Idiot: United Airlines Selling Business Class Upgrades on eBay…

Wisdom: don’t sell your United Airlines PlusPoints (upgrades). Don’t buy them either. It’s one of the fastest ways to get your MileagePlus account closed and your status and miles forfeited. A chef is about to learn this the hard way.

The Madness of Selling (and Buying) United Airlines Upgrades on eBay

I search for travel related items on eBay from time to time and a few days ago a sponsored offer popped up in my feed: $440 for 40 Plus points.

With some amusement I clicked through. I’ve seen offers like this for years: it’s always the same: a 1K or Global Services member who sells “advice” on upgrades and then gives you the upgrade “for free”. He’s even willing to halve his “advice fee” for domestic flights, where half the amount of PlusPoints is needed to upgrade a flight.

Not that ignorance is a defense when it comes to closing accounts by United Airlines for trading or selling upgrades, but when merchants play this “advice” game, it means they know it’s against MileagePlus program rules to sell upgrades.

And yet they do it.

But this particular list goes one step further. The seller even includes their own website,, in the eBay listing and invites you to text them with questions.

Chef John, you look like a nice guy, but you’re making a big mistake…

And so will you, reader, if you even think about buying upgrades from him or any other seller on eBay or Craigslist.

Chef John warns you: “If you’re dealing with United, you can say so if they ask” you get an upgrade from a friend.”

(to be emphasized)

However, if United determines that a Premier member is selling miles or upgrades, it will not only cancel the merchant’s account, but may also close your account and invalidate your open ticket(s). It will at the very least take away your upgrades.

So be wise: don’t buy upgrades on eBay.

And it shocks me that this man was not caught. It’s so blatant and it’s obviously been going on for years, as the guy calls these “GPUs” in part of his list (United switched from Global Premier Upgrades to PlusPoints in 2019).


Poor chef John is getting himself ready to be split and diced by the bean counters at MileagePlus. But while we may shed crocodile tears for his loss after blatantly violating the program rules, remember that there are generally no innocent parties involved in this type of transaction and if you choose to purchase upgrades in this matter, you will be setting yourself up for huge. disappointment and financial cost.

Finally, keep in mind that MileagePlus members are free to: gift upgrades to others… but it must be a gift.

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