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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 18, 2024, 5:26 pm
  #1111  
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: UK
Programs: BA, U2+, SK, AF/KL, IHG, Hilton, others gathering dust...and Mucci.
Posts: 2,567
Tying myself in knots a little to remember how this works, hoping someone can help me untie.

When using a GUF to upgrade an Avios redemption (upgraded at time of booking) from CW to F, will the cash component on the GUF’d seats (taxes, YQ etc) be that for CW or F?

If it’s F taxes, I’m wondering if it’s even worth using the GUF in this case, since Avios cost for CW and F are roughly the same (F even fewer off-peak), and CW “taxes” are under RFS, whereas F taxes are a lot higher, so would the GUF effectively have zero value in this scenario?

It would be a GGL joker redemption for 4 seats in F, with 1 or 2 Amex 2-4-1 vouchers applied, and possibly one GUF2 applied to 2 or the seats, if it saves me anything at all. Of course assumes there are 4 seats in A class to apply the joker. Wasn’t sure whether to post here or in GGL thread, but it’s primarily a GUF issue and not sure the joker part is relevant.

Thanks for any help.
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Old Apr 18, 2024, 6:18 pm
  #1112  
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: FL390 or the iron way
Programs: BA GGL, SAS EBG
Posts: 2,137
Originally Posted by Oaxaca
Tying myself in knots a little to remember how this works, hoping someone can help me untie.

When using a GUF to upgrade an Avios redemption (upgraded at time of booking) from CW to F, will the cash component on the GUFíd seats (taxes, YQ etc) be that for CW or F?

If itís F taxes, Iím wondering if itís even worth using the GUF in this case, since Avios cost for CW and F are roughly the same (F even fewer off-peak), and CW ďtaxesĒ are under RFS, whereas F taxes are a lot higher, so would the GUF effectively have zero value in this scenario?

It would be a GGL joker redemption for 4 seats in F, with 1 or 2 Amex 2-4-1 vouchers applied, and possibly one GUF2 applied to 2 or the seats, if it saves me anything at all. Of course assumes there are 4 seats in A class to apply the joker. Wasnít sure whether to post here or in GGL thread, but itís primarily a GUF issue and not sure the joker part is relevant.

Thanks for any help.
The fact that RFS still hasn't been rolled out to F redemptions does indeed make the GUF a lot less valuable for F redemptions. In fact using it costs you moee Avios, as you have to pay the J, RFS rate of Avios - which is higher than the F rate! HfP reported on this at the time.

From conversations with the GGL team I have since found out that there is a GGL-specific policy of allowing you to pay the lower F-rate Avios plus cash taxes, rather than the higher J, RFS-rate Avios. But 2.5k+ Golds are truly screwed as they can't take advantage of this "easement".

If you have a Joker available there is no point in using a GUF in this scenario, since they both give you the same outcome - unlocking redemption availability if there are A class seats for sale. One Joker is also valid for up to 5 people whereas you'd otherwise need 2 GUF2s plus a GUF1 (or equivalent mixture). Of course if you have enough GUFs, but no Joker, then it's better to make use of them rather than letting them expire unused.

Overall, the lack of RFS for F means that F redemptions are significantly more expensive than J redemptions, even with a GUF.
DocS, KARFA, Oaxaca and 1 others like this.
flarmip is offline  
Old Apr 21, 2024, 11:57 am
  #1113  
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Programs: BA Gold
Posts: 702
Quick question for the experts. If I book a BA flight on an AA ticket, can I use a GUF to upgrade from Club to First? Do I have to call AA to apply it or can I call the GGL line?

The route is DUB-LHR-MIA-LHR-DUB on a paid Club fare and Iím looking to upgrade to First on the LHR-MIA-LHR leg. I looks like I have to book with AA because I canít seem to get the DUB-LHR-DUB legs on BA when they are available on AA.

Last edited by Newly Wed; Apr 21, 2024 at 12:02 pm
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Old Apr 21, 2024, 12:00 pm
  #1114  
 
