Update: SPG / China Eastern Explorer Rewards Silver Status Downgrade, Now Renewed (4 Days Later)!

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Earlier this week I wrote about the partnership between Starwood Preferred Guest and China Eastern Explorer Rewards which offers SPG Platinums corresponding Silver status on China Eastern that apparently gets downgraded after 12 months.

After contacting SPG and waiting a few days it seems that this downgrade is a technicality that only lasts a few days before being renewed as long as the SPG Platinum status is still active.

As mentioned in the previous article (access here) I enrolled for the Explorer Rewards membership and linked my accounts exactly one year ago it appears that MU’s memberships are good for one year from the date of qualification/ account upgrade.

My own Silver Membership obtained through this partnership expired last week even though I’m still and active SPG Platinum member and have already re-qualified months ago. I contacted SPG Customer Service to maybe get in touch with their China Eastern liaison to follow up on this.

I received the following reply:

… Thank you for contacting Starwood Preferred Guest in regards to your membership. It is always great hearing from our Elite members. I have looked into your request for information regarding our promotion with China Eastern and I would be happy to help.

If you are registered for the Eastern Explorer Rewards Program and are an SPG Platinum or Gold member, Starpoints you earn for eligible China Eastern flights will post to your SPG Member account within 6 weeks following the completion of the eligible flight segment. The same amount of time also applies to stays at SPG participating locations and miles being deposited into your China Eastern Explorer Rewards account. Non-Elite SPG members are not eligible to receive Starpoints for China Eastern flight segments.

If, after six weeks have passed, you do not see these Starpoints in your account, please let us know and we will be happy to further research this for you. If your China Eastern account was soft landed to another category you may need to contact China Eastern directly.

A totally generic reply that touches on pretty much everything someone can ask but really answers nothing. In the end Starwood refers to China Eastern (surprise, surprise!).

Nevertheless even a day before this email arrived I logged into my China Eastern App and saw that the Silver status had been renewed 4 days after dropping to the base level:

China Eastern Silver status doesn’t sound like much but it’s actually very valuable as it comes with benefits like:

  • Priority check-in
  • Priority boarding
  • Priority luggage handling
  • Access to the China Eastern business-class lounge
  • Excess-luggage allowance

This doesn’t just include China Eastern but also their partner China Southern as part of the China Alliance network, Greater China Connection. When I wanted to use this benefit in Shenyang however nobody ever heard of it despite being published on their own website and in use since 2013.

I like this little membership option because it provides lounge access and when simply having a domestic ticket within China even being SkyTeam Elite Plus with a partner such as Delta SkyMiles won’t help you with that as this perk requires an international connection flight. This is one of the reasons why I consider SkyTeam the most worthless airline alliance and don’t even bother flying them much.

Conclusion

If you plan on using this benefit you should have an open eye for when your Silver status officially expires and then monitor what happens to it.

I’m happy that this matter eventually resolved itself without having to involve China Eastern into it. I can only imagine how that would have went.

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