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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 Jul 5, 2023, 7:52 am
  #811  
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: SYD, GOT
Programs: BA GGL; SK EBG; QF LTG; Hilton Diamond, A-Club Platinum, Marriott Platinum
Posts: 2,838
From my experience and frustration, this much easier calling up and talking through with BA, esp. as you are a GGL, most of the BA rules are based around DPA, so I would also have the 241 owner on the call as well. Technically, if you GUF you just need availability in /I/ class, and I think you can Joker to /D/, which for SYD you may need.

Remember SYD also can combine BA11/12 with 15/16 and you can through ticket on CX so you could upgrade the BA legs and leave CX in the original class on the slightly shorter leg from HKG on CX. So they could have a WT+ ticket that you upgrade the LHR/HKG and they fly in premium from HKG to SYD. I have found HKG to be easier as SYD is back to a 787.

I have no experience of the 241 alas

KF
Koru Flyer is offline  
Old Jul 5, 2023, 5:28 pm
  #812  
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Surrey, UK
Programs: BA GGL
Posts: 488
Thanks Koru Flyer. I feel like the 241 is the sticking point in terms of the admin and needing to be on BA.
Iamnotlost is offline  
Old Jul 13, 2023, 11:05 pm
  #813  
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 104
I'm quite new to BA executive club (started flying Qatar and AA instead of Klm because of the problems at Amsterdam airport). Been flying for a year now and saved 200.000 Avios and 4 gold vouchers.
Ideally I would like to use these Avios and gold vouchers to book a Qatar business flight Brussels-Jakarta for my family of 4.
- is this a good idea or is there a better holiday destination to book with Avios and gold vouchers ?
- what's the easiest way to get this booked (my travel agent only books cash tickets for me)
Koen dc is offline  
Old Jul 14, 2023, 1:00 am
  #814  
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Programs: BA, Hilton
Posts: 2,123
Originally Posted by Koen dc
Ideally I would like to use these Avios and gold vouchers to book a Qatar business flight Brussels-Jakarta for my family of 4.
- is this a good idea or is there a better holiday destination to book with Avios and gold vouchers ?
- what's the easiest way to get this booked (my travel agent only books cash tickets for me)
Unfortunately, Gold Upgrade Vouchers are limited to use on BA and certain AA operated flights. They cannot currently be used on Qatar.

You could still use your Avios to book on Qatar, but you would need to book directly into the cabin you wanted, as you couldn't use the upgrade vouchers. You could do this either by searching for the reward flights on BA.com, or (since Qatar now use Avios as their "currency" as well) joining their scheme and linking your accounts and then booking via Qatar. I'll let others who have more expertise on that comment on any advantages/disadvantages of each approach. Since that's just a plain redemption of Avios, follow up questions might be best directed to a thread such as this: Qatar Avios Redemptions Through BA - FlyerTalk Forums
Koen dc likes this.
BertieBadger is online now  
Old Jul 14, 2023, 1:49 pm
  #815  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Boston, MA
Programs: BA Gold, Starwood Gold, SQ PPS Solitaire
Posts: 121
Tier point accrual using GUF1

Hi everyone.

Not sure if this has been discussed.

I booked JFK-LHR-BER and then BER-LHR-JFK in J with cash. I used a Gold upgrade for 1 voucher and was able to get JFK-LHR and LHR-JFK upgraded to F and paid $26 for the difference in taxes.

Will the accrual for tier points be 140 (for J) or 210 (for F) for the JFK-LHR sectors? On the ticket receipt, it shows 'A' class for the over the water sectors. On MMB, it shows 500 (210+40+210+40) total tier points instead of the usual 360 (140+40+140+40).
Not sure if anyone has experience with this, but I wanted to make sure I would have enough to keep GGL.

Thanks!
bostan is offline  
Old Jul 14, 2023, 3:28 pm
  #816  
 
Join Date: Jan 2022
Programs: BAEC
Posts: 1,615
Originally Posted by bostan
Hi everyone.

Not sure if this has been discussed.

I booked JFK-LHR-BER and then BER-LHR-JFK in J with cash. I used a Gold upgrade for 1 voucher and was able to get JFK-LHR and LHR-JFK upgraded to F and paid $26 for the difference in taxes.

Will the accrual for tier points be 140 (for J) or 210 (for F) for the JFK-LHR sectors? On the ticket receipt, it shows 'A' class for the over the water sectors. On MMB, it shows 500 (210+40+210+40) total tier points instead of the usual 360 (140+40+140+40).
Not sure if anyone has experience with this, but I wanted to make sure I would have enough to keep GGL.

