Lloyds upgrade voucher no longer usable on Avios.com

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Whilst the Companion Voucher, earned with the British Airways Premium Plus American Express card gets a lot of coverage, we often overlook the Lloyds Upgrade voucher.

The voucher was really a discount, rather than an upgrade and allowed you to make a booking for 2 flight segments (one return, or two one-ways) for the amount of Avios required for one class of travel lower. First Class redemptions were excluded, but you could book;

  • Long Haul
    • Club World for World Traveller Plus Avios cost
    • World Traveller Plus for World Traveller Avios cost
  • Short Haul
    • Club Europe for Euro Traveller Avios cost

Taxes fees and charges, sadly, remained in line with the class of travel but significant quantities of Avios could be saved if deployed smartly.

Sounds great, how do I get one?

Don’t get too excited if you like the idea though – the vouchers ended when Lloyds stopped issuing American Express cards, and switched their Avios Rewards card to Mastercard only.

There are however, a number of people who will have previously earned one or more of these and are still to use them (this writer included). Previously, the vouchers were shown in your Avios.com account as this historic capture from my account shows.

Sadly this has now completely disappeared and the current ‘My Account’ section looks like this;

With no option to apply a voucher to a booking, a search for a random short-haul destination only shows us the full price Avios options for both classes of travel.

Previously the Business price would have been the same as Economy due to application of the voucher.

Why does this matter?

Firstly, it means you now have to call BA Executive Club to book using this voucher. This is what we were told we had to do when the Lloyds card changed anyway. That in itself is a slight annoyance. I much prefer booking things online, as I can instantly decide from a selection of flight times/aircraft types, etc.

Of greater significance is the probability that BA Executive Club agents will rigidly apply the rules of the voucher. Most notably, the requirement for the cardholder to be on the booking. This means you now have the choice of booking for

  • Yourself on a return trip
  • Yourself + partner on a one-way trip

and if you have two vouchers available

  • Yourself + partner on another one-way to get back home

What you lose is the ability to book for someone else, which was previously possible on avios.com before the site update. A number of posters on FlyerTalk have reported success with such bookings in the past, which unless you get a *very* helpful agent on the phone will no longer be possible.

It makes perfect sense for avios.com to do this when they redeveloped the site. Why waste resources on a feature that will be required for only another 12 months or so, and only for a small subset of members? That doesn’t stop it being annoying for those of us impacted though.

Have you been caught out by this change?

Comments

  1. Joe says

    I have two FUVs. One which is booked, and one which expires at the end of next month. I always assumed that I would use my FUVs for flights to the US. However, I realised that it was even more economical to buy discount Premium Economy flights then upgrade with Avios – using approximately the same amount of Avios + Cash as I would have if I had used the FUV, but with the added benefit of earning Avios and Tier Points on top.
    The one I have booked ended up being used for a short-haul flight to Portugal. The one that is yet to be used, I’m thinking of letting expire as a bit of a false economy.
    I had used two other FUVs in the past, one return to Cairo and one return to Dubai, and I think they gave me value. However, my disposable income is going towards more sensible things at the moment than just jetting off to see friends for fun so it’s all been a bit of an anticlimax for me. 😒

      • Roos says

        They have been advising not to use it online for ages and if you tried it would often charge you deduct the avios and cash then not go through with booking and no error message so people booked several times and had to mess around phoning up.

  2. Sajid Bindra says

    Thank you for this nice article.

    Unfortunately I have a question for you and others regarding my Lloyd’s avios account. I have been switched to MasterCard only earlier in the year and must confess to having never spent penny on my account in all the years I had this account. If I spent 7k on MasterCard would I get an upgrade voucher? Thank you for any help.

    • Ian Perry says

      I’m afraid not, unless the timing worked out that you still have time within your personal card year. You would have a letter from Lloyds telling you the date by which you need to hit the spend by if that is the case.

  3. Stan says

    You need to call 0344 49 333 49 to redeem(completely free and no fees). You can find out expiration date by doing a live chat with Avios.

    • Mr Sean Donaghy says

      I have tried the live chat numerous times but no luck. always says ‘waiting for agent to connect’. Very frustrating. I have two vouchers to use. I cant remember if the T & Cs do you need to book before the expiration date or outbound travel before it.

      I had to let a few go before as better value from the companion voucher when using two on return from US for my friend and I.

      Looking to book an open-jaw with it for myself to Amman and Cairo (If BA will still fly there in Nov)

  4. Roos says

    They have been advising not to use it online for ages and if you tried it would often charge you deduct the avios and cash then not go through with booking and no error message so people booked several times and had to mess around phoning up.

    • Ian Perry says

      The official advice was to call BAEC for some time as the Avios programme officially ended, but those of us with AerClub or Vueling accounts retained the ability to login to Avios.com. My last booking was the end of last year, so sounds like problems came about more recently. Gotta love the standards of IT in travel!

  5. Tony Currie says

    I have 2 vouchers and about 200,000 household Avios. I had assumed I would use this for an upgrade to first for a trip to Santiago, Chile, but have suince realised that I can’t upgrade to first, only to business.

    The first voucher expires on 31 October, so I have plenty of time to book, if I can find a worthwhile trip.

    What sorts of routes and upgrades would give best value for these vouchers? I’m pretty flexible about time to travel, and would ideally use them for a 6 week trip to a long haul destination that I could then tour from.

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