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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 Jan 11, 2024, 3:06 am
  #961  
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: SYD
Programs: QF P1, BA GGL, AS GMVP
Posts: 516
Originally Posted by RichieMc
No. For BA, you just need normal A class. Much simpler, and much more widely available and no need to do a sepcial search. You can upgrade once travel has commenced if availability pops up.
Thanks RichieMc. Much appreciated! Fingers crossed something pops up between now and September.
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Old Jan 11, 2024, 5:43 am
  #962  
Moderator: British Airways Executive Club
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: TPA/ABZ
Programs: BA Lifetime Gold. GGL/CCR.
Posts: 13,395
Originally Posted by TheSYDTraveller
Thanks RichieMc. Much appreciated! Fingers crossed something pops up between now and September.
ExpertFlyer fare class alerts are incredibly useful in this regard.
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Old Jan 14, 2024, 5:19 pm
  #963  
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Seattle, WA
Programs: UA 1K, Delta PM, AA EXP, Marriott AMB, IHG Gold
Posts: 448
Originally Posted by firstlight
I've used a guf from me and a companion voucher from mrs firstlight and vice versa. Same is true of space releases (jokers) and companion vouchers. As long as we are travelling together and on the same household account our vouchers seem to combine as we want - it just works. She does have to be there when I make the call to go through security and authorise the use of her vouchers (although me being a nominee on her account also would work).
Any advice what to tell the phone agent? I tried speaking to 3 different agents today and they all said that GUF and companion cert couldnt be combined if on different accounts.

Thanks!
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Old Jan 14, 2024, 11:49 pm
  #964  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Programs: BA GGL/CCR, Hilton Diamond *, IHG, Couples Romance Rewards
Posts: 2,437
Originally Posted by Melodsal
Any advice what to tell the phone agent? I tried speaking to 3 different agents today and they all said that GUF and companion cert couldnt be combined if on different accounts.

Thanks!
Sorry, don't know why it won't work for you. I'm assuming you're trying to make a single booking together. Are you part of the same household account, also are you each other's nominee? I guess it's also possible you have to be a GGL for this but I don't see why since GUFs and companion vouchers can be earned as gold.
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Old Jan 14, 2024, 11:50 pm
  #965  
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Seattle, WA
Programs: UA 1K, Delta PM, AA EXP, Marriott AMB, IHG Gold
Posts: 448
Originally Posted by firstlight
Sorry, don't know why it won't work for you. I'm assuming you're trying to make a single booking together. Are you part of the same household account, also are you each other's nominee? I guess it's also possible you have to be a GGL for this but I don't see why since GUFs and companion vouchers can be earned as gold.
Yup we are in the same household account and the third party nominees have been setup. Ill try again tmr. Hopefully will get better agents and duty managers!

Thanks!
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Old Jan 17, 2024, 7:54 am
  #966  
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Programs: BAEC GfL
Posts: 349
I am sure that this question has been answered but I can't find it, so please forgive me asking about this once more.

I am trying book for 2 of us GLA-LHR -xxx in WTP and upgrading with GUF2 to Club, there is no issue with the long haul legs LHR - xxx as I class is available both outbound and inbound. The fare class shown for the GLA-LHR- GLA sectors is K can that also be upgraded using the GUF2 voucher?

FYI If I were to book GLA-LHR-GLA independently then I class is available each way

Thanks in advance
Royalscot is offline  
Old Jan 17, 2024, 9:59 am
  #967  
Ambassador, British Airways; FlyerTalk Posting Legend
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Leeds, UK
Programs: BA GGL/CCR, GfL, HH Diamond
Posts: 43,721
Originally Posted by Royalscot
I am sure that this question has been answered but I can't find it, so please forgive me asking about this once more.

I am trying book for 2 of us GLA-LHR -xxx in WTP and upgrading with GUF2 to Club, there is no issue with the long haul legs LHR - xxx as I class is available both outbound and inbound. The fare class shown for the GLA-LHR- GLA sectors is K can that also be upgraded using the GUF2 voucher?

