BA just made it easier to upgrade to business class or first class

By David Flynn, July 2 2019
BA just made it easier to upgrade to business class or first class

British Airways is making it easier for top-tier frequent flyers to travel in even more comfort with free upgrades to business class and even first class.

The key is the special Gold Upgrade for Two voucher, issued to Gold-grade members of BA's Executive Club rewards program when they earn 2,500 Tier Points in the course of their membership year (two of these vouchers are yours by clocking up 3,500 Tier Points).

Colloquially known as GUF2s, these vouchers can be used by a BAEC Gold member and a companion (or just a solo Gold member) to upgrade to the next-highest cabin on a BA flight.

GUF2 upgrades are available to premium economy, business class and first class, based on seat availability – with business and first being the most popular ways to play that card, of course.

How the GUF2 just got better

Previously, Gold Upgrade for Two vouchers could be redeemed through British Airways only if that next-highest cabin contained seats earmarked for reward availability using BAEC Avios. No points-based seats meant no upgrade.

Under the new GUF2 rules, which are now in place, upgrades will be issued as long as there are seats available in the lowest-cost ticketing brackets – the same type of seats which anybody could purchase with cash.

The boffins know these as T for World Traveller Plus premium economy, I for Club World business class and A for first class, and those are the codes to look for through a tool such as ExpertFlyer.

(This is the same rule as previously applied to travel agents, although this relied on BAEC members knowing a sharp travel agent with experience in processing the upgrade request).

These improvements will make it easier and more practical to use the Gold Upgrade for Two voucher, especially on flights where there's historically less demand such as the middle of the week and outside of peak travel seasons.


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.