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smarTours makes it possible to experience more once-in-a-lifetime trips. Since 1996, more than 200,000 travelers have taken a smarTours trip to 40+ exotic destinations around the globe. Our tours are priced "all in" (with airfare from U.S. origination airport) and require only a modest deposit to reserve. Some smarTravelers have taken five, 10 or even 20+ trips with us. smarTours is the smarter way to see the world.
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I was never refunded for my trip to Vietnam and lost $2552.00 I cancelled my February 4th trip on January 27th due to my Covid concerns. Our trip was on Air China with a very long layover in Shanghai. I had insurance but of course they said it did not cover a Pandemic. I had travel solely with Smartours for years and had brought many other travelers with me. To me it was disgraceful as this was a huge decision to make. I was not unaware enough to think I could travel through China and not be exposed to the Corona Virus. I was truly disappointed with them and realized that I did not count as a human trying not to bring this awful thing back to the USA. Obviously my life and the life of others was less important then the money they kept.
Booked a tour to Ireland along with 4 other people in my party. The tour scheduled for May 2020 was cancelled. Operator refused to refund our money ($4900 for myself and my husband) and gave us a credit for a future tour in May 2021. Now they have filed for bankruptcy so it is unlikely that we'll ever see the money. Fortunately, we had booked our airfare separately with Delta and they did refund our money as they are trustworthy. We had a positive experience with SmarTours on 2019, which is why we had booked again. I agree that a class action suit is in order and if anyone knows how to proceed, please post. There are thousands of us in this situation and as retirees on a fixed income we cannot afford to write off nearly $5000.
We're sorry for the frustration you experienced and for this late reply. Like many businesses impacted by the pandemic, we lost much of our staff and struggled to keep up with our customers' needs. We were also forced to make difficult decisions like updating our cancellation policy to offer affected customers a future tour credit in place of a monetary refund. We hope you'll continue to share feedback with us as we work to rebuild our business and restore the levels of service you expect.
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SmarTours filed for Chapter 11 on 10/19/20. Chances of getting a refund is slim to none. We had nothing but good experiences under prior management, having gone on a dozen or so trips over the years. However, our efforts to obtain a refund upon our cancellation PRIOR to their Covid cancellation was unsuccessful. Perhaps a class action is in order.
I am another customer who paid in full for a tour that was canceled due to Covid-19--the total is nearly $3,000. SmarTours is refusing to refund any money--and they have not responded to my many emails, letters, or phone calls about this matter. I, too, was given the run-around by supervisor Tyrell: they were reviewing my request, they were not issuing any more refunds for 6 - 8 weeks, I would get a call/email back with an answer, etc. Nothing ever happened; they never responded.
In August, I filed a complaint against SmarTours with the Better Business Bureau in NYC where their main offices are located. They did not respond to my complaint the first time, nor the second time. I agree that their plan is to stall, stonewall, and delay--and then likely go out of business. We need to act before that happens. To that end, I have contacted the law firm in California who filed the class action suit against EF Tours who was also refusing to issue refunds. This amount is far too much for me to simply write off or let go. Also, SmarTours doing this is just wrong, plain and simple.
My tour to Morocco was cancelled, due to Coronavirus. The country of Morocco closed its doors to travellers. Smartours has not refunded any of my payment (almost $4000). They cannot be reached. Phone calls and emails are not.
We had booked the Smartours trip to Portugal for 6/1/2020 and paid ($4558) for it in early March. The trip was canceled due to COVID and we requested a refund per the advice of their phone agents. Finally we reached the head of Customer Service Tyrell ** who informed us 2 weeks ago that we would get our Full refund shortly. Today on 9/3020 we now hear sorry no refunds just a credit. We like many are up in years and may not have the time to wait for safe travel to resume. Other tour companies like OAT and Gate One have returned the money. These crooks at Smartours have played games and hide behind the poor phone staff. We have travel under the old ownership and they were always good to us now this! I guess they are only interested in pulling in money now from new trips booked and screw the ones that they have already gotten paid from. Yes a class action suit would be good but not sure they will survive this pandemic anyway.
