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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 Mar 11, 2024, 4:39 pm
  #1051  
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: London
Programs: BA GGL
Posts: 184
Originally Posted by c1223
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.
I have done the same on a couple of bookings with different agents, they refer to the old Club World pricing not the (higher) RFS headline number.
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Old Mar 12, 2024, 5:01 am
  #1052  
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: HKG
Programs: Marriott Ambassador (Titanium Lifetime), BA Gold, Ex-Hertz 5* PC, Ex-HH Diamond, Ex-BD*G
Posts: 3,119
Seems likely the answer is yes, but wondered about the practical experience of using a GUV with a RTW ticket? Was thinking of a paid DONE and combination of GUVs, I'd have 2 of them and this is presuming that I'd book the RTW thru BA. What's the maximum number of legs I could upgrade?
I guess if I really wanted to maximise I'd do a HKG-LHR-SFO or so, could I even throw a BA codeshare to get an extra SFO-JFK on AA. Or that extra LHR-JNB return too..
Main challenges for me would be there will be 3 travellers, so need 3xA seats available (not worried about losing the extra single GUF but of course I'd try and split) ​​​​​
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Old Mar 12, 2024, 5:54 am
  #1053  
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: London / Brighton
Programs: BAEC Gold / M-Life Gold / HH Diamond
Posts: 1,713
What am I doing wrong?

I'm trying to book a return to Bangkok from LGW in WT+ and use a GUF2 to upgrade to CW. In the BA booking system I'm seeing zero availability in Jan/Feb 2025 despite there definitely being dates showing in ExpertFlyer with I9 (9 tickets being sold in discounted business fare bucket). What am I missing?
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Old Mar 12, 2024, 5:57 am
  #1054  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Programs: BA GGL/CCR, Hilton Diamond *, IHG, Couples Romance Rewards
Posts: 2,449
Originally Posted by Lucanesque
I'm trying to book a return to Bangkok from LGW in WT+ and use a GUF2 to upgrade to CW. In the BA booking system I'm seeing zero availability in Jan/Feb 2025 despite there definitely being dates showing in ExpertFlyer with I9 (9 tickets being sold in discounted business fare bucket). What am I missing?
You need to call to book if there is no reward availability but there is I class availability.
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firstlight is offline  
Old Mar 12, 2024, 6:02 am
  #1055  
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: FL390 or the iron way
Programs: BA GGL, SAS EBG
Posts: 2,145
Originally Posted by Lucanesque
I'm trying to book a return to Bangkok from LGW in WT+ and use a GUF2 to upgrade to CW. In the BA booking system I'm seeing zero availability in Jan/Feb 2025 despite there definitely being dates showing in ExpertFlyer with I9 (9 tickets being sold in discounted business fare bucket). What am I missing?
The revenue-based ability to upgrade (using I class) isn't reflected online. It can only be processed over the phone, and the agent might need to speak to Revenue Management to do it.
Lucanesque likes this.
flarmip is offline  
Old Mar 12, 2024, 6:02 am
  #1056  
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: London / Brighton
Programs: BAEC Gold / M-Life Gold / HH Diamond
Posts: 1,713
Originally Posted by firstlight
You need to call to book if there is no reward availability but there is I class availability.
That fills me with dread... am I likely to get a hit or miss response depending who I get, or if I say "I'm trying to use a Gold Upgrade voucher on this date where there is discounted revenue tickets available" will they understand? This feels like another way BA get another £15 out of me and I end up feeling frustrated
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Old Mar 12, 2024, 6:06 am
  #1057  
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: FL390 or the iron way
Programs: BA GGL, SAS EBG
Posts: 2,145
Originally Posted by Lucanesque
That fills me with dread... am I likely to get a hit or miss response depending who I get, or if I say "I'm trying to use a Gold Upgrade voucher on this date where there is discounted revenue tickets available" will they understand? This feels like another way BA get another £15 out of me and I end up feeling frustrated
I've often had the agent first say no because they're looking at the normal redemption availability, but I haven't had any issues in getting it done once I ask them to check the revenue availability. Nor have I ever been charged the £15 (even before being GGL) because it's something the online site can't handle.
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Old Mar 12, 2024, 6:15 am
  #1058  
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: London / Brighton
Programs: BAEC Gold / M-Life Gold / HH Diamond
Posts: 1,713
Thanks for the reassurance!
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Old Mar 12, 2024, 6:44 am
  #1059  
 
