Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > British Airways | Executive Club
Reload this Page >

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.
Print Wikipost

BA Gold Upgrade Voucher Discussion and Wiki Thread

Old Feb 26, 2024, 1:35 pm
  #1036  
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Programs: BA Gold
Posts: 236
Originally Posted by hsumh316
Some agents refuse to make the submission. Iím on the phone now and she refuses to do so. She just said they(loyalty team) wonít do it. i also called a few minutes ago trying to upgrade(same agent for both calls) said there is no availability either way for BA 280 on 20 Mar and BA 269 on 25 Mar in F.
I had something similar trying to process my upgrade where the agent suggested there was no A class availability on my booked flights despite it showing on BA.com (which indeed it is for yours). After encouraging them to check again it miraculously appeared...

All I can suggest is to HUCA, Not sure whether there is any logic to trying one of the ex-UK call centres, but this did work for me.
Mekko is offline  
Old Feb 28, 2024, 9:06 am
  #1037  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: London
Programs: BAEC Gold
Posts: 692
Advice please. I thought I'd worked out how to best use 241 vouchers etc. but I've just earned my first ever GUF2 and I'm back to square 1. I think I have read correctly that I can use this to upgrade to business class if there is I class availability not only if there is reward availability. I thought I'd practice on a random destination of Grenada that was showing I class so I tried to book and upgrade in one transaction out on 1 Jan 25 and back on 8 Jan 25 but ba.com said no availability. So could I ask:
(1) have I got the understanding correct and does I class benefit both cash and Avios base tickets or just cash (I tried both).
(2) If so can I do this online
(3) I noticed that there are no I class tickets for many Caribbean destinations in Jan/Feb next year. Is that likely to be because they have all been sold (plausible) or because they don't always go on sale straight away.

Thanks for any guidance.

Paul
PaulN is offline  
Old Feb 28, 2024, 9:13 am
  #1038  
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: FL390 or the iron way
Programs: BA GGL, SAS EBG
Posts: 2,124
Originally Posted by PaulN
Advice please. I thought I'd worked out how to best use 241 vouchers etc. but I've just earned my first ever GUF2 and I'm back to square 1. I think I have read correctly that I can use this to upgrade to business class if there is I class availability not only if there is reward availability. I thought I'd practice on a random destination of Grenada that was showing I class so I tried to book and upgrade in one transaction out on 1 Jan 25 and back on 8 Jan 25 but ba.com said no availability. So could I ask:
(1) have I got the understanding correct and does I class benefit both cash and Avios base tickets or just cash (I tried both).
(2) If so can I do this online
(3) I noticed that there are no I class tickets for many Caribbean destinations in Jan/Feb next year. Is that likely to be because they have all been sold (plausible) or because they don't always go on sale straight away.

Thanks for any guidance.

Paul
You're correct - I class revenue availability is all that's needed to use a GUF2. If used to make a brand new redemption (Avios) booking you don't need any 'normal' Avios availability in either the 'original' class or the one you're upgrading into.

The online system doesn't include this enhanced availability so you will need to phone the Gold line to get them to process the booking for you. Usually takes a bit longer, especially if you are combining a GUF2 with an Amex 241 (which is similarly something that can't be done online).

I class availability is often limited on leisure routes such as the Caribbean ones where people tend to book far in advance. Whilst there is often a delay of a few days in I class availability appearing after new flights have been loaded into the system, if you're looking at flights for Jan or early Feb next year and there's no I class availability, I would assume it won't be forthcoming.

Of course things can always change so it's worthwhile setting up alerts in ExpertFlyer just in case that happens.

It rarely seems to be worthwhile booking a cash PE fare and upgrading it to Business, since the additional carrier surcharge that's payable is often many hundreds of pounds. I'd consider a redemption better value in most cases, unless you are desperate for the PE Tier Points.
PaulN likes this.
flarmip is online now  
Old Feb 28, 2024, 9:18 am
  #1039  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Programs: BA GGL/CCR, Hilton Diamond *, IHG, Couples Romance Rewards
Posts: 2,439
Originally Posted by PaulN
Advice please. I thought I'd worked out how to best use 241 vouchers etc. but I've just earned my first ever GUF2 and I'm back to square 1. I think I have read correctly that I can use this to upgrade to business class if there is I class availability not only if there is reward availability. I thought I'd practice on a random destination of Grenada that was showing I class so I tried to book and upgrade in one transaction out on 1 Jan 25 and back on 8 Jan 25 but ba.com said no availability. So could I ask:
(1) have I got the understanding correct and does I class benefit both cash and Avios base tickets or just cash (I tried both).
(2) If so can I do this online
(3) I noticed that there are no I class tickets for many Caribbean destinations in Jan/Feb next year. Is that likely to be because they have all been sold (plausible) or because they don't always go on sale straight away.