I paid $3,500 last February, for a trip to Eastern Europe that was canceled due to the pandemic, I have an email stating that I would receive a check... That was 7 months ago, every time I call they say that they aren’t issuing any checks for 6-8 more weeks. How is taking thousands of dollars from a customers and not giving them anything in return not theft? We need a class action suit!
SmarTours owes me my $1,200 deposit for two trips that I booked, $600 per trip. The first was a trip to Budapest, Vienna and Prague May 6-16, 2020. Smartours cancelled it on March 14, 2020. The second trip was to Cape Town Dec 9-17, 2020. Given the Covid-19 outbreak, that trip will not be running. On March 9, Smartours sent an email stating: “Your health and safety is our number one priority. Therefore, effective today, we are modifying our cancellation policy for all tours departing March 14-June 30. We want you to have peace of mind when you travel and trust that smartours will guide you safely through your must-see destinations. If you wish to cancel your trip, we will provide a full credit on what you paid (minus trip insurance and airline fees) if you wish to book a different tour or date to depart before the end of 2021. If you wish to cancel a tour departing after June 30, our normal Terms & conditions apply.”
I am not a bank: I do not want to lend Smartours $1,200 for an indeterminate amount of time. I cannot afford to do so. It is simply not fair, honorable, or good business that they are keeping my $1,200 deposit for these trips – a trip they cancelled and another that will certainly not run. No one from Smartours responded to my email or phone calls. On Dec 5, 2019, owner Greg Geronemus had sent us an email stating that the company had been sold: the new management is headed by Christine Peterson. And therein lies the problem. I always found Greg and his partner David a delight to deal with, as they were fair, honest, and accessible. We spoke at travel shows and at cocktail parties.
The new management, headed by Christine Peterson, is not acting in good faith. Just the opposite. Let’s be frank here: Smartours and all the other tour operators who treat their customers unfairly like this will likely be out of business before they can rebook or substitute anything. Ironically, their new booking policy does not require any deposit. Sincerely, Laurie **.
I booked a tour to Italy, over $5k. Smartours canceled it. Cannot get an answer about a refund. Insurance for travel with Tripmate is slow to respond also. I have a bad feeling about this. We need a class action lawsuit.
Despicable company policy. Obviously they have canceled my May 2020 trip to Greece and have forced me to accept rebooking next May. Whoa to anyone in my group next year because I will be very unhappy to have to travel with this company next year or ever. I called, I emailed, I wrote the president a letter asking for a refund. How dare they continue to have the use of my money – full payment – when they failed to provide services I contracted for? I have also requested info re travel insurance for the 2021 trip and, no surprise, no response. Horrible company. So many more trustworthy brands out there that care about their long time biz - I suspect this company is destined to go bankrupt and that is why they are keeping the money.
smarTours author review by ConsumerAffairs Research Team
The smarTours company has been in business since 1996, offering low-cost group vacation tours to exotic worldwide locales. To date, more than 150,000 satisfied travelers have used smarTours to book their holiday.
Expert guides: Local, English-speaking guides enhance the tourist experience by providing local knowledge of destination sites to smarTours guests in the language guests are most comfortable with. This allows travelers to enjoy traveling without the frustrations of a language barrier.
Deluxe accommodations: smarTours offer group booking options, which make it possible to enjoy bigger savings at both deluxe and first-class hotels.
Roommate services: Since traveling alone often comes with increased costs with many prices based on double occupancy, smarTours offers 'Find a Roommate' services to help keep travel costs low.
Airfare is included: Rather than incur additional expenses, international airfare is included with discounted packages through smarTours.
Industry certification: The smarTours company is a member of United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA), which allows travelers peace of mind since certified operators carry at least $1 million of professional liability insurance to cover issues and problems that may arise.
smarTours Company Information
- Company Name:
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- 545 8th Ave. Suite 2250
- New York
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- United States
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