asked if the GUF could be used, Agent A said it's possible but the outbound (LHR-MIA) looked unavailable, so the inbound (MIA-LHR) only. I did not want to use the GUF for only one sector, so I hung up.

But I thought I could use Avios for the inbound, so I rang them again. However, the inbound needed a space release as no availability, but Agent B continued she could see the availability if a GUF used...?

I am a bit confused, so seat availabilities are different for Avios and GUFs? Also, space release is only available for Avios bookings because a GUF includes a space release...?
Dark Blue is offline  
Old Feb 19, 2023, 3:51 am
  #756  
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
Is this upgrade from J to F? Is there any A class available on the flights?
KARFA is offline  
Old Feb 19, 2023, 4:33 am
  #757  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Oxford, United Kingdom
Programs: BA GGL, NH SFC, IHG Diamond, Radisson VIP, HH Diamond, SPG Gold
Posts: 858
Originally Posted by KARFA
Is this upgrade from J to F? Is there any A class available on the flights?
Yes, J to F. On Ba.com, I can see A for both outbound and inbound...
Dark Blue is offline  
Old Feb 19, 2023, 4:40 am
  #758  
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
In that case you can use the GUF. You need either reward seats or availability in A for first.

A joker (aka space release) only works if there is A selling class anyway, so it doesn't actually get you any further if you add it in for first.
KARFA is offline  
Old Feb 19, 2023, 4:44 am
  #759  
 
Join Date: Mar 2021
Location: Near Manchester
Programs: BAEC Gold
Posts: 401
Not booked it yet, but I rang up BA this morning and I have to pay the "full taxes" to use the GUF2, so it's £628.71pp into First Class, minus what I've paid, means an extra £907.42.

We've never flown First Class, and I'd only do it the one way so we can enjoy the full LHR Concorde Room experience, so it's still the cheapest way to get a First Class seat (happy flying CS back which would be a WTP booking upgraded to CW)

But from what I have read on here, this figure does seem rather high, considering all test bookings I've done looking at the taxes.
LancashireFlyer is offline  
Old Feb 19, 2023, 4:47 am
  #760  
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
Are you booking a reward in J and then applying a GUF to go in to F?

If you did a normal reward in to F I think taxes/fees/charges would be about the £800/900 mark pp so it does seem correct if that's what you are paying.
LancashireFlyer likes this.
KARFA is offline  
Old Feb 19, 2023, 4:51 am
  #761  
 
Join Date: Mar 2021
Location: Near Manchester
Programs: BAEC Gold
Posts: 401
Originally Posted by KARFA
Are you booking a reward in J and then applying a GUF to go in to F?

If you did a normal reward in to F I think taxes/fees/charges would be about the £800/900 mark pp so it does seem correct if that's what you are paying.
Yes, reward into J and GUF to F. That's good then, to be honest when I was test booking last year I was looking at around £1200ó£1300 total for both of us to and from the US out in F and back in J, so by the time I do the return (in J) will be around that figure.
LancashireFlyer is offline  
Old Feb 21, 2023, 12:53 pm
  #762  
 
Join Date: Mar 2021
Location: Near Manchester
Programs: BAEC Gold
Posts: 401
Finally heard back from BA today. A total of £756 in taxes for the GUF2 to be used (outbound only). Quite happy with that!
LancashireFlyer is offline  
Old Feb 22, 2023, 4:15 am
  #763  
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: SYD, GOT
Programs: BA GGL; SK EBG; QF LTG; Hilton Diamond, A-Club Platinum, Marriott Platinum
Posts: 2,837
Originally Posted by ettrich
I am a little bit confused, about the GGL redemption space release, vulgo the GGL Joker.

In former times, I think until 2019, if you wanted to upgrade from Club to First, using a GUF2 voucher, you needed Z Class availability or if A Class available,
you had two Jokers per year to get the redemption space release to open Z-Class.Sometimes nevertheless I ended up in A-Class.

Since appr. 2019 booking with BA directly, you need Z or A Class availability for this upgrade.
So my understanding is, that for the upgrade a GGL redemption space release means top open Z or A Class for the upgrade with no need for A-Class to be open.

Dealing with the GGL-Team I was told that there is no GGL redemption space release possible, if there is no A Class available.
Makes no sense nower days.
There was also the special situation of showing A1 for the flight, needing 2 seats to upgrade.So first I was thinking they can't request 2 seats, because 1 seat is still available in A. But I was told no.No space release if no A Class available.

But what's the purpose of a space release in need of A Class availability, if with A Class availability alone, you can upgrade without necessity of using a Joker ?

Please, can somebody explain me the actual rules of Feb.2023.

Is one Joker still for one sector to upgrade, or the whole booking ?

Many thanks,
Ettrich
My understanding and experience is that. Prior to some stage I think it was around 2019 for Avios and GUF upgrades via BA you needed the underlying award class (Z for first, I forget the rest ;-) ) to be available. If it was not available you then needed (T, I, A) to be available to then use the Joker to open up award space (I think also you can Joker /D/ as well?). Curiously at that time, if it was a TA booking you only needed /I/ and /A/ to be available to upgrade with a GUF so you could getter better availability through a TA.

Then around 2019, they levelled it all up so you needed either Avios /Z/ or First revenue /A/ to GUF from Club to First, and the Joker in the use of a GUF became irrelevant for First upgrades.
- So booking an award ticket with Avios only, you need either award availability to use a Joker the right revenue fare bucket - and they must not have run out of the Joker stock for that flight
- Booking an upgrade with a GUF either cash or Avios you can have either /Z/ or /A/ available. So the Joker is irrelevant in that situation. In my experience /A/ is usually what they take. Which incidentally gives you a very flexible ticket, as to make a change you just need /A/ to be available.

That said I believe that you can Joker /D/ class as well, so that if you GUF from WTP you might be able to use a Joker to facilitate that upgrade if no /I/ is available.

I have had the odd agent, when there has been no /A/ available go on hold, saying lets look at a "space release" (what BA now calls Jokers) and then come back with that there is nothing they can do, not surprising. As another hint, I have noticed large changes in POS availability in /A/ class. So make sure the BA agent is logged into the POS with the availability you need.

KF
Koru Flyer is offline  
Old Feb 22, 2023, 4:24 am
  #764  
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: UK
Programs: BA GGL, BA LTG/GFL, Honors Diamond, Accor Platinum, Bonvoy Silver
Posts: 751
I recently used a GUF with a companion voucher.

First GGL agent - ďyou canít combine a GUF with a Companion.Ē
I chose to terminate discussions at that point, knowing that was incorrect and not wanting to get into an argument.

Second (excellent) agent - booked and ticketed all fine, it needed manually ticketing, but no problem.
KARFA and LancashireFlyer like this.
rjn21 is offline  
Old Feb 22, 2023, 8:58 am
  #765  
Moderator: British Airways Executive Club
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: TPA/ABZ
Programs: BA Lifetime Gold. GGL/CCR.
Posts: 13,399
Originally Posted by golfmad
Bizarrely, for the first time (that I've noticed) my 2,500 GUF didn't post. The 3,500 ones did. I have been meaning to chase but it's been so reliable for me in the past I thought it was perhaps my error. I've checked and it's not.
I emailed the GGL team and they found the missing GUF at 2,500 and have added it to my account which is a boost.
golfmad is offline  

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