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San Antonio, Texas
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Has anyone used Smartfares.com for a multi-city overseas travel lately. They have a good deal for my need but I am nervous due to negative reviews in the past years on this site.

Thanks in advance!

98 replies to this topic
Houston, Texas
Destination Expert
for Solo Travel
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17,804 posts
191 reviews
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1. Re: Smartfares.com

Have you looked at these 2 posts:



In fact, one is from only a month ago, so you could have added/bumped it, rather than starting a new one.

Leeds, United...
Destination Expert
for Leeds, Bradford
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22,150 posts
339 reviews
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2. Re: Smartfares.com

Nothing wrong with creating a new post - two different questions in the same post can get confusing to which Q is being answered.

As BK has stated, there a few negative posts regarding them on here.

Edited: 23 June 2011, 22:16
Phoenix, Arizona...
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3. Re: Smartfares.com

Terrible service, I just booked one, if you want to make any change, that will be a disaster!!! They charge me $375 for changing, and $404 more for the airfare change, but I check their website, and all other website, the airfare only raise about $250-285 online.

Plus, their customer service is horrible, always late to response to you, it will keep you waiting for 20 minute to get some one to answer the phone. Even it is cheaper, it is not worthy the hassle, I will never use it again!!

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1 post
3 reviews
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4. Re: Smartfares.com

Indeed, terrible service! Their customer service agents are rude and couldn't care less. WILL NEVER BUY THROUGH THEM!

Georgetown, Kentucky
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1 post
8 reviews
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5. Re: Smartfares.com

This is the worst company I never seen in my life. I bought a flight for 4 people and I paid for it. Two days later smarfare.com called me to say that their website wasn't updated at the time that I bought the flights and that the real price for the flights were $600 more!! I refused to pay that amount and they offered me the following solution: "Okay, no problem, just cancel your flights with us by PAYING A CANCELATION FEE OF $400!!!!!!!". I couldn't believe it; After talking for almost 2 hours with a lady she asked me to call the next day to talk with the manager. I did it and he did offer me to keep the flights that I already bought by paying $400 more instead of $600. It seems like they don't have much respect for their customers by thinking that they are stupid, I really felt that this company doesn’t update its flights on purpose just to get prices better than other companies, but their prices are absolutely fake; I definitely checked online and I sadly discovered that I wasn’t the only one who had this problem with smartfare; they seem to be experts scamming people like they did with me. I'm a frequent flyer and I bought flights using Kayak, Orbitz, Bing, Cheapflight, Expedia... and I never ever had a problem like this. I'll publish this comment in my Facebook, Twitter, and Tripadvisor accounts to make sure that none of my friends or contacts would buy a flight from

Edited: 13 April 2013, 02:39
Riverside, CA
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70 posts
71 reviews
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6. Re: Smartfares.com

SmartFares is worse than you can imagine. On May 1, 2013 I visited their web site. Here is a copy and paste from the site:

Best Purchase Guarantee

Change your mind or cancel for any reason within 12 hrs - without penalty!

A unique offer that assures total satisfaction with this airfare purchase. For any reason, or even no reason at all, cancel this flight booking within 12hours - 100% free of charge*.

* Required field - you will need to accept or decline the Best Purchase Guarantee

Yes, I'd like to add the Best Purchase Guarantee for $9.99 per traveler*

No thanks, I decline Best Purchase Guarantee.

I accepted their Best Purchase Guarantee - and was immediately charged $19.98 on my credit card for this "Guarantee". No problem.

After placing my order with them, I continued browsing travel sites for the best deal. Within an hour, I found a better deal and ordered it. I then notified SmartFares via email and phone that I was cancelling. Their people in India seemed vague about the process, so I sent two more emails. A couple hours later - SmartFares issued tickets on U.S. Airways and charged my credit card for almost $3000. When I contacted U.S. Airways - they said they could not do anything, as SmartFares is able to use the airlines' server and order tickets direct. I made more phone calls and sent more emails reiterating the cancellation. They ignored it all. It has taken me two months to get my credit card company to credit my account.

SmartFares is the epitome of unscrupulousness.

Sydney, Australia
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51 posts
60 reviews
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7. Re: Smartfares.com

I have just been looking at booking with qantas, on their cheap fares, any changes also costs$300.00 per person per ticket, so it seems to b the condition of fare as oppose to online service. I am looking into booking with Smartfares.com as they are $1400 cheaper than expedia. Really would like to know if no changes made, if they r any good.

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8. Re: Smartfares.com

I devoted many hours to arranging a trip for busy family members who wanted to fly in to one city, out of another, in 3 European destinations, juggling busy schedulest cheaply as possible. I should have spent an equal amount of time researching the booking site. When all were agreed and ready to buyk Smartfares had the best prices for the right flights. Now while booking, a pop-up coupon eluded my pop-up blocker and offered an extra $20 discount.. However, the total would not adjust to reflect $20-off, so I called. Thank goodness. I was informed that the "last 3" seats on one of the flights had just been sold, and would have to book a more expensive flight (around $300 more each) for this leg. When I protested that the lower fares were still showing as "live" on the search engine, the agent claimed there could be more than a 24 time-lag. Of course, internet bookings could not happen if this were the case apart from rare exceptions. He revealed that had I not called but booked online (forgoing the pop-up offer), my credit card would have had a "hold" for up to 10 business days on the money for the nonexistent ticket. (This would have made it difficult to pay for real ones in the interim, so flights really would likely disappear in the interim, and we'd be back to the drawing-board, or worse -- likely the trip wouldn't work at all.) Then came the offers: conferring with a supervisor, he returned first with "$70-off" bonuses, and then found he could make the tickets only about $150 more. While this selling was going on, I brought up the carrier's own website on my laptop, found the seats on a 3-phase open-jaw for $1 -- one dollar -- less than Smartfare's original low price. Still politely expressing my disagreement with what he was claiming, I ended the call and smoothly booked the flights. Smartfares is disgraceful. I believe the pop-up offers are a ploy to get people to call in: once told the few seats at those lowest fares have been booked (by "a mother and her children" in my case), it's likely a percentage of callers will be persuaded by time and other constraints to just pay more and buy from them. I wonder if they are making money in any way, too, by placing holds on people's credit card charges. I've read in this forum of other practices they engage in to cheat. I encourage all of you who have been misled by Smartfares to write, giving details, to the search engine where you found them (in my case Momondo and Skyscanner), and protest in very strong terms. It is bad for their business, too.

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for London
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57,040 posts
14 reviews
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9. Re: Smartfares.com

adventureperth, change fees are set by the airline, not by a third party booking agent. As far as the '$1400 cheaper than expedia' fares offered by smartfares.com, if the airline cannot offer those reduced fares they are likely not available for sale for your flights.

The 'Save up to 70%' banner headline at the smartfare.com home page has a link to the fine print at the bottom of the page, indicating that the savings are off unrestricted Y class fares only. Y is the most expensive Economy class fare, often higher than a discounted fare in (some airlines') Premium Economy or even deeply discounted Business class.

Since there are a number of fare buckets in Economy, those discounts may be obtained by booking directly with the airline rather than through a third party site which does not have access to an airline's GDS.

The website also shows fares 'starting from $XXX' with the key words *starting from*. That means there was one seat available at that fare for that journey, but it was sold eight months ago. The fares did start from $XXX but the cheapest fare is now $YYY. It's not unscrupulous but a matter of how advertising copy is written; one must be able to look past the rhetoric to discover what really is available.

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2,551 posts
17 reviews
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10. Re: Smartfares.com

Best explanation I have seen to date TravellerPlus. It should be put up as a sticky for all to read

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