Join Date: Jan 2022
Programs: BAEC
Posts: 1,615
Originally Posted by littlevoices
Seems likely the answer is yes, but wondered about the practical experience of using a GUV with a RTW ticket? Was thinking of a paid DONE and combination of GUVs, I'd have 2 of them and this is presuming that I'd book the RTW thru BA. What's the maximum number of legs I could upgrade?
I guess if I really wanted to maximise I'd do a HKG-LHR-SFO or so, could I even throw a BA codeshare to get an extra SFO-JFK on AA. Or that extra LHR-JNB return too..
Main challenges for me would be there will be 3 travellers, so need 3xA seats available (not worried about losing the extra single GUF but of course I'd try and split) ​​​​​
Iíve never done it but donít see why not as long as ticket is booked with BA. On a normal ticket, the maximum number of legs you can upgrade would be 6, or 3 each way. So something like SIN-LHR-JFK-LAX and back. I think for a round the world, it will end up being 4. So you could upgrade the 3 mentioned above and then SYD-SIN operated by BA. You can only upgrade TATL and domestic on AA so no LAX-SYD, for example. Bear in mind also that you need special double secret upgrade A class on AA, which is different from normal revenue A class.

Last edited by RichieMc; Mar 12, 2024 at 8:40 am
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Old Mar 12, 2024, 6:36 pm
  #1060  
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: MEL
Programs: QF LTG, VA Gold, BA Gold, HH, SFSC
Posts: 510
Originally Posted by littlevoices
Seems likely the answer is yes, but wondered about the practical experience of using a GUV with a RTW ticket? Was thinking of a paid DONE and combination of GUVs, I'd have 2 of them and this is presuming that I'd book the RTW thru BA. What's the maximum number of legs I could upgrade?
I guess if I really wanted to maximise I'd do a HKG-LHR-SFO or so, could I even throw a BA codeshare to get an extra SFO-JFK on AA. Or that extra LHR-JNB return too..
Main challenges for me would be there will be 3 travellers, so need 3xA seats available (not worried about losing the extra single GUF but of course I'd try and split) ​​​​​
I looked at this recently. By forcing the RTW to be booked with BA pushed my business fare from about AUD10k to AUD12k. Plus the GUF only working with BA and AA made it uneconomical for me. So compare the BA fare with BFOD. But of course YMMV.
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Old Mar 13, 2024, 8:55 am
  #1061  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: London, UK and Occitanie, France
Programs: BAEC Gold
Posts: 522
So I just went to book some flights to YYZ this October using my GUF2.

Premium Economy for 2 = £2012
Business (Sale) = £3598
Premium Economy with GUF2 to business = £4343

Why the @*&! do I even...
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Old Mar 13, 2024, 9:06 am
  #1062  
Ambassador, British Airways; FlyerTalk Posting Legend
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Leeds, UK
Programs: BA GGL/CCR, GfL, HH Diamond
Posts: 43,758
The online tool doesnít alway price correct. It should be the PE fare + any extra taxes/fees/charges going to CW. It may be better to book the PE fare online and then call to do the upgrade.
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Old Mar 13, 2024, 10:09 am
  #1063  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 4,726
Originally Posted by KARFA
The online tool doesnít alway price correct. It should be the PE fare + any extra taxes/fees/charges going to CW. It may be better to book the PE fare online and then call to do the upgrade.
When I last tried on that route it was still a bomb going from WTP to CW. Fortunately held out and snagged a MAD-YYZ, JFK-LHR later for £800 in CW.
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Old Mar 13, 2024, 10:12 am
  #1064  
Ambassador, British Airways; FlyerTalk Posting Legend
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Leeds, UK
Programs: BA GGL/CCR, GfL, HH Diamond
Posts: 43,758
Originally Posted by flashware
When I last tried on that route it was still a bomb going from WTP to CW. Fortunately held out and snagged a MAD-YYZ, JFK-LHR later for £800 in CW.
Oh I am not saying it is cheap. Itís now about £300-400. But it isnít over £2k.
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Old Mar 13, 2024, 2:54 pm
  #1065  
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: London / Brighton
Programs: BAEC Gold / M-Life Gold / HH Diamond
Posts: 1,713
Originally Posted by KARFA
It may be better to book the PE fare online and then call to do the upgrade.
On this point, Iím trying to get an itinerary booked to Samui and then back to Bangkok for a few days before flying home. The only way Iíve found to get the flights I want is to book a hotel too (USM-BKK has 19 flights a day, the multi-sector search only shows the first five but the flight+holiday search is the old UX allowing me to select a later flight).

If I book the itinerary I want, with hotel, will I be able to apply a GUF to it (obviously assuming I bucket fare availability)? Want to double check with the experts here given the hotel is non-refundable.

Edit: the itinerary includes Bangkok Air flights between BKK and USM, obviously these canít be upgraded but I didnít know if having them in the itinerary would mean a GUF canít be used?

Last edited by Lucanesque; Mar 13, 2024 at 4:50 pm
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