Join Date: Feb 2023
Programs: BA GGL, Hilton Diamond, IHG Diamond Ambassador, Marriott Gold
Posts: 172
Originally Posted by Newly Wed
Quick question for the experts. If I book a BA flight on an AA ticket, can I use a GUF to upgrade from Club to First? Do I have to call AA to apply it or can I call the GGL line?
You canít use it in these circumstances. The ticket needs to be on 125 (BA) ticket stock to use a GUF.
Always Somewhere Else is offline  
Old Apr 21, 2024, 12:00 pm
  #1115  
Ambassador, British Airways; FlyerTalk Posting Legend
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Leeds, UK
Programs: BA GGL/CCR, GfL, HH Diamond
Posts: 43,750
you can only use GUFs on BA tickets I am afraid.
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Old Apr 22, 2024, 5:26 am
  #1116  
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Programs: BA Gold
Posts: 702
Thanks.
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Old Apr 28, 2024, 2:38 pm
  #1117  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Programs: BAEC Gold, Qatar, Iberia
Posts: 20
Originally Posted by KARFA
you can only use GUFs on BA tickets I am afraid.
Apologies if this has been answered elsewhere. Had a look and couldnít easily find the answer.

Iíll earn my first GUF2 in the next few weeks and so am new to the rules.

On a BA 125- ticket, is it possibly to use a GUF2 where part of the journey is codeshare on non-BA metal?

In my case, Iím looking to fly my parents-in-law from PER-DOH-LHR and back on a 125- ticket and wanted to know if it would be valid on the PER-DOH QR flights (BA codeshare).

Otherwise Iíll transfer Avios BA-> QR for full redemption if GUF2 not possible here.

Last edited by mambotaxi; Apr 28, 2024 at 3:23 pm
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Old Apr 28, 2024, 2:49 pm
  #1118  
 
Join Date: Jan 2022
Programs: BAEC
Posts: 1,611
Originally Posted by mambotaxi
Apologies if this has been answered elsewhere. Had a look and couldnít easily find the answer.

Iíll earn my first GUF2 in the next few weeks and so am new to the rules.

On a BA 125- ticket, is it possibly to use a GUF2 where part of the journey is codeshare on non-BA metal?

In my case, Iím looking to fly my parents-in-law from PER-DOH-LHR and back on a 125- ticket and wanted to know if it would be valid on the PER-DOG QR flights (BA codeshare).

Otherwise Iíll transfer Avios BA-> QR for full redemption if GUF2 not possible here.
You can use them on such a journey, but it would only upgrade the legs operated by BA.
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RichieMc is offline  
Old May 1, 2024, 7:43 am
  #1119  
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Programs: BAEC
Posts: 33
GUF2 voucher use

If I book a BAH through my exec account with my wife travelling on the booking too, can we both use my wife's GUF2 voucher for both of us ?
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Old May 1, 2024, 7:58 am
  #1120  
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: BRU
Programs: BA GGL, TK E (*G), ITA exec
Posts: 4,328
Yes, but your wife should pay any tax difference, if I recall correctly the rules.
there are a lot of info about the GUF uses.
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Last edited by aks120; May 1, 2024 at 3:34 pm Reason: Removed link after merge
Lefly is offline  
Old May 10, 2024, 12:18 pm
  #1121  
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: UK
Programs: BA GGL
Posts: 1,004
I am in the process of planning (a second) RTW trip which will include two or more BA flights with First. I will be booking a DONE4, can I use a GUF1 to upgrade to BA F (on flights where available)? If possible, I assume that I would have to buy the ticket from BA and start the journey in the UK?
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Old May 13, 2024, 9:55 am
  #1122  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Programs: BA GGL; AA LT Gold; AS 100K; DL MM GM; Hyatt G*list, Hilton Diamond; SQ silver
Posts: 3,811
I have a ticket with a AA transcon LAX-JFK marketed by AA followed by BA JFK-LHR operated and marketed by BA.
I've applied a GUF to the JFK-LHR from business to first and was waiting for the AA flight to open up award space. Today, they did. I called to try to upgrade the AA flight and the agent told me that she does see the A availability for upgrade when she looks at that flight individually but she doesn't with the other flight. She says the segment are married and to apply the upgrade she'd have to cancel the JFK-LHR and then look for LAX-JFK-LHR as a single upgrade.
Has anybody gotten this before? Is there a way around it? Did the agent not know the correct way of doing it?
Any help/info would be appreciated even if it is to say that indeed it will not work.
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Old May 17, 2024, 12:24 am
  #1123  
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: London
Programs: BA GGL, HH Diamond, IHG Spire, Marriott Titanium
Posts: 170
Hi All, I have a really complex booking that I'm hoping to use two GUFs and (if necessary space release), but I'm really struggling to find the solution. I'm not sure if this should be a separate thread, but any help would be hugely appreciated as I've spent hours looking at flights and info here on FlyerTalk, but BA is saying my flights I see don't qualify and I've got stuck at this point... I'm pretty sure it's my error, so would love some guidance if possible.
Two pax, and I'm trying to GUF on all these from Bus - First (we have two GUF2s to use between us). We are happy to be on AA (with BA flight number I understand) to USA, and have to start in Dublin, but happy to have any Ex-EU in between at end ie don't need to come back to Dublin in the middle and end.
So far I've found:
Aug 7 DUB - LHR Economy Aer Lingus at 06.30am 7th August (would prefer BA Bus!). Then LHR - MIA with BA in FIRST CLASS 10.30am
Sept 9 EWR - LHR with BA in FIRST CLASS 17.40pm, LHR - DUB with BA in BUSINESS at 8.20am
£2398.33 per person. This route is BA, but I'm seeing AA flights pricing around £1600, but I can't see how to tell if any will quality for GUF - can anyone help? We can travel out on Aug 8/back Sept 10 too if easier.

