Planning to join BAEC - upgrades?

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Old Jan 29, 19, 5:19 am
  #1  
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Question Planning to join BAEC - upgrades?

Here's the deal: I was 1K with United for several years, then dropped to Gold for one year, currently nothing. This year I'm doing more travel, and thinking of joining BAEC as it makes sense for the routes I'll be taking. My current plans mean I would be Silver by May, and possibly Gold by the end of the year.
What I'm not seeing is anything in the BA literature about getting free upgrades as an elite. I really valued the 6 GU certs I got as a 1K. I also liked getting complimentary upgrades on domestic (though I didn't fly domestic US much).
According to the BA site, BAEC only offers 1!! upgrade coupon at 2500 tier points?? Is there some hidden upgrade perk I don't know about?
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Old Jan 29, 19, 5:23 am
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Join Date: May 2014
Location: Glos
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There's no guarantee of free upgrades for any status level ( so no, no hidden perk)

On an overbooked flight if you were in a lower cabin there's a chance you might get selected by the computer algorithm that chooses who gets operationally upgraded. But then maybe it'll pick another member and you'll be sat where you booked and paid
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Old Jan 29, 19, 5:23 am
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Join Date: Dec 2016
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You don't get free upgrades by right on BAEC as a silver or gold, though if you get to 2500 tier points you get an upgrade voucher for one trip for two, and at 3500 two upgrade vouchers for one.

You MAY get complimentary upgrades depending on loading and BA's algorithm for selecting people for schmoozing. Don't bank on it though.

As a gold you can often upgrade using avios on your own booked tickets, which is relatively good value.
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Old Jan 29, 19, 5:24 am
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Join Date: May 2014
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Originally Posted by bisonrav View Post
As a gold you can often upgrade using avios on your own booked tickets, which is relatively good value.
As could the same Blue in the same seat with the same Avios ?
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Old Jan 29, 19, 5:25 am
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Originally Posted by watersign View Post
Here's the deal: I was 1K with United for several years, then dropped to Gold for one year, currently nothing. This year I'm doing more travel, and thinking of joining BAEC as it makes sense for the routes I'll be taking. My current plans mean I would be Silver by May, and possibly Gold by the end of the year.
What I'm not seeing is anything in the BA literature about getting free upgrades as an elite. I really valued the 6 GU certs I got as a 1K. I also liked getting complimentary upgrades on domestic (though I didn't fly domestic US much).
According to the BA site, BAEC only offers 1!! upgrade coupon at 2500 tier points?? Is there some hidden upgrade perk I don't know about?
You will be given a Gold upgrade for 2 at 2500 tier points and 2 Gold upgrades for 1 at 3500. Thats it. European airlines do not give status upgrades like US carriers. If passengers need to be upgraded from an oversold cabin BA do not automatically upgrade elite members, but have a complicated algorthym for who gets the upgrade.
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Old Jan 29, 19, 5:27 am
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Join Date: Oct 2017
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The value in BA's programme is better mileage accrual on cheap tickets (not revenue based basically), no minimum spend, lounge access on ANY oneworld flight (even first class lounges, when available), good redemption opportunities in Y (even close to departure), and it's also fairly cheap to attain (3000 at most)
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Old Jan 29, 19, 5:29 am
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Join Date: May 2012
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Originally Posted by bisonrav View Post
As a gold you can often upgrade using avios on your own booked tickets, which is relatively good value.
For some definition of 'often'. Maybe it's the routes I fly but I very rarely see UuA options. But then as it's all business travel my dates and routes are usually pretty fixed. I don't have the luxury of being able to pick flights far enough out to be able to choose ones with UuA availability at the start.

BAEC is not a program to join for upgrades, as OP has found out. Even on busy flights, lower status passengers are frequently upgraded ahead of golds.

