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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 15, 2018, 10:34 am
  #91  
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Programs: GGL/CCR
Posts: 1,899
Originally Posted by Dave_C
Well, it got approved by BA into full J, on AY code-shares no less.
A BA operated AY flight from PE to J? Interesting....
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Old Feb 15, 2018, 10:36 am
  #92  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: London, UK
Posts: 5,680
Originally Posted by teledude
A BA operated AY flight from PE to J? Interesting....
Sorry, poor language on my part, BA flight numbers operated by AY.
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Old Feb 15, 2018, 10:38 am
  #93  
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Programs: GGL/CCR
Posts: 1,899
Originally Posted by Dave_C
Sorry, poor language on my part, BA flight numbers operated by AY.
Gotcha....so a long haul BA leg went from T-I and the short haul AY sector went from something into J? Wow.
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Old Feb 15, 2018, 10:43 am
  #94  
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Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Ī38,000 feet
Programs: LH HON, BA GGL, AF Plat, EK Plat
Posts: 6,462
Originally Posted by Dave_C
Sorry, poor language on my part, BA flight numbers operated by AY.
sorry but this is against the Guf rules so very surprising. AY operates flights donít get upgraded, so was this a BA mistake? Did you book direct or TA?
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Old Feb 15, 2018, 11:17 am
  #95  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: London, UK
Posts: 5,680
Well when GUF'ing you don't need availability in the underlying fare - it just had to be valid for the route. So in the case where the long haul segments are T0 and I3 (for example), you can still book a T class fare that is valid.

In terms of the connecting sectors, well, I think that's much more of a grey area.
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Old Feb 17, 2018, 9:20 pm
  #96  
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Join Date: Feb 2014
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I get different messages about whether or not shorthaul segments of WT fare upgrade to CE. I am interested in actual experiences when booking such fares, not opinions - I have many of those and my own already
for simplicity a booking in Wt Vie-Lhr-tyo. Should only Lhr-tyo upgrade to Wtp or should Vie-Lhr upgrade to CE and Lhr-tyo to wtp?
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Old Feb 17, 2018, 11:26 pm
  #97  
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 7,464
Using a GUF through a TA, I booked at WT+ fare ZRH-LHR-JFK and return, and all sectors were upgraded to CE/CW. Flew it without issue.

Not sure about a WT booking, but I’d expect that the shorthauls get upgraded to CE since the voucher is good to upgrade to the next cabin for each sector.
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Old Feb 18, 2018, 1:21 am
  #98  
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Join Date: Feb 2014
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Posts: 6,462
Originally Posted by rossmacd
Using a GUF through a TA, I booked at WT+ fare ZRH-LHR-JFK and return, and all sectors were upgraded to CE/CW. Flew it without issue.

Not sure about a WT booking, but Iíd expect that the shorthauls get upgraded to CE since the voucher is good to upgrade to the next cabin for each sector.
thanks! I booked wtp before and indeed all was upgraded to club.
I stumbled across a very lucrative WT fare that I really wanna make use of but the TA suggests only longhauls get upgraded (a very capable TA) but was wondering whether anyone managed shorthauls and if so which TA.
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Old Feb 21, 2018, 6:31 am
  #99  
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Join Date: Feb 2014
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Happy to report that in case of ex Eu ET + WT fare the GuF upgrade should be processed to CE+WTP. BA confirmed this and my TA issues tickets like this now. I am very pleased with the end result!
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Old Mar 4, 2018, 1:17 pm
  #100  
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Programs: GGL, UA 1MM
Posts: 500
Q on use of GUF2 voucher

Apologies in advance for questions which may be obvious to some, but despite having read pages and pages here I am still unsure of answers.

Travelled far more than I expected this year, so I will soon be the proud owner of a GUF2 voucher, and have questions I can't find answers to.

I assume I am correct in thinking i can upgrade both a companion and myself, both outbound and return on a trip I book?

what I am less sure about though is ...If I am booked in Club, and there is availability for paid First, but not for Club plus upgrade - how do I go about upgrading this if I booked the original ticket online?

It would be very restrictive if there has to be upgrade availability - or does one have to book 355 in order to be able to use the voucher? ..or is the only way to be sure of using the voucher to book with a travel agent? if so, how can I tell which travel agents have a sufficiently good BA relationship they can upgrade me into paid 1st seats.

thanks in anticipation
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Old Mar 4, 2018, 8:59 pm
  #101  
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: HKG
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Originally Posted by 35711
Apologies in advance for questions which may be obvious to some, but despite having read pages and pages here I am still unsure of answers.

Travelled far more than I expected this year, so I will soon be the proud owner of a GUF2 voucher, and have questions I can't find answers to.

I assume I am correct in thinking i can upgrade both a companion and myself, both outbound and return on a trip I book?

what I am less sure about though is ...If I am booked in Club, and there is availability for paid First, but not for Club plus upgrade - how do I go about upgrading this if I booked the original ticket online?

It would be very restrictive if there has to be upgrade availability - or does one have to book 355 in order to be able to use the voucher? ..or is the only way to be sure of using the voucher to book with a travel agent? if so, how can I tell which travel agents have a sufficiently good BA relationship they can upgrade me into paid 1st seats.

thanks in anticipation
If you book with BA you will need upgrade availability.
If you book with TA (assuming no non-BA flights), you can book into revenue (A class) availability.
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Old Mar 4, 2018, 9:57 pm
  #102  
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Beijing
Programs: SK EBG, BAEC Gold
Posts: 941
Originally Posted by ermen
If you book with BA you will need upgrade availability.
If you book with TA (assuming no non-BA flights), you can book into revenue (A class) availability.
To nail down the (non-jokered) options more specifically:
If you book with a TA and upgrade at the time of booking you can book using revenue availability (A class for First).
In all other cases (booking with BA - upgrading at the time or later, or booking with a TA and upgrading later by calling BA) you need upgrade (award) availability in the required cabin.
nufnuf77 likes this.
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Old Mar 5, 2018, 1:39 pm
  #103  
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Programs: GGL, UA 1MM
Posts: 500
Originally Posted by GinFizz
To nail down the (non-jokered) options more specifically:
If you book with a TA and upgrade at the time of booking you can book using revenue availability (A class for First).
In all other cases (booking with BA - upgrading at the time or later, or booking with a TA and upgrading later by calling BA) you need upgrade (award) availability in the required cabin.
Thanks this answers my question (which I was unable to find in the wiki)... I probably missed it!

I have been able to upgrade a LH flight only once in maybe 40 flights, so assume that to be sure of using the voucher, I need to "book and upgrade" with a TA? Will any TA do it or only certain ones - do I need to find a Virtuoso one?

Last edited by 2358; Mar 5, 2018 at 2:21 pm
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Old Mar 6, 2018, 1:52 pm
  #104  
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 733
How realistic is for a non GGL to find and secure 2x F tickets to SYD using a GUF2 and combining with an Amex 2 for 1? I know 2 J seats are guaranteed per flight, but I guess that's not the case with F?
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Old Mar 6, 2018, 2:29 pm
  #105  
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Programs: BA Silver - hard drop from GGL :( SPG Gold, Hilton Diamond, AC E50k
Posts: 567
Originally Posted by Frequent flyer 101
How realistic is for a non GGL to find and secure 2x F tickets to SYD using a GUF2 and combining with an Amex 2 for 1? I know 2 J seats are guaranteed per flight, but I guess that's not the case with F?
Fairly unlikely is my guess, but some last minute stuff may open up if you have flex on dates... The fact that you combine 241 with GUFs is irrelevant, you just need the award inventory. Unfortunately no F seats are guaranteed...
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