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After collecting My Smart Traveller (MST) points for almost five years, I encountered my first decline in crediting points for my lounge visits at the Plaza Premium lounge in Orlando International Airport Terminal C. Although more than five agents were at the counter area, none knew how the program worked. We will discuss what happened at the lounge and what the T&Cs say regarding collecting MST points. So, if you are ever in a similar situation, I hope you will not need to waste your precious time speaking to the human robots or drilling through the T&Cs.
About My Smart Traveller Program
My Smart Traveller is a loyalty program created by Plaza Premium Group at the end of 2017 and was initially named the Arrture program. In January 2021, it was replaced or rebranded as My Smart Traveller. The primary usage for MST points is redeeming for a one-time upgrade pass (if you already have access to the regular premium plaza lounges) to access Hong Kong International Airport’s Plaza Premium First Class lounge or redeeming for passes to access other regular Plaza Premium lounges around the world.
Collecting and Redeeming MST points
A single visit to any regular Plaza Premium lounge will get you 100 MST points, and you may earn more points when you purchase a visit voucher or spend money on other services the Plaza Premium group has, such as airport hotel, meet and greet, etc. However, visiting the lounge with your American Express or other lounge membership, such as Priority Pass, will earn you 100 points without additional cost or effort. All you need to do is show your MST membership QR code when checking in at any Plaza Premium lounge. I often would check into the lounge, collect the points, and move on to the next lounge. It is a minimal effort to gamify your lounge hopping experience and earn something in return. Does anyone still remember the Carrot Rewards program in Canada?
It will take at least 28 visits to accumulate something meaningful, a pass to the Plaza Premium lounge after five years, including the COVID years. I only managed to collect 5500 points, which means 55 visits to the lounge. I redeemed a Plaza Premium pass for my colleague who got stuck at the HKG for a day. We may all have access to the Plaza Premium Lounge with our credit cards or the lounge membership with our credit cards. However, for your colleagues or distant friends ( if not distant, why are you leaving the referral on the table?), having a few hours of peace of mind in a chaotic airport could be a different experience for them. It may work better than a nice dinner or ten coffees.
MCO Plaza Premium declined to credit points
After collecting MST points without hiccups using my credit card or Priority Pass, I visited the Orlando Plaza Premium Lounge. I swiped my credit card and showed my boarding pass; then, I was told I was good to go. As I opened the MST app, the dragon said you cannot collect points on credit card visits because I did not pay to visit the lounge. Her voice was not very confident either. I did not want to argue as I was exhausted after accompanying an 8-year-old boy in the wild for the past three days, and I had to survive the time-share presentation drama. As a law-abiding Canadian parent, where the law prohibits beating, I needed to vent in other ways. Therefore, I opened my phone and spent some of my eating and drinking time studying the official program terms and conditions to prove they were wrong about the information they provided.
I will not recite the T&Cs in detail, but I returned to the lobby and showed the receptionist. They still refused to credit my point, which I am unsure why. Maybe they were not trained to do it? As a last resort, I asked them to provide me with a receipt for my visit. At first, one dragon was unsure how to print a receipt, and she tried to give me the impression that she could not do it. I politely looked at her and was ready for the next step. I would request another admittance with one of my Priority Passes to “visit” again. Fortunately, her colleague stepped in and taught her to print a receipt.
With the receipt, I returned upstairs and submitted a missing points request to the MST website. To my surprise, MST representatives replied to my request within ten minutes and asked for additional information. A few days later, I received my points. I am impressed by My Smart Traveller’s customer service quality; it is miles better than Air Canada, as I am still waiting for an email from the Super Elite support desk I sent months ago.
Collecting and using MST points are very straightforward and require minimal effort. It also gives you a reason to walk more at the airport terminals. If you ever get rejected for your points, get a receipt from the lounge dragons; they are obliged to provide you with the receipt. You can sort the rest with the efficient MST customer services department.
Title Image Credit: My Smart Traveller