One of the best travel hack in terms of finding cheap airfare is to buy the cheapest ticket you can find to any transit city in a continent and then book a separate flight on one of that continent’s budget carriers to your final destination. For example, if you’re booking a flight from Los Angeles to Tirana, Albania, then you can book a return flight from LAX to any of the European cities like London, Paris, Munich, etc. And then look for cheap flights to Tirana.
But doing this requires patience to check multiple aggregate websites and airline sites to search all the potential routes to find those possible savings. This is what Cleverlayover does for you.
This new site searches routes to and from the world’s 500 largest airports combining two round trip tickets from non-partner airlines to find the cheapest fares. We tested the site for Los Angeles (LAX) to Lisbon (LIS) and found the cheapest ticket for $1,351 with US Airways and Deutsche Lufthansa as the airlines, whereas Kayak resulted into $1,532 on Air Canada.
Cleverlayover also displays color-coded bars giving you a look into how much layover you’ll have at every connection and the total flight time. You can toggle the “Visualize trip” state to ‘off’ to see the display in a textual format. The site does not book flights, but redirects you to the partner sites to confirm booking. And in all our tests, the booking websites almost always had higher prices than what was shown on Cleverlayover.
One of the main features we would love to see on Cleverlayover is multi-city search, and we hope this will be available soon.
Drawbacks of booking non-partner airline routes
- Combining tickets from multiple carriers has high probability of missing your connecting flight if a problem (like delays or missed flight) arises on the previous leg; in which case the second carrier won’t be obliged to help you.
- Depending on your immigration status, you may have to re-checkin your bags at your connecting airports which could be a huge downer for a lot of passengers.
All in all, start with Cleverlayover to see if you can find cheaper airfare, make sure to check the itinerary (like layover times, baggage re-checkin, immigration rules, etc.) if it’s worth the savings.