Thanks!
Normally it should be 140 for the long haul sectors: you are supposed to get the points for the cabin you paid for. MMB TP and avios estimates are notoriously flaky. That said, there are often errors and you may well get the increased TPs. This seems to happen following cancellations and re-bookings, for example.
If you get the increased points great. Itís a nice bonus. But donít count on it. I wouldnít bet the house on it, especially if those points are going to make or break getting or retaining a status level that is important to you.
RichieMc is offline  
Old Jul 14, 2023, 10:57 pm
  #817  
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 104
Originally Posted by BertieBadger
Unfortunately, Gold Upgrade Vouchers are limited to use on BA and certain AA operated flights. They cannot currently be used on Qatar.
Thank you, the kind of limits the use of these vouchers to me. Most of the possible family holiday destinations that we had in mind are operated by Qatar or Cathay.
I can't seem to find a list of best usage of the GUF for a longer family holiday, so I tried to find some possible destinations myself:
Santiago de Chili, Mauritius (MRU), Los Angeles, Sydney, Vancouver, Buenos aires, Cape Town, Nairobi all seem possible destinations.(we would prefer Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines, Papua new Guinea but those seem not possible)
Furthermore, when looking in detail the price difference between premium economy and business isn't that big which kind of limits the value of these guf vouchers. Has anyone ever done the exercise or is there a standard list of Holliday destinations that give best value ?

Last edited by Koen dc; Jul 14, 2023 at 11:51 pm
Koen dc is offline  
Old Jul 17, 2023, 4:37 pm
  #818  
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 166
Would really appreciate some help on a GUF2 booking

Booked EDI >> IAH, Return BNA >> EDI in WT+
cost £1250 PP, £2500 in total (Paid £1500 with a BA voucher for a previous massive issue on a First flight paid with cash, rest on Amex)

Had to then call back to use the GUF2, as original person hung up 1hour 26min in to call... now an additional £714 PP 'tax' to pay from WT+ to CW, £1428!!
I thought it was just the extra carrier charge, of around £100PP, as there was no difference in tax, from the FAQ at the start of this thread.

Have i messed up / done something wrong?
I must have been through 10 different people trying to get this booking sorted / get to someone who even knew how to book a GUF, not sure what to believe now

thank you!
dansound is offline  
Old Jul 17, 2023, 4:45 pm
  #819  
Ambassador, British Airways; FlyerTalk Posting Legend
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Leeds, UK
Programs: BA GGL/CCR, GfL, HH Diamond
Posts: 43,754
So this was a cash booking EDI-IAH return in WTP which you are now using the GUF to upgrade to CE/CW? Whether you part paid with a voucher shouldn't make any difference.

I am afraid the days of only an extra £100 carrier surcharge for a UK-US return from WTP to CW are long gone. I think the last time I did it, it was around £300, and I think I saw around £400+ recently.

Having said that, £714 extra does sound on the high side though. Do you have the email eticket for your original WTP booking? Could you copy the "Taxes/fees/charges" section in here? It should just then be the difference between that and the taxes/fees/charges for the same flights in club which for EDI-IAH returntn is around £1,216 per person (of which £900 is carrier surcharge).
KARFA is online now  
Old Jul 17, 2023, 4:49 pm
  #820  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 4,726
Originally Posted by KARFA
So this was a cash booking EDI-IAH return in WTP which you are now using the GUF to upgrade to CE/CW? Whether you part paid with a voucher shouldn't make any difference.

I am afraid the days of only an extra £100 carrier surcharge for a UK-US return from WTP to CW are long gone. I think the last time I did it, it was around £300, and I think I saw around £400+ recently.

Having said that, £714 extra does sound on the high side though. Do you have the email eticket for your original WTP booking? Could you copy the "Taxes/fees/charges" section in here? It should just then be the difference between that and the taxes/fees/charges for the same flights in club which for EDI-IAH returntn is around £1,216 per person (of which £900 is carrier surcharge).
WTP carrier imposed surcharge is around £240 pp, CW is £900 pp so that's why it's a huge jump. Came across the same on flights to YYZ today so decided against booking, not worth it!
flashware is offline  
Old Jul 18, 2023, 3:44 am
  #821  
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 166
Originally Posted by KARFA
. Do you have the email eticket for your original WTP booking? Could you copy the "Taxes/fees/charges" section in here? It should just then be the difference between that and the taxes/fees/charges for the same flights in club which for EDI-IAH returntn is around £1,216 per person (of which £900 is carrier surcharge).
I don't have that, never got it through.

Originally Posted by flashware
WTP carrier imposed surcharge is around £240 pp, CW is £900 pp so that's why it's a huge jump. Came across the same on flights to YYZ today so decided against booking, not worth it!
eek, maybe the new norm!

What I have got now, is an e-ticket for CW booking, that states

Redemption Type Standard On Business Points - i don't think it is?

