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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 May 26, 2024, 9:55 pm
  #1141  
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Mexico
Programs: BAEC Gold / SQ *A Gold / Marriott Titanium
Posts: 3,733
Originally Posted by flarmip
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.
This is useful to know. I had heard rumours that some people could use the old rate. Now I know it's only GGL. As much as I'd like the F redemption, I still believe that redeeming a GUF into J is good value on many routes.
flarmip likes this.
TTmex is online now  
Old Jun 4, 2024, 7:47 am
  #1142  
 
Join Date: May 2011
Programs: BA Gold
Posts: 67
If you use a GUF to upgrade a cash booking from business to first, I know you get Concorde room access but do we get tier points for business or first?
emeraldflyer is offline  
Old Jun 4, 2024, 7:51 am
  #1143  
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 emeraldflyer
If you use a GUF to upgrade a cash booking from business to first, I know you get Concorde room access but do we get tier points for business or first?
you should get the J points. Itís possible you may get a bank error in your favour, but that is increasingly rare in my experience.
KARFA is offline  
Old Jun 9, 2024, 10:29 am
  #1144  
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: London, UK
Programs: BAGGL, A3G, Accor Gold, Hilton Diamond, IHG Diamond, LHW Sterling
Posts: 1,321
Apologies if this is covered upthread, but I've used GUFs over the years quite a few times on PE to CW (revenue ticket as the underlying stock).
What is the current range of YQ / tax costs for applying the voucher in these circumstances (long haul PE revenue fare being upgraded to CW) - and what factors drives the cost. It always used to be circa £150, but I've looked at a few with a GGL BA agent today (on LHR - ORD, NYC and MEX) and it's more in the £600 - £800 range unless the agent made a mistake. Am i missing something. A base PE fare of £900-£1400 + this surcharge + the voucher means you are looking at the best part of £2k for the ticket. When we checked Delhi it was more in the £150 range for unknown reasons. Is it now better to use the GUFs on RFS long haul or maybe ex-eu helps?
Woodbinerich is offline  
Old Jun 9, 2024, 11:12 am
  #1145  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: San Diego
Posts: 2,765
Originally Posted by Woodbinerich
Apologies if this is covered upthread, but I've used GUFs over the years quite a few times on PE to CW (revenue ticket as the underlying stock).
What is the current range of YQ / tax costs for applying the voucher in these circumstances (long haul PE revenue fare being upgraded to CW) - and what factors drives the cost. It always used to be circa £150, but I've looked at a few with a GGL BA agent today (on LHR - ORD, NYC and MEX) and it's more in the £600 - £800 range unless the agent made a mistake. Am i missing something. A base PE fare of £900-£1400 + this surcharge + the voucher means you are looking at the best part of £2k for the ticket. When we checked Delhi it was more in the £150 range for unknown reasons. Is it now better to use the GUFs on RFS long haul or maybe ex-eu helps?
You are suffering from the significant increase in YQ surcharges on US routes over the last few years.

The best option is ex-EU paid J, upgraded to F. There should be no extra fees this way.

Using a GUF on an RFS Avios booking from J to F will cost you about £400 extra in fees.
spanishflea is offline  
Old Jun 9, 2024, 11:38 am
  #1146  
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: LAS, ZQN
Programs: UA PP (2MM), BA gold
Posts: 2,279
New to this - now have GUF2 and 2 GUF1. Should have 5000 TP before anniversary in Sept.

1. If I use by clicking redeem- assume I am booking directly with BA and therefore no "AARP Discount" is possible?
2. If I use by clicking redeem- assume I am booking directly with BA- can I use a "BACHASE10" discount?
3. If I use a TA to issue ticket to get immediate upgrade - can I use a "BACHASE10" discount?

Sorry if this seems basic but have to start from someplace to understand the issues.
zebranz is offline  
Old Jun 9, 2024, 1:03 pm
  #1147  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: San Diego
Posts: 2,765
Originally Posted by zebranz
New to this - now have GUF2 and 2 GUF1. Should have 5000 TP before anniversary in Sept.

1. If I use by clicking redeem- assume I am booking directly with BA and therefore no "AARP Discount" is possible?
2. If I use by clicking redeem- assume I am booking directly with BA- can I use a "BACHASE10" discount?
3. If I use a TA to issue ticket to get immediate upgrade - can I use a "BACHASE10" discount?

