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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 havent 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 cant 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 cant 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 doesnt earn any tier points or Avios you wont 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 cant be applied to a selection of passengers on a booking, and has to cover all of them - you cant 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 26, 2018, 2:23 pm
  #121  
Ambassador, British Airways; FlyerTalk Posting Legend
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Leeds, UK
Programs: BA GGL/CCR, GfL, HH Diamond
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Originally Posted by PlnCzy
Could someone recommend a travel agent in the Netherlands with experience in issuing a GUF. Thanks in advance!
Sorry I don't know any. Does it have to be a TA in the Netherlands? There are a few UK TAs mentioned in the thread who could do it.
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Old Apr 26, 2018, 9:17 pm
  #122  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: AMS
Programs: FB Plat;BA Silver; IHG Plat AMB
Posts: 46
Thank you Karfa. I will explore other possibilities.
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Old May 8, 2018, 1:25 am
  #123  
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Lisboa, Portugal
Programs: BAEC Gold
Posts: 114
Although I've previously managed to earn GUF2, I've previously used them on redemption (+ Amex 2-4-1 upgrade) flights. I just booked a return to Beirut for next year (from LHR) and decided to earn rather than burn Avios. I was somewhat surprised to see that the booking earns 70 TP and 6498 Avios for the return. Perhaps I had completely missed the point, but I thought I would earn TP and Avios for the class I was flying. It seemed to require the equivalent of WT+ Avios for a redemption, so definitely confused why I would only earn WT TP & Avios.

If this is correct, I have misunderstood the value of the GUF2 / GUF - I assumed that by using a GUF that you could earn more TP & Avios. I think I would now be more inclined to focus on getting status with another airline status after hitting 1500 TP each year, especially because 95% of my TP & Avios are earned from leisure, not business flying.
Thoughts?

Updated: Thank goodness for the Wiki, I found that the situation is correct. Nevertheless, I would still appreciate the thoughts of the folks out there!

Last edited by puqui99; May 8, 2018 at 1:37 am Reason: Reviewed Wiki and found answer
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Old May 8, 2018, 4:48 am
  #124  
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Originally Posted by puqui99
Although I've previously managed to earn GUF2, I've previously used them on redemption (+ Amex 2-4-1 upgrade) flights. I just booked a return to Beirut for next year (from LHR) and decided to earn rather than burn Avios. I was somewhat surprised to see that the booking earns 70 TP and 6498 Avios for the return. Perhaps I had completely missed the point, but I thought I would earn TP and Avios for the class I was flying. It seemed to require the equivalent of WT+ Avios for a redemption, so definitely confused why I would only earn WT TP & Avios.

If this is correct, I have misunderstood the value of the GUF2 / GUF - I assumed that by using a GUF that you could earn more TP & Avios. I think I would now be more inclined to focus on getting status with another airline status after hitting 1500 TP each year, especially because 95% of my TP & Avios are earned from leisure, not business flying.
Thoughts?

Updated: Thank goodness for the Wiki, I found that the situation is correct. Nevertheless, I would still appreciate the thoughts of the folks out there!
So you booked a WT return with cash and then upgraded using a GUF to WTP?

You should earn TPs and avios based on the cabin you originally booked for cash (WT) rather than the one you upgraded in to (WTP). This is the same for UuAs as well.
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Old May 8, 2018, 11:20 am
  #125  
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Lisboa, Portugal
Programs: BAEC Gold
Posts: 114
Originally Posted by KARFA
So you booked a WT return with cash and then upgraded using a GUF to WTP?

You should earn TPs and avios based on the cabin you originally booked for cash (WT) rather than the one you upgraded in to (WTP). This is the same for UuAs as well.
It's for Beirut, so booked using GUF into CW (not WT+ on the old BMI A321) so yes, booked into S class economy. Just saying that it had never occurred to me that a GUF doesn't get extra point or miles, but now fully understood!
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Old May 8, 2018, 12:50 pm
  #126  
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Cheshire
Programs: BA, Accor, Hilton, ITA
Posts: 389
Anyone had experience of being able to use GUF2 with Cruise Nation? The t&cs say Marine Bookings are allowed. But what if there are also hotels in the package?
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Old May 10, 2018, 1:10 am
  #127  
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: UK
Programs: BA Gold
Posts: 536
Just triggered my first GUF2 and would like to take Mrs Tinkicker somewhere exotic in F as a thank-you for putting up with all my travel this year. One thing I'm slightly confused about is whether we can start from an ex-eu point as a UK based BAEC member? This line in the wiki is what's got me:

