I had a few extra United Airlines upgrades in my account recently, and realized that I would not be able to use them before they expire. I know that United does not allow the sale of upgrades or miles, but they do allow members to donate miles. I therefore decided to donate my upgrades by holding a 100% charity auction on Ebay, with all the proceeds going to Kiva.org and Much Love Animal Rescue. In the listings, I expressly stated that the auctions were subject to United's rules, and that if United objected, I would remove the listings.
United waited until the listings were over, then told me I had violated their rules. Even though 100% of the proceeds went to charity, United still views what I did as a "sale." Moreover, United penalized me by taking away two systemwide upgrades which, based on the Ebay auctions, were worth $500 each. Even worse, United took away the upgrades from the Ebay bidders. So, they did not get what they bargained for. The charities already have the money, so I cannot get it back to return it! I protested with United, but got nowhere.
I am done with United Airlines. Hello American!