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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 Apr 4, 2024, 12:14 am
  #1096  
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Nottingham
Programs: BA GGL
Posts: 1,426
When using the voucher alongside an Amex 2-4-1 you can book Avios seats striaght into A class availability even if there isn't Avios availability showing.

If I wanted to book an I-class fare that isn't showing any availability but GUF into A class (which does show availability) would that be possible? It's a multi-city/open jaw booking so presumably my best bet is to email GGL with my itinerary and hopefully get them to price it up. I already know the price because you can show flights without available seats on ITA Matrix.
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Old Apr 4, 2024, 1:01 am
  #1097  
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: 43,746
Originally Posted by c1223
When using the voucher alongside an Amex 2-4-1 you can book Avios seats striaght into A class availability even if there isn't Avios availability showing.

If I wanted to book an I-class fare that isn't showing any availability but GUF into A class (which does show availability) would that be possible? It's a multi-city/open jaw booking so presumably my best bet is to email GGL with my itinerary and hopefully get them to price it up. I already know the price because you can show flights without available seats on ITA Matrix.
for revenue fares when booking thro ba you need availability in the underlying revenue fare selling classes.
KARFA is offline  
Old Apr 5, 2024, 2:33 am
  #1098  
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: HKG
Programs: Marriott Ambassador (Titanium Lifetime), BA Gold, Ex-Hertz 5* PC, Ex-HH Diamond, Ex-BD*G
Posts: 3,115
Another potential discovery from my side, again would be interested if anyone else has been told this... I was hoping to book a RTW ticket with BA and upgrade those BA legs with my GUVs. I was told by an agent, after a supervisor discussion, that they no longer allow GUVs on RTW tickets? It isn't written down anywhere in the T&Cs yet.
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Old Apr 7, 2024, 1:47 am
  #1099  
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Milton Keynes, UK
Programs: BA Gold (OW Emerald), TK Elite (*A Gold)
Posts: 584
I think I've finally managed to use my voucher!

I had a BAH booking BHD-LHR-MIA-LIM all in Business, and spotted A availability of 1 and 5 on the LHR-MIA legs. Phoned up and agent told me nope, couldn't be upgraded because it needed Z class. I hung up and next agent told me nope, couldn't upgrade as I was already in Business and none of the flights had First. In the end he agreed it did exist for the MIA legs and put me on hold, eventually saying all was done, with nothing extra to pay.

I now see A availability on Expertflyer has dropped, and I've moved seat to 1A in MMB. I can't change seats though, and while the web says First, the app says Club World. But the voucher has gone from my account. He did say it needed to go for ticketing so hopefully that'll resolve it in a few days.

Already getting very excited for my first First experience on any airline and just wish I'd booked the longer connection at Heathrow now!
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Old Apr 12, 2024, 3:10 am
  #1100  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: London, UK
Posts: 5,161
Originally Posted by stevebintley
I think I've finally managed to use my voucher!

I had a BAH booking BHD-LHR-MIA-LIM all in Business, and spotted A availability of 1 and 5 on the LHR-MIA legs. Phoned up and agent told me nope, couldn't be upgraded because it needed Z class. I hung up and next agent told me nope, couldn't upgrade as I was already in Business and none of the flights had First. In the end he agreed it did exist for the MIA legs and put me on hold, eventually saying all was done, with nothing extra to pay.

I now see A availability on Expertflyer has dropped, and I've moved seat to 1A in MMB. I can't change seats though, and while the web says First, the app says Club World. But the voucher has gone from my account. He did say it needed to go for ticketing so hopefully that'll resolve it in a few days.

Already getting very excited for my first First experience on any airline and just wish I'd booked the longer connection at Heathrow now!
I am on hold to Gold line now going through exactly the same discussion with the agent (who has put me on hold). How on earth are BA staff so badly trained that they seem completely clueless about what is supposed to be a reward for some of their more loyal customers? Along with all the cost issues etc that came with GUF2 following the move to RFS it really does seem like BA shoot themselves in the foot badly with this loyalty lure!
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Last edited by aristoph; Apr 12, 2024 at 3:15 am
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Old Apr 12, 2024, 3:32 am
  #1101  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: London, UK
Posts: 5,161
Ok, after I persuaded her that she could book me into A class I then spent 20 mins on hold while she tried to work out the additional taxes, at the end of which she said the system couldn't do this and she would need to send it all off to back office to be calculated.

Truly bad. I can see why many people give up at 1500 points now.
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Old Apr 12, 2024, 3:47 am
  #1102  
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: FL390 or the iron way
Programs: BA GGL, SAS EBG
Posts: 2,124
Originally Posted by aristoph
Ok, after I persuaded her that she could book me into A class I then spent 20 mins on hold while she tried to work out the additional taxes, at the end of which she said the system couldn't do this and she would need to send it all off to back office to be calculated.