Then the second trip (and harder due to First availability I think), we have is the next day.
Sept 11 DUB-LHR-HND 11 SEPTEMBER BUSINESS (only 1 seat in A class so not available for us to GUF)
Sept 28 HND-LHR-DUB FIRST in HND - LHR, and BUSINESS to DUB on Sept 29
Cost is £3696.13 per person. I was seeing this in Business around £3,061, so it really jumped when they added the GUF. Not sure if there is any way to get the GUF on the way out (we can fly Sept 12 too), or reduce price.
We could always fly from EWR to Budapest (or other), and then do Tokyo from there, although I assume it's still on the same BA flights.

I appreciate this is a big jigsaw, but I've got stuck at this point and any help or suggestions would be massively appreciated... Thank you...
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Old May 21, 2024, 11:27 am
  #1124  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: KSA
Programs: BA GfL, UA Gold, EK Silver, Hilton LT Diamond, Marriott LT Titanium, IHG Plat
Posts: 1,265
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.

Matrix.
I just wanted to check the above as its been sometime since I did this (and the rules have changed) and assuming the above is a statement rather than a question,.

If I use my own words to detail the above - I have a Amex Premium 241 voucher and if I want to fly say LHR-JFK in Club (2 people) then normally there would need to be 2 avios seats available (Either regular (U Class) or Premium voucher I class).

But as per the above - if I combine a GUF2 with the 2-4-1 then all I need to do is look for 2 A class availability on the out and back for this trip and it doesn't matter that there might be no Avios availability in Club.

Therefore I will be charged Avios for a single J redemption return for 2 people in F Return ?

Supplemental question. If the voucher runs out on Jan 20th 2025 then I can book a flight on Jan 19th 2025 and it can depart up to one year after that (ie I don't have to begin the journey before the GUF2 voucher expires as with the 241 you have to start the journey before the 241 voucher expires)

Last edited by moral_low_ground; May 21, 2024 at 11:37 am
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Old May 21, 2024, 11:47 am
  #1125  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Programs: BA GGL/CCR, Hilton Diamond *, IHG, Couples Romance Rewards
Posts: 2,449
Originally Posted by moral_low_ground
I just wanted to check the above as its been sometime since I did this (and the rules have changed) and assuming the above is a statement rather than a question,.

If I use my own words to detail the above - I have a Amex Premium 241 voucher and if I want to fly say LHR-JFK in Club (2 people) then normally there would need to be 2 avios seats available (Either regular (U Class) or Premium voucher I class).

But as per the above - if I combine a GUF2 with the 2-4-1 then all I need to do is look for 2 A class availability on the out and back for this trip and it doesn't matter that there might be no Avios availability in Club.

Therefore I will be charged Avios for a single J redemption return for 2 people in F Return ?

Supplemental question. If the voucher runs out on Jan 20th 2025 then I can book a flight on Jan 19th 2025 and it can depart up to one year after that (ie I don't have to begin the journey before the GUF2 voucher expires as with the 241 you have to start the journey before the 241 voucher expires)
Yes, A class availability would be right for F tickets using a GUF and Amex voucher.

Yes, I believe single J avios value at standard rate (not RFS rate) but you will be paying the F fees and taxes. Sometimes the agents might want to charge you the higher RFS avios rate and the F taxes and fees so you need to go into the call being clear about what you think you will be paying in Avios and fees (you can try dummy cash bookings to see what the taxes / fees will look like and the reward table for avios costs)

Yes to the GUF expiry question as well - although I thought again that it was only necessary to have the tickets booked before the 241 expiry date and they didn't need to be in date at the time of travel. But we get through two 2-4-1s annually so they never get a chance to be used anywhere near the expiry date!
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