FYI If I were to book GLA-LHR-GLA independently then I class is available each way

Thanks in advance
yes thats fine. Your voucher covers all flights in the bookings, and subject to availability, they can be upgraded to the next cabin.
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KARFA is online now  
Old Jan 19, 2024, 2:55 am
  #968  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 169
Does anyone have any experience getting a GUF1 applied to a travel agent booking retrospectively and what the procedure is for the travel agent to follow?
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Old Jan 19, 2024, 3:16 am
  #969  
Ambassador, British Airways; FlyerTalk Posting Legend
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Leeds, UK
Programs: BA GGL/CCR, GfL, HH Diamond
Posts: 43,721
Originally Posted by jfs5
Does anyone have any experience getting a GUF1 applied to a travel agent booking retrospectively and what the procedure is for the travel agent to follow?
yes, you can do that.

you will need to contact BA to get the GUF applied, you don't do it via the TA.
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Old Jan 19, 2024, 9:27 am
  #970  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 169
Originally Posted by KARFA
yes, you can do that.

you will need to contact BA to get the GUF applied, you don't do it via the TA.
Just as a follow-up, the first two BA reps I spoke to insisted that there was no availability even though I could plainly see there was A class availability showing on Experflyer.

With the 3rd rep, I finally got someone who knew how the GUF1 works but she told me that the travel Agent has to apply through their system.

Contacted the Travel Agent, who then came back and told me that, after speaking with BA, there was no availability showing!

So I am back to square one....

Seem to be a lot of misunderstanding on how GUF1 redemptions work; I suspect because they are just using the same criteria for these as for Avios upgrades.

Last edited by jfs5; Jan 19, 2024 at 9:41 am
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Old Jan 19, 2024, 9:31 am
  #971  
Ambassador, British Airways; FlyerTalk Posting Legend
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Leeds, UK
Programs: BA GGL/CCR, GfL, HH Diamond
Posts: 43,721
A TA can apply the GUF at the time of booking, but if you want to apply one after the booking then BA do it - this has been the case since about 2016/17 (EDIT: actually 2018, see the part in red in post 3).

I am afraid it is a matter of calling BA again until you get someone who knows what they are actually doing.

Last edited by KARFA; Jan 19, 2024 at 9:45 am
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Old Jan 19, 2024, 9:42 am
  #972  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 169
Originally Posted by KARFA
A TA can apply the GUF at the time of booking, but if you want to apply one after the booking then BA do it - this has been the case since about 2016/17.

I am afraid it is a matter of calling BA again until you get someone who knows what they are actually doing.
Thanks for the advice, I will keep trying!
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Old Jan 24, 2024, 4:37 am
  #973  
 
Join Date: Aug 2023
Programs: BAEC Gold, IHG Diamond Elite Ambassador
Posts: 51
I booked a WT+ cash return from LHR to YUL, expecting to use my (very first!) GUF to bump it up to CW. As per forum advice, I did the WT+ booking then called up to apply the GUF. Considering the WT+ was ~900, the (very helpful) chap on the phone quoted 630 (!) for extra taxes and surcharges. I almost fell out of my chair... I asked him to check if that's right, as the original taxes and fees came to 550 for the WT+ booking. He checked with someone and assured me it was right.

So by my maths, I'm paying 1180 in taxes on a flight that originally cost me 900...
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Old Jan 24, 2024, 4:39 am
  #974  
Ambassador, British Airways; FlyerTalk Posting Legend
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Leeds, UK
Programs: BA GGL/CCR, GfL, HH Diamond
Posts: 43,721
what were the taxes/fees/charges you paid on the WTP booking? you should be able to see this in the table at the bottom of the eticket email.

when you price up a cash CW return for those flights on ba.com, what are the taxes/fees/charges shown in the breakdown?
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Old Jan 24, 2024, 4:42 am
  #975  
 
Join Date: Aug 2023
Programs: BAEC Gold, IHG Diamond Elite Ambassador
Posts: 51
This is the breakdown for the WT+ booking, so taxes come to 551.59GBP in total. The overall WT+ was 919.59GBP.


Edit: I misread your reply KARFA, apologies. A cash CW booking has the following:

That's a staggering increase in the carrier charges.
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Last edited by aeflyer; Jan 24, 2024 at 4:46 am Reason: Formatting, additional info.
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