"How much are you willing to pay?" This is what our SmartFare agent (Nixon) asked us when we called, stranded at the Perth airport after Air New Zealand informed us our flight home to Canada had been cancelled. My answer...$5000 CAD each. So when quoted $4740 each, we said yes, economy seated together. The final price became $13,885 CAD, economy seated apart. We felt desperate, took the seats, got home.
We feel we have been lied to, robbed, and taken advantage of in our desperate situation to get home.
UPDATE TO REVIEW...
After writing this review on SmartFare, San Diego, California, I submitted a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. They were super helpful and effective. They submitted my complaint to SmartFares, and I got a phone call from SmartFares the next day. They granted my request to reimburse the over charged fees based on my price-gouging complaint. I agreed to their terms requested of me: to remove my complaint with the BBB. I did so, and my extra charges were reimbursed.
I did not request some of the high fees charged for our initial tickets; I thought that, in light of the over-charging by ALL the airlines because of the number of people trying to fly home, it was worth the high inflated rate to get home. Also, I thought if I limited my complaint request to the last inflated fee, it would be more likely to get a settlement. I was correct. Good luck with your complaints to the Better Business Bureau.