What is a British Airways Gold Upgrade For Two / For One Voucher?

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How does the British Airways ‘Gold Upgrade for Two’ and ‘Gold Upgrade for One’ voucher work?  Today I thought I’d take a look at this often-confusing aspect of the Executive Club.

Unlike the other elite tiers, British Airways Gold status comes with various additional tier promotions and benefits. These include the various Gold Upgrade vouchers.

Once you attain British Airways Gold status at 1,500 tier points, there are further thresholds with extra treats:

At 2,500 tier points you get a Gold Upgrade for Two voucher (GUF2 in the trade)

At 3,500 tier points you get 2 Gold Upgrade for One vouchers (GUF1 in the trade)

At 5,000 tier points you become a Gold Guest List member – I explain Gold Guest List here. When you reach the appropriate thresholds the vouchers will automatically appear on your Executive Club homepage on the British Airways website.

What is a British Airways Gold Upgrade Voucher?

What are BA Gold Upgrade vouchers?

Gold Upgrade vouchers allow you to upgrade your chosen CASH booking to the next cabin on British Airways operated flights.  If you are booked into premium economy, for example, you will be able to upgrade to business class. Since the voucher counts per booking, you will be upgraded on both the outbound and inbound flights if you book a return fare.

The use of Gold Upgrade vouchers is ‘subject to availability’, so it may not be possible even if you can see cash seats open for booking on ba.com since there needs to be reward availability. The only exception is that travel agents can book you into a revenue rather than redemption fare class with a Gold Upgrade voucher.  You will also not be able to redeem the vouchers on any other airlines.

I want to explain this availability aspect again as many people miss the obvious trick here:

if you use a GUF on ba.com or via the BA call centre, you can only upgrade your cash ticket if there is Avios availability in the higher cabin

if you use a GUF via a travel agent, you can upgrade your cash ticket if there are non-refundable cash tickets for sale in the higher cabin

This is a MASSIVE difference when it comes to using your GUF2 voucher.  You can hugely improve your chances of being able to use it if you get a travel agent to process it instead of BA.

The snag – and there is always a snag, of course – is that few travel agents know how to process these vouchers.  It is a complex process, requiring the agent to submit a request to BA’s IT centre in India which will only clear overnight.  One travel agent who specialises in booking these tickets is Propeller Travel – see here.

How long do BA Gold Upgrade vouchers last?

Each voucher is only valid for one year.  It is generally accepted that British Airways will extend this a further six months if you call them although this is not officially in the rules.  You must book your ticket before the expiry date although you can travel later, which effectively gives you up to 355 extra days to fly.

(This article is part of our ‘BA Q&A’ series which explains how British Airways Executive Club works.  You can see all of our ‘BA Q&A’ articles here. )

(Head for Points is the UK’s biggest frequent flyer website with 1.5 million monthly page views.  Want to learn more about earning and spending Avios?  Click here to read our latest news storiesclick here to join our email list and click here to read our ‘Avios Redemption University’ series.  Read this article to learn how you can get 10,000 FREE Avios by signing up for the American Express Preferred Rewards Gold credit card.)

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