Thanks for any guidance.

Paul
You're on the right track using a GUF2 and a 241 which opens up business for wt+ avios (but with 2 sets of cw rfs taxes)

I'd be surprised if there's no I class availability to the whole Caribbean next Jan/Feb at this point, but 1st Jan would be a busy day. Certain destinations /dates may also mesh with cruise ship departures.

You may have to be selective in destination or departure date or alternatively go online / phone up at t-355 or thereabouts. You can phone for the return and the agent can apply the guf to the return.
PaulN likes this.
firstlight is offline  
Old Feb 28, 2024, 10:11 am
  #1040  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: London
Programs: BAEC Gold
Posts: 692
Originally Posted by flarmip
You're correct - I class revenue availability is all that's needed to use a GUF2. If used to make a brand new redemption (Avios) booking you don't need any 'normal' Avios availability in either the 'original' class or the one you're upgrading into.

The online system doesn't include this enhanced availability so you will need to phone the Gold line to get them to process the booking for you. Usually takes a bit longer, especially if you are combining a GUF2 with an Amex 241 (which is similarly something that can't be done online).

I class availability is often limited on leisure routes such as the Caribbean ones where people tend to book far in advance. Whilst there is often a delay of a few days in I class availability appearing after new flights have been loaded into the system, if you're looking at flights for Jan or early Feb next year and there's no I class availability, I would assume it won't be forthcoming.

Of course things can always change so it's worthwhile setting up alerts in ExpertFlyer just in case that happens.

It rarely seems to be worthwhile booking a cash PE fare and upgrading it to Business, since the additional carrier surcharge that's payable is often many hundreds of pounds. I'd consider a redemption better value in most cases, unless you are desperate for the PE Tier Points.
Thanks for the detailed reply. I did wonder if it would be a problem to do it online. So I was nearly there in terms of use. I'll focus on Avios + the GUF2.

Thanks also to firstlight for a response too mentioning that book the outbound and then adding the inbound is the same as for 241s.
PaulN is offline  
Old Mar 11, 2024, 5:42 am
  #1041  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: London, United Kingdom
Programs: BA Lifetime Gold;BA GGL; hhonors lifetime diamond; Marriott lt Gold; IH Plat Amb; Amex Centurion
Posts: 4,752
Hello. Please excuse a rather newbie question. I have tried to go through the thread but may have missed something.

Let us say I want to go a long way away. Let's say SYD, where there is A class availability out and back. I have a GUF2. I also have a 2-4-2 voucher. Subject to dates being ok is that enough to book the return for two, for the price of one club world avios redemption? Or do I have to use a joker to release the A class space? I think the former.

Thanks for helping and I am sorry if this is a question to which I ought to know the answer!
hsmall is offline  
Old Mar 11, 2024, 6:06 am
  #1042  
Ambassador, British Airways; FlyerTalk Posting Legend
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Leeds, UK
Programs: BA GGL/CCR, GfL, HH Diamond
Posts: 43,746
Yes that's right. A GUF can use reward space, or I in club and A in first. A joker releases space but for first only works if you have A anyway. So when using a GUF, a joker doesn't actually get you any further than the GUF would do anyway.
KARFA is online now  
Old Mar 11, 2024, 6:09 am
  #1043  
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Nottingham
Programs: BA GGL
Posts: 1,426
Originally Posted by hsmall
Hello. Please excuse a rather newbie question. I have tried to go through the thread but may have missed something.

Let us say I want to go a long way away. Let's say SYD, where there is A class availability out and back. I have a GUF2. I also have a 2-4-2 voucher. Subject to dates being ok is that enough to book the return for two, for the price of one club world avios redemption? Or do I have to use a joker to release the A class space? I think the former.

Thanks for helping and I am sorry if this is a question to which I ought to know the answer!
Correct, no joker required, although if you have a 2-4-2 voucher it wouldnít be as good a deal as youíre expecting 😉
Markie and hsmall like this.
c1223 is offline  
Old Mar 11, 2024, 6:14 am
  #1044  
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: FL390 or the iron way
Programs: BA GGL, SAS EBG
Posts: 2,124
Originally Posted by hsmall
Hello. Please excuse a rather newbie question. I have tried to go through the thread but may have missed something.