By the way - I'm not complaining about either thing here. It is what it is. But anyone joining with the idea that upgrades are likely should be advised about the rather rare possibilities.
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Old Jan 29, 19, 5:29 am
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Join Date: Dec 2016
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Originally Posted by mikeyfly View Post
As could the same Blue in the same seat with the same Avios ?
Whoops, yes indeed. I think I was mixing my thinking up with the extra availability for avios bookings.
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Old Jan 29, 19, 7:10 am
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Join Date: Nov 2001
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Originally Posted by watersign View Post
Here's the deal: I was 1K with United for several years, then dropped to Gold for one year, currently nothing. This year I'm doing more travel, and thinking of joining BAEC as it makes sense for the routes I'll be taking. My current plans mean I would be Silver by May, and possibly Gold by the end of the year.
What I'm not seeing is anything in the BA literature about getting free upgrades as an elite. I really valued the 6 GU certs I got as a 1K. I also liked getting complimentary upgrades on domestic (though I didn't fly domestic US much).
According to the BA site, BAEC only offers 1!! upgrade coupon at 2500 tier points?? Is there some hidden upgrade perk I don't know about?
And that 2500 tier point upgrade voucher (known around here as a GUF2) is not exactly a free upgrade. For a round trip originating in the US, the per passenger upgrade fees are:

Club World -> First: $400
WT+ -> Club: $706

It's definitely not a program to join for the free upgrades...

That said, on some routes BA has better business class award/upgrade availability than other airlines. You pay the extra fees, but you're not waiting until the last minute wondering if your upgrade will clear.
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Old Jan 29, 19, 7:16 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
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Originally Posted by bisonrav View Post
Whoops, yes indeed. I think I was mixing my thinking up with the extra availability for avios bookings.
You might have been thinking of how the GUF1 and GUF2 can use revenue class availability (A/I classes) when booked through a TA.

Or, how a GGL can open extra away/upgrade availability twice a year.

Both of those are very useful benefits...
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Old Jan 29, 19, 7:23 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
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Originally Posted by skippythelizard View Post
And that 2500 tier point upgrade voucher (known around here as a GUF2) is not exactly a free upgrade. For a round trip originating in the US, the per passenger upgrade fees are:

Club World -> First: $400
WT+ -> Club: $706

It's definitely not a program to join for the free upgrades...

That said, on some routes BA has better business class award/upgrade availability than other airlines. You pay the extra fees, but you're not waiting until the last minute wondering if your upgrade will clear.
Moreover CW->First on a GUF requires A class availability (TA) or upgrade availability (BA), whereas buying an AUP doesn't, doesn't require status, gets F tier points and avios, and is (personal experience of TATL) normally $600-$900 (admittedly that's each way rather than the GUF fee which is for both ways I believe). I suspect the value of the GUF is if you have a booking with many segments.
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Old Jan 29, 19, 7:24 am
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Join Date: May 2013
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BAEC is not a program based on upgrades, in fact none of the European ones as appose to the Americans. They have other benefits like having lounge access in Americas, a plus (at least for me to visit the AA Flagship).
Being BAEC Gold, I do have regular updates in long haul, specially when I fly in WT+ and CW. European flights, honestly I think I get around 2 upgrades in a year (now not flying much short haul, but I used to do like 50+ legs a year).
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Old Jan 29, 19, 7:58 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
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Yeh. I like BAEC for the lounge access in the US as I'm Mexico based. The reward flight saver deals are often excellent value, too. As for upgrades, i ditto everything said above
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Old Jan 29, 19, 8:01 am
  #14  
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Originally Posted by skippythelizard View Post
And that 2500 tier point upgrade voucher (known around here as a GUF2) is not exactly a free upgrade. For a round trip originating in the US, the per passenger upgrade fees are:

Club World -> First: $400
WT+ -> Club: $706
WTAF. I have to PAY to use the certificate? What a racket.
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Old Jan 29, 19, 8:07 am
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Join Date: Aug 2004
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Originally Posted by watersign View Post
WTAF. I have to PAY to use the certificate? What a racket.
And worse if you book direct there has to be reward availability in F, which on some routes is never ever there. Bit of a joke.
I mainly fly CX/AA/JAL but the last 3 months has seen me fly 12 CW sectors to India/Far-East on BA as Gold. No upgrades.
This is a point of reference only, not a complaint on my part.
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