Finding cheaper flights through layovers

By Louisa Xu

The idea for Cleverlayover was born from our journey to Istanbul last winter. We realized that it would be cheaper to fly from Boston to Israel on one ticket and then fly to Turkey on another ticket. While this seemed counterintuitive, buying one more flight actually cost us less. With the money that we saved, we dedicated four days to exploring the bustling streets of Tel Aviv as well as the humbling history of Jerusalem. After we returned from Istanbul, we realized that our flight search methodology could be turned into an attractive business. The opportunity to visit two continents on a budget gave us a new perspective on how travel should be booked.

There hasn’t been a huge innovation in the flight search industry since meta search. Airline pricing is so inefficient that flying to more places can be cheaper and immersing in more cultures can cost less. For years, the online flight-booking space has been dominated by a few companies with significant pricing power. We wanted to use our experience and data to empower everyday travelers to do what they love to do within their own budget.

As we looked at the flight data, we realized that on 60% of all international routes, visiting a second destination can result in cheaper fares. With both the data and the experience telling a compelling story, we were convinced that this would be the future of leisure travel. We built to radically optimize travel booking: we simplified the process by revealing the most cost-effective layovers, and we display search results from low-cost carriers that are not partnered with the major airlines to give travelers a broader range of flight combinations. Cleverlayover isn’t just a search engine to find more affordable flights; it’s a tool for experiencing travel in the best way possible. Begin your travel with Cleverlayover to make the most of your trip.

Hack travel. Book differently. Save money.

Cleverlayover finds cheaper fares than any other flight search engine. On one in three searches, cleverlayover can find savings, and those savings average $200 per flight. Check out!

So how do we find cheaper flights?

Airline pricing is inefficient. For example, sometimes it costs more to fly from Chicago to Detroit than it costs to fly from San Francisco to Detroit. Other times, you might find that flying San Francisco to Chicago and then Chicago to Detroit is cheaper than buying a ticket from San Francisco to Detroit, even though that flight stops over in Chicago anyway.

Cleverlayover takes advantage of these inefficiencies. Many times we’ll find cheaper flights by breaking up the ticket into two when an airline prices the combination higher. In these cases, you take the same flights as if you were to buy one ticket, with the same airline, but because you purchase the flights separately, you pay less. Other times we’ll combine two different airlines and get you the cheapest airline for each leg of the flight. This often works because different airlines are popular in different regions, and some airlines such as Southwest are limited to smaller regions but offer the best fares within their area of service.

What is the tradeoff of flying cheaper?

When you split your trip into two tickets, you’ll have to check-in again at your layover destination. This might involve going through customs or missing your second flight when the first is delayed. Cleverlayover always builds in at least 3 hours at your layover to help mitigate the risk of missing your flight; however, you can also choose to stay at your layover for longer than a day. This has the added benefit of giving you another city to visit.

If you’re taking a longer trip, the savings could be worth taking an extended layover. Additionally, cleverlayover can sometimes save up to 90% of the cost of the ticket, in which case you could literally purchase multiple backup flights and still come out ahead.

Where is cleverlayover going next?

We are constantly improving the user experience on the site, and we’re also working to improve the user experience during the trip as well. Stay tuned for updates there.

Fundamentally, though, we are going to put pricing power back in the hands of the consumer by offering more options. We develop new insights from the data every day, and we can’t wait to show you more clever tricks.