Let us say I want to go a long way away. Let's say SYD, where there is A class availability out and back. I have a GUF2. I also have a 2-4-2 voucher. Subject to dates being ok is that enough to book the return for two, for the price of one club world avios redemption? Or do I have to use a joker to release the A class space? I think the former.

Thanks for helping and I am sorry if this is a question to which I ought to know the answer!
Jokers can use D class for Club World/Europe. This is often available on a wider variety of flights than the I class needed for a GUF.

But in F or W, the revenue classes required are the same for both Jokers and GUFs - A and T, respectively.
hsmall likes this.
flarmip is online now  
Old Mar 11, 2024, 6:15 am
  #1045  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: London, United Kingdom
Programs: BA Lifetime Gold;BA GGL; hhonors lifetime diamond; Marriott lt Gold; IH Plat Amb; Amex Centurion
Posts: 4,752
Originally Posted by c1223
Correct, no joker required, although if you have a 2-4-2 voucher it wouldnít be as good a deal as youíre expecting 😉
Thanks a lot! My proofreading requires improvement

I have a suspicion that in the past I have used a 2-4-1 plus a joker to get into first class to SYD. That is a bad use of a joker, I suppose, if I have GUFs....
hsmall is offline  
Old Mar 11, 2024, 6:42 am
  #1046  
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: FL390 or the iron way
Programs: BA GGL, SAS EBG
Posts: 2,124
Originally Posted by hsmall
Thanks a lot! My proofreading requires improvement

I have a suspicion that in the past I have used a 2-4-1 plus a joker to get into first class to SYD. That is a bad use of a joker, I suppose, if I have GUFs....
Yes and no. A GUF doesn't actually save you any Avios when you use it in F. To the contrary, since the Dec 2022 rollout of RFS across the long-haul network, it now costs you more Avios - see this HFP article for details.

So if you have the choice of a Joker or a GUF and you want to travel in F, you are better off using the Joker and saving the GUF for another trip where you'll be in J or W.

I have an F trip to SYD booked using a GUF + 241 (before I became GGL). In theory it would now be advantageous for me to cancel and rebook using a Joker, but there was a monumental 'bank error in my favour' when the calculations were done, so I'm in no hurry to change anything!
flarmip is online now  
Old Mar 11, 2024, 8:27 am
  #1047  
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Nottingham
Programs: BA GGL
Posts: 1,426
As an aside - has anyone had any luck with getting a seat in the F bucket unlocked? Say there's F3A1 and you want to redeem a 2-4-1 and use a Joker.
c1223 is offline  
Old Mar 11, 2024, 10:51 am
  #1048  
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Nottingham
Programs: BA GGL
Posts: 1,426
Originally Posted by flarmip
Yes and no. A GUF doesn't actually save you any Avios when you use it in F. To the contrary, since the Dec 2022 rollout of RFS across the long-haul network, it now costs you more Avios - see this HFP article for details.

So if you have the choice of a Joker or a GUF and you want to travel in F, you are better off using the Joker and saving the GUF for another trip where you'll be in J or W.

I have an F trip to SYD booked using a GUF + 241 (before I became GGL). In theory it would now be advantageous for me to cancel and rebook using a Joker, but there was a monumental 'bank error in my favour' when the calculations were done, so I'm in no hurry to change anything!
I believe that is actually incorrect. I think that there is a still an interim agreement for GGL to receive old Club World pricing on GUF trips. So F trip to SYD as a GGL would be 300k Avios return (assuming peak) vs 370k if you use a Joker.
c1223 is offline  
Old Mar 11, 2024, 11:52 am
  #1049  
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: FL390 or the iron way
Programs: BA GGL, SAS EBG
Posts: 2,124
Originally Posted by c1223
I believe that is actually incorrect. I think that there is a still an interim agreement for GGL to receive old Club World pricing on GUF trips. So F trip to SYD as a GGL would be 300k Avios return (assuming peak) vs 370k if you use a Joker.
Do you have any more details about this? I haven't read anything about this being the case. Would seem very strange (and unfair on 2.5-5k Golds) if this only applies to GGLs!

Last edited by flarmip; Mar 11, 2024 at 12:35 pm
flarmip is online now  
Old Mar 11, 2024, 12:33 pm
  #1050  
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Nottingham
Programs: BA GGL
Posts: 1,426
Originally Posted by flarmip
Do you have any more details about this? I haven't read anything about this being the case. Would seem very strange (and unfair on sub-5k Golds) if this only applies to GGLs!
Just from personal experience. Although not 100% sure whether sure it is just an agent following incorrect procedure, however they essentially suggested it isnít permanent.
c1223 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

This site is owned, operated, and maintained by MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Designated trademarks are the property of their respective owners.