Truly bad. I can see why many people give up at 1500 points now.
Needing to get the taxes calculated in the back office is sadly normally necessary for GUF'd F redemptions, in my experience.
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Old Apr 12, 2024, 8:48 am
  #1103  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: London, UK
Posts: 5,161
Originally Posted by flarmip
Needing to get the taxes calculated in the back office is sadly normally necessary for GUF'd F redemptions, in my experience.
So they came back to me within 5 hours with the taxes.

They seem to have calculated it as £10pp more than I did - I did a dummy online peak/peak F redemption for the same destination to get my estimate. Whatever, I can't be bothered arguing for that when the whole process has already been so cumbersome.

I did push back however when the agent tried to charge me a £35pp change fee! It wasn't clear whether she thought this was inherent in using the GUF2 (which would be ridiculous), or because I didn't upgrade online (which I pointed out I couldn't do; in fact not even the BA agents could do it automatically!)

The whole process really is painful. I can't imagine how anyone who didn't have access to the knowledge on here would begin to navigate it. I suspect most would have given up at step 1, when the first agent told me I needed redemption availability in the F cabin.

3/10 BA.
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Old Apr 12, 2024, 8:54 am
  #1104  
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: 43,746
You absolutely should not be charged a change fee when applying a GUF.
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Old Apr 17, 2024, 10:44 am
  #1105  
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 4,392
AA: Transcon F gone in 2025

Read an article today further confirming that AA are receiving their new A321LR planes end of 2024 with just Biz cabin. This is quite a bummer as for us that like to do the "extra" stop before continuing to the West coast,, upgrade from J to F will be non-existence and I see this as a reduced value of those vouchers since AA participated in the program.

Will be curious if GGL's or those coming off F cabin will be allowed into Chelsea.

Cheers!

Last edited by nldogbert; Apr 17, 2024 at 10:55 am
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Old Apr 17, 2024, 11:28 am
  #1106  
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Nottingham
Programs: BA GGL
Posts: 1,426
Originally Posted by nldogbert
Read an article today further confirming that AA are receiving their new A321LR planes end of 2024 with just Biz cabin. This is quite a bummer as for us that like to do the "extra" stop before continuing to the West coast,, upgrade from J to F will be non-existence and I see this as a reduced value of those vouchers since AA participated in the program.

Will be curious if GGL's or those coming off F cabin will be allowed into Chelsea.

Cheers!
Looking at pictures of the new J cabin on the A321s and the fact it is a 1-1 config it would be hard to justify having an F cabin as well. The only difference would be lounge access on the ground and a bowl of soup...
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Old Apr 17, 2024, 11:39 am
  #1107  
 
Join Date: Jan 2022
Programs: BAEC
Posts: 1,606
Originally Posted by nldogbert
Read an article today further confirming that AA are receiving their new A321LR planes end of 2024 with just Biz cabin. This is quite a bummer as for us that like to do the "extra" stop before continuing to the West coast,, upgrade from J to F will be non-existence and I see this as a reduced value of those vouchers since AA participated in the program.

Will be curious if GGL's or those coming off F cabin will be allowed into Chelsea.

Cheers!
Not sure I feel itís a bummer. The new suites are probably nicer than the aging F seats. Recently been hard to use GUFs anyway. And I can do without the bowl of soup. One issue people might have is that there only 20 premium seats now vs 30. And this wonít happen overnight. I assume during the transition period both old and new will be flying simultaneously and speculate that the F seats will just be sold as business.

GGL has access to Chelsea now in any cabin on transcon so that wonít change.
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Old Apr 17, 2024, 11:57 am
  #1108  
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: UK
Programs: BA Exec Club, Flying Blue
Posts: 671
Originally Posted by c1223
Looking at pictures of the new J cabin on the A321s and the fact it is a 1-1 config it would be hard to justify having an F cabin as well. The only difference would be lounge access on the ground and a bowl of soup...
If I recall correctly , AA are branding this as Flagship, so you do get lounge access for J on these flights.
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Old Apr 17, 2024, 12:22 pm
  #1109  
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: UK
Programs: BA GGL, BA Amex Prem, Amex Plat, Hilton Diamond, Mucci
Posts: 4,653
Originally Posted by RichieMc
One issue people might have is that there only 20 premium seats now vs 30.
More fighting to the death for AA Elites on the upgrade waitlist!
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Old Apr 18, 2024, 2:40 am
  #1110  
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: UK
Programs: BA Gold
Posts: 725
For the first time I find myself close to a GUF2 - we have an AMEX 241 booking across two single booking (open jaw). If A class F seats are available could we apply this across the outbound and return even though separate PNRs linked by the 241?

(Note the posts above however stating applying this in practice is much harder than in theory!)
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