United Platinum Status for $100!

eBay has long been a place where you can buy lounge passes and also non-transferable coupons.

Goodness knows Craigslist is too, and people sell award tickets sometimes too although I think that’s generally a bad idea. Not only is it against airline rules but you’re dealing with people you don’t know while breaking the rules. If they’re busted by the airline, the first thing that happens much of the time is they ‘roll’ on their clients for leniency and you wind up out the cash and out the tickets.

Recently though what I’ve seen more of is selling elite status on eBay, which seems to be selling one’s knowledge and sketchy skills (photoshop?).

A couple of weeks ago it was Hilton HHonors Gold for $30.

Now today Kalboz points to a ‘Buy it Now’ for 90 days of United Platinum status for $100.

I have to imagine that the seller is just taking advantage of a status match offer, pretending to be you and sending in modified copies of their own frequent flyer status to get you 90 days of status and a flying challenge to keep that status.

So the price of a little bit of knowledge, a little bit of photoshopping skills, and less than a little bit of ethics? $100.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Interesting topic, and somewhat related… I’m UA Million Miler. Every year, I’m able to gift Gold status to someone, and I’ve given it to my son. He does appreciate it!
    When I told him my gift has some value, he asked what the value was. I gently suggested, as only a father can do, that my/his Gold status was costing me a minimum of 1 or 2 free hotel nights if I were to ‘gift’ status to a friend. I didn’t intentionally want him to feel guilty, but then again, as a father, I’m within my right. 😉

    My question is, is 1 – 2 hotel nights worth Gold Status?

  2. One of the messages posted on 3798.com talking about how to ask for a match on UA:

    “My name is XXX, a gold member of Delta Airlines. Before the last time I took the United flight, I haven’t realized that United airlines is so excellent both in the aircraft and service. So at this time, I really want to switch to the Milege Plus program and also match or challenge the gold status…”

    I loved this: “United airlines is so excellent both in the aircraft and service”. LOL.

  3. @dhammer53 Not quite. The MM giftee needs to reside in the same address as you do. Well, I guess you can also do some side AirBnB business. 🙂

  4. @ptahcha,

    I can remember a time when Flyertalkers had off-shore address’ to take advantage of a deal. 😉

  5. And super cool that this “winner” is using images I posted of what the renewal kits look like with my name on them. Ugh, internet.

  6. @Mommy Points – hahahahah I just assumed that it was a DIFFERENT person with the same name. But makes sense I guess that the person posting this auction sure wouldn’t want to use their own name. Pretty skeezy. Pretty likely someone that’s a part of this ‘community’ hosting the auction.

  7. You would think the airlines and hotels would do a better job shutting these down.

  8. Yeah, reporting this elite status “hawker” to ebay b/c of the image is on my to-do list today. Thanks for helping make me aware. Ha! Or hey, elite status hawker, if you do see this first, just take my name off the image and save me something on my to-do list. My list gets shorter, you don’t get reported to ebay. Win, win. 🙂

  9. @ptahcha – As of 1/1/14 the companion no longer must reside at the same address but apparently does need to share the same last name if not at the same address.

  10. Look at their other auctions.. also got MP’s name on the Marriott Gold card among others. Report them all to eBay…

  11. Based upon the content of the listings s/he is likely applying for status matches as most of these say your status is good for 90 days then have to fly x amount to maintain it. I’ll bet s/he photoshops someone’s name on a fake Delta Plat card or something similar to achieve the match, something we all know does not cost any money. Wow…

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