Sorry if this seems basic but have to start from someplace to understand the issues.
You basically canít use a GUF online anyway. So best to book what you want and then call to have the GUF applied.
spanishflea is offline  
Old Jun 9, 2024, 2:42 pm
  #1148  
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: LAS, ZQN
Programs: UA PP (2MM), BA gold
Posts: 2,279
Originally Posted by spanishflea
You basically canít use a GUF online anyway. So best to book what you want and then call to have the GUF applied.
OK so ignore the "redeem" on the web site-
Book my own tickets with AARP and chase and then call gold line to apply GUF2/GUF.

thanks
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zebranz is offline  
Old Jun 12, 2024, 12:59 pm
  #1149  
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: TLV
Programs: BA, A3, LY; IHG/IC, Accor
Posts: 130
Originally Posted by KARFA
The process is that the agent internally messages the loyalty team that issues the GUFs and requests it is split. You would then hear separately by email from the loyalty team within a few days to let you know either way. They may do it, but they may not - it is certainly not a given I am afraid.

I think there is some confusion from the agent about GUFs at 7k/8k/etc. At those thresholds there is actually a choice of a joker, 50k avios, or 2 xGUF1s. There is no GUF2 given which then needs to be split.
Thank you KARFA and other posters who have assisted with this! I decided to wait until I have another GUF2 to split. I ringed again last week, and the explicit request to message loyalty team worked! It took about 5 days until I saw 4 single vouchers instead of 2 GUF2s.
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eugnk is offline  
Old Jun 13, 2024, 7:54 am
  #1150  
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: BOGish. VLCish. It's complicated.
Programs: BA
Posts: 815
I get my first GUF2 next week, but won't achieve GGL for some more months. If I ask it to be split immediately, and loyalty say bug'roff, does that make any less likely that a request repeat when I have GGL would be successful? Or does it seem independent?
IanWorthington is offline  
Old Jun 13, 2024, 8:01 am
  #1151  
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: FL390 or the iron way
Programs: BA GGL, SAS EBG
Posts: 2,145
Originally Posted by IanWorthington
I get my first GUF2 next week, but won't achieve GGL for some more months. If I ask it to be split immediately, and loyalty say bug'roff, does that make any less likely that a request repeat when I have GGL would be successful? Or does it seem independent?
I think for GGL's it is standard policy for splitting to be possible, so it shouldn't be an issue.
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flarmip is offline  
Old Jun 13, 2024, 9:58 am
  #1152  
 
Join Date: Jun 2022
Location: Oxford, UK
Programs: BAEC
Posts: 155
I am struggling to use a GUF. I have a booking in J to the Grand Canyon (Flagstaff, FLG). After some AA disruptions I managed to change the American bit of the itinerary from JFK-PHX-FLG to the transcon via LAX, so JFK-LAX-PHX-FLG (eheh).

I then tried to apply the GUF and the fare teams say that they canít upgrade the AA transcon legs because they are not in the original fare. Fair enough, but due to the rerouting they are also refusing to upgrade the TAT.

Not too bothered as I am still very happy to have gone from the recliners to the A321T, but is this something established or did I get unlucky with a particular agent? Also Iíll turn GGL in a week or so, would it be better/different to wait it out and go via the GGL team?

TIA
erikh94 is offline  
Old Jun 19, 2024, 7:01 am
  #1153  
 
Join Date: Jan 2022
Programs: BAEC
Posts: 1,615
Not sure if anyone else has seen this today (or any other days recently) but I got an EF alert for double secret A upgrade space on a JFK-LAX for October. Called about an hour after the email came in. Was slightly suspicious as on this particular day, pretty much every single flight had at least A5 and many had A7. Very odd that so much would be released so far out, and no other day either side had any A upgrade space at all. After a long hold, agent came back and said it had all vanished. And when I checked, they had indeed vanished on EF. Similar thing happened a few months ago, but it seems it was much more widespread and there was a big kerfuffle on the AA board about a buttload of award space being erroneously relased and then removed.

On a related note, can anyone confirm whether we actually need AA prime to apply GUF? I understood that you did, and that if you booked BA codeshare, they would have to swap to AA code. But this would entail a refaring, which might be nothing, a little or a lot. This may have been less of an issue back when you were usually able to upgrade right after booking since agents just used normal A buckets and swapping a BA codeshare to AA prime didn't usually move the price too much as there is usually I class availability in both. That seems to have stopped and now. And when upgrade A gets released in the week or so before departure, there is never underlying I seats left. So refaring - if required - is likely to be spicy. Any recent experience??
RichieMc is offline  
Old Jun 19, 2024, 7:17 am
  #1154  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: UK
Programs: BA GfL & GGL, FB Platinum, MB Titanium, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 2,589
As of today from speaking to an agent who applied a GUF1 for me you do need to be on an AA prime flight number.
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MaxFlyer is offline  
Old Jun 19, 2024, 7:22 am
  #1155  
 
Join Date: Jan 2022
Programs: BAEC
Posts: 1,615
Originally Posted by MaxFlyer
As of today from speaking to an agent who applied a GUF1 for me you do need to be on an AA prime flight number.
Ja. Get that. But is it just as simple as swapping over? Or does swapping over trigger a refare? I tend to book AA prime from the start, but sometimes this involves some contortions.
RichieMc is offline  

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