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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?