Taxes/fees/charges
Government, authority and airport charges Per adult Total government, authority and airport charges*
GBP 0.00 Total British Airways fees and surcharges
GBP 0.00 Total taxes, fees and surcharges per person GBP 0.00

Fare Details
GBP1434.00 + Tax/Fee/Charge -GBP6.00 = GBP 1428.00

what also looks odd....when i look at the details for passenger - there is no luggage allowance on the e-ticket (manage my booking shows nothing, says to refer to e-ticket). There is no avios or tier points (there was when it was showing as WTP)
dansound is offline  
Old Jul 18, 2023, 10:56 pm
  #822  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 4,726
Originally Posted by dansound
I don't have that, never got it through.



eek, maybe the new norm!

What I have got now, is an e-ticket for CW booking, that states

Redemption Type Standard On Business Points - i don't think it is?

Taxes/fees/charges
Government, authority and airport charges Per adult Total government, authority and airport charges*
GBP 0.00 Total British Airways fees and surcharges
GBP 0.00 Total taxes, fees and surcharges per person GBP 0.00

Fare Details
GBP1434.00 + Tax/Fee/Charge -GBP6.00 = GBP 1428.00

what also looks odd....when i look at the details for passenger - there is no luggage allowance on the e-ticket (manage my booking shows nothing, says to refer to e-ticket). There is no avios or tier points (there was when it was showing as WTP)
I had a bit of fun the other day when I called in, called the Gold line but ended up in general. The agent said they had no idea how to deal with it, I hadn't come through to the Gold desk and they'd put me through. Anyway, an hour later and various long on hold periods and one comment the 2nd agent made stood out.. "you can only do that on a commercial booking", to which I exclaimed/queried "but this is a cash booking??", at which point the penny dropped .. agent was on the Avios desk and that was where my call had been transferred. Explained a lot of the odd stuff going on.

Perhaps you experienced similar?
flashware is offline  
Old Jul 19, 2023, 2:13 am
  #823  
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 166
Originally Posted by flashware
Perhaps you experienced similar?
sounds very familiar!

long story short...and many calls later...i'm now at over 4 hours call time to get this sorted.

Had some very mixed messages, one said I was due nothing more than what i had paid for WTP booking, asked them to check, they did, came back and said fine. Put on hold, came back to say they needed £1.4k after all...
Raised a complaint, given 50% off, due to issues and 'misinformation'

Transactions have gone through twice on my bank card...so that is still to be sorted
E-ticket is a mess, no luggage allowance etc...so that is still to be sorted

looks like i am at £372 per person to upgrade from WTP to CW and the GUF2, i can live with that, unless anyone knows if that is still more than it should be?

Was one of these things where had GUF2 and £1.5k voucher about to expire, so left it a bit late in the day for dealing with the issues we faced.
dansound is offline  
Old Jul 22, 2023, 1:38 am
  #824  
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: London
Programs: BA GGL / Concorde Room
Posts: 407
I'm struggling to understand a GUF2 booking. I booked a one way BHD/LHR/BOS, for one, using a GUF2 voucher (there's only one of me), with an upgrade from WT+ to CW, and paid 42,000 Avios and £150 taxes. Realising that I needed to return, I cancelled that within the 24 hr cooling off period and started again, booking outbound on the same (peak) date and inbound on an off-peak date, and was charged 102,500 Avios and £350 taxes (again for WT+ to CW). Something doesn't feel right but I don't have sufficient knowledge of GUF2 to know what's gone wrong. The second agent suggested that the first agent had incorrectly charged me the off-peak rather than peak rate for the outbound, but if it's automatic, how could that happen and in any event, the first agent was clearly more competent than the second (who took a full hour to make what is a pretty simple booking). Can anyone explain, please, have I been charged correctly and if not, what seems to be a miss?

RFS economy Avios seats are now available on the same dates (they weren't originally) so I'm tempted to sacrafice £35, cancel the whole thing and do economy - it's only a short flight - saving the Avios and GUF2 for a bigger trip and particularly if a mistake has been made in the booking. And if I ask nicely, might CS then split my GUF2 into GUF1 x 2.
southsquare is offline  
Old Aug 5, 2023, 2:04 am
  #825  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: DEL
Programs: Mucci du Miel d'Or
Posts: 2,392
Splitting GUF2s

Originally Posted by southsquare
And if I ask nicely, might CS then split my GUF2 into GUF1 x 2.
Not sure I can help with your Q, but am interested in any experience of splitting GUF2s. Was speaking to the GGL about another matter and asked, but was told that there is no automatic policy, so just left it, but realise it could come in handy.

Good to hear others experience on splitting GUF2s. Thanks.
Dan72 is offline  

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