If you have lots of time — and spend some of that time shopping for bargains — you can get good deals on flights.
Especially if you are flying to or from London.
Included in my $368 fare with Qatar Airways was a free hotel night in a 4-star Doha hotel.
When I booked that hotel it looked like I was supposed to pay $22 / night. But when checking out they said I owed nothing. Hotel shuttle both ways was free too. Most nations get a free visa on arrival in Qatar.
This is the first time I’ve managed to deliberately book a free hotel stopover. It’s more difficult than the advertising would lead you to believe.
For future trips I often start looking at options using Google flights.
Once I decide on departure and arrival cities, I check prices on Google Matrix Airfare search.
Click ‘calendar of lowest fares‘ to see the range over a 30 day period.
If possible, I actually book the flight on the airline’s website. If they have a slow or confusing interface — or if the fare is higher than I found on Google — I start checking aggregators instead.
Some airlines are not on Google Matrix nor most aggregators: Southwest Airlines, Virgin America, EasyJet, Ryan, etc.