MastercardThe long-awaited return to travel appears on course. According to the Mastercard Economics Institute, if flight booking trends continue at the current pace, an estimated 1.5 billion more passengers globally will fly in 2022 compared to last year and tourists are spending 34 more on experiences than before the pandemic.

To support a smooth return, Mastercard expanded its Mastercard Travel Lifestyle Services platform with new partnerships that focus on seamless travel experiences and priceless moments for cardholders, including WhatsApp servicing, Covid alerts and perks like lounge access when flights are delayed. Mastercard Travel Lifestyle Services Story Spotlight Helping Our Cardholders Plan Unforgettable Moments Situation A cardholder contacted Mastercard Travel Lifestyle Services to help plan an unforgettable helicopter tour experience for his son who has Cerebral Palsy.

Cardholder Response So much happened on our trip it’s hard to know where to begin. Leaving the So Paulo airport, my son was given a special greeting by the captain and the crew. It felt like an honour, sweet and sincere. I even held back tears knowing how much it meant to him. We went for the helicopter tour it was extraordinary by the way and on the way back we found a package in the room with a letter from our Lifestyle Manager.

When I opened the package to see what was inside, I couldn’t hold back the tears this time. I cried when I saw the book, The Man Who Loved Boxes, and then again when I read it to my son. This was not a random gift, it was a chosen gift, thoughtful and generous, and it ended up having an even greater meaning. When I thought it was over, the hotel reception called to say a package had arrived, so they brought it to me and when I opened it, I found a pilot cap.

My son loved it. Luckily, we can enjoy reliving these beautiful memories as our guide accompanied us and recorded everything with videos and photos. A Platform for Preferred Travel and Priceless Experiences. Mastercard Travel Lifestyle Services is a travel planning and booking gateway, granting World and World Elite cardholders access to exclusive guarantees, amenities and upgrades, 247 concierge and premium offers and entertainment from top travel brands.

With the experience economy in full swing, travellers can ignite their inner wanderlust through the Inspiration Module with exclusive city guides informed by local experts and member favourites. For service at the tap of a button, the program now offers WhatsApp servicing currently available in several geographies around the world and globally by year’s end where members can message Lifestyle Managers about travel and concierge requests from their phone. With pivotal perks like Lowest Hotel Rate Guarantee and Mastercard Hotel Stay Guarantee, cardholders enjoy free nights and preferential treatment across more than 4,000 4- and 5-star portfolio properties worldwide.

While in destination, travellers can book once-in-a-lifetime Priceless Experiences from a dream vacation to London and Paris featuring Michelin-starred restaurants to luxury glamping in Sweden’s Blekinge archipelago to a visit to the top of New York Citys One World Observatory. New Travel Partnerships and Premier Programs. In addition to the preferential experience of Mastercard Travel Lifestyle Services, Mastercard has forged a number of new partnerships to offer benefits that alleviate travel stress and support more enjoyable journeys.

They include Convenience For delayed flights or relaxing in peace, cardholders have access to a global network of over 1,100 airport lounges. Recent expansions include Mastercard Flight Delay Pass, now available in geographies worldwide for complimentary lounge access on qualifying delayed flights. Also newly launched is FastTrack in Europe to beat the queue and Mastercard Travel Pass in Canada for a hassle-free airport experience.

Connection Launched first in the Asia Pacific and to other regions within the year, select cardholders now have access to complimentary global roaming data packs for use in more than 200 destinations, with a 15 Mastercard discount on top-ups through Flexiroam.

Care Cardholders can opt-in to receive real-time notifications and the latest in COVID restrictions and requirements including testing locations and pricing through Sitata. Comfort Accessible anytime, anywhere, the new mycardbenefits.com is a digital insurance platform for Mastercard cardholders to immediately see – and seamlessly process – claims for the insurances included on their card such as car rental, lost luggage replacement, cell phone and trip cancellation.

Written by: Matthew Thomas