Additionally the TA has to issue the ticket in the country of your BAEC membership.
So as a UK based BAEC member can I do say OSL-LHR-SIN-SYD-SIN-LHR-OSL or similar!
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Old May 10, 2018, 1:17 am
  #128  
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 733
Originally Posted by tinkicker
Just triggered my first GUF2 and would like to take Mrs Tinkicker somewhere exotic in F as a thank-you for putting up with all my travel this year. One thing I'm slightly confused about is whether we can start from an ex-eu point as a UK based BAEC member? This line in the wiki is what's got me:



So as a UK based BAEC member can I do say OSL-LHR-SIN-SYD-SIN-LHR-OSL or similar!
The place of issue isn't the same thing as where the journey starts so that's fine.
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Old May 10, 2018, 2:04 am
  #129  
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Paynesville, Vic
Programs: BA Gold AVIS Presidents Club
Posts: 360
Hi tinkicker.
Yes you can. My account is UK based and I booked through Propellor Travel SVG LHR SIN SYD last year using a GUF2 . J - F. and return . BA 11 & 15 outbound BA 12 &16 inbound I think. Very nice trip. Oslo offers pretty good value at the moment I believe. And I was awarded TPs for F - about 920 I think.

OF
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Old May 14, 2018, 2:55 pm
  #130  
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Cayman, San Diego, London
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Karfa: Thank you for this excellent compilation - most helpful.

One point of clarification, please. I wish to travel with my wife (also Gold) on a 2-4-1 which is in her name. I have a GUF2 in my name. As we'll both be travelling on the itinerary, will I be able to use my GUF2 to upgrade her 2-4-1?
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Old May 14, 2018, 4:09 pm
  #131  
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Originally Posted by Full Score
Karfa: Thank you for this excellent compilation - most helpful.

One point of clarification, please. I wish to travel with my wife (also Gold) on a 2-4-1 which is in her name. I have a GUF2 in my name. As we'll both be travelling on the itinerary, will I be able to use my GUF2 to upgrade her 2-4-1?
Many thanks for the comment Full Score. It was a joint effort with srbrenna so he certainly deserves plenty of credit too - the guide was his idea as well.

On your question, I honestly don't know. Hopefully someone can confirm, and I will also add the answer to the guide as well.
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Old May 17, 2018, 11:32 am
  #132  
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Cayman, San Diego, London
Programs: BA Lifetime Gold, AA 4MM Lifetime Platinum, Hilton Diamond, IHG Diamond Amb, Bonvoy Lifetime Gold
Posts: 1,062
Originally Posted by Full Score
........I wish to travel with my wife (also Gold) on a 2-4-1 which is in her name. I have a GUF2 in my name. As we'll both be travelling on the itinerary, will I be able to use my GUF2 to upgrade her 2-4-1?......
I can now answer my own question. Today I phoned BA and tried to use a 2-4-1 and GUF2 as above. Unfortunately, they wouldn't allow me to use my account to upgrade a 2-4-1 booked on her account even though I'd have been travelling with her. The primary account holder needs to be the same for the 2-4-1 and GUF2.

Last edited by Full Score; May 17, 2018 at 2:09 pm
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Old May 17, 2018, 2:42 pm
  #133  
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
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Thanks once again to KARFA and srbrenna for this extremely useful thread.

Another quick question to which I can't find the answer above: I used a GUF2 to upgrade an Avios booking from U to Z - ONEway. (I needed to ensure that I snagged the only two seats available in the whole of March 2019, SAN-LHR.)

Technically I have used the above GUF2, but, if I wanted to add ANOTHER ONEway LHR-SAN at a later date (but before the GUF2 expires),
(a) is the return portion of the GUF2 still available for me to use?
and, if not,
(b) is there any way to avoid having to cancel the initial booking in order to add the return segment, as, if doing so, I would risk losing the original upgrade?
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Old May 22, 2018, 9:25 am
  #134  
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 540
I have a GUF2 expiring soon, so I called to see if I could drop it on any of the 5 existing bookings I have. After a bit of a fruitless hunt we eventually found a couple of legs on a multicity I have in August. This is a large itenary, with both BA and AA metal involved, but it is a BA ticket. However it was not possible to apply it on the identified BA legs because of the AA legs on the same booking!?

could that be right?
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Old May 22, 2018, 9:27 am
  #135  
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Originally Posted by Dubh
I have a GUF2 expiring soon, so I called to see if I could drop it on any of the 5 existing bookings I have. After a bit of a fruitless hunt we eventually found a couple of legs on a multicity I have in August. This is a large itenary, with both BA and AA metal involved, but it is a BA ticket. However it was not possible to apply it on the identified BA legs because of the AA legs on the same booking!?

could that be right?
did you make the booking using a TA?

Are the BA flights booked under a BA flight number or an AA codeshare?
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