CleverLayover Search Engine: Find Cheap Flights and Really Long Layovers

(Hat Tip to Paul for finding this CN Traveler article)

Good morning everyone, I just learned about a new search engine for finding cheap flights.  But there is a catch… you usually end up with a long really long layover/stopover at 1 or more airports.  According to the article: “Launched last month by students at Harvard Business School, the new site searches routes to and from the world’s 500 largest airports—in Europe and beyond—to ‘combine two round trip tickets from non-partner airlines to find the cheapest fares.’ ”  Some people might see layovers/stopovers as a waste of time, while others see it as an added bonus where they can explore the city for a few hours/days.  Without further ado, let me show you how CleverLayover works…

Enter your round trip flight details into the search box.  As of right now, you can only search for round trip flights, no one ways or multi-city searches.

Clever Layover Home Page

The search engine will search for all possible routes between the airports.  Sometimes it will mix and match different airlines and throw in a couple layovers/stopovers into the results.

Clever Layover Searching Flights

For my first search, I looked at Dallas (DFW) to Tokyo (NRT).  CleverLayover found a few flights for $1,333 with 42+ hour flight/travel durations for both directions.

Clever Layover DFW-NRT Results

The cheapest option on Kayak was $1,410 with much shorter flight durations.

Kayak DFW-NRT Results

For my second search, I looked at New York (JFK) to London (LHR).  CleverLayover found a few options for $978 with a very long layover in Copenhagen (CPH) and a shorter layover in Oslo (OSL).

CleverLayover JFK-LHR Results

On Kayak, the cheapest option was $1,206 for a “Hacker Fare” (outbound on 1 airline and the inbound on another airline).  In this example, CleverLayover saved me around $228 and gave me a few hours to explore Copenhagen and Oslo.

Kayak JFK-LHR Results

For my third search, I looked at flights from Los Angeles (LAX) to London (LHR).  Since there are many, many possible routes between these 2 cities, I had to end the search early since it was taking too long, but the cheapest option I found was $1,120 on Aeroflot with long layovers in Moscow, Russia.

CleverLayover LAX-LHR

By comparison, Kayak found the same route.  Sometimes CleverLayover will find you big savings and sometimes it will spend several minutes looking and not find you any savings.

Kayak LAX-LHR Results

Unfortunately, sometimes CleverLayover stops searching and gets stuck on a random airport.  This happened a few times to me…

DTW Stuck DXB Stuck DSA Stuck

So will I use CleverLayover in the future?  Sure, a quick search could result in some interesting findings with a long layover in a city I want to spend a few hours in.  The worst thing that can happen is that the search engine won’t find you anything cheaper or more exciting than your basic ITA or Google Flights search engine.  So what do you have to lose?  Check out CleverLayover today!

If you have any questions, please leave a comment below.  Have a great day everyone!

12 thoughts on “CleverLayover Search Engine: Find Cheap Flights and Really Long Layovers

  1. Jason

    Cool post. With free stopovers being removed by some airlines, this is a nice tool for those that like to explore! Thanks, Grant.

    1. Grant

      Glad you like the concept, maybe you can find some awesome (free) layovers on your next trip. I think it works best for international flights, domestic flights do not work as well.

  2. Kaushik Anand


    I’m one of the co-founders of Clever Layover. Thanks a lot for covering us on this post and for pointing out a bug which we are fixing right away. Our mission is to go beyond helping people find the cheapest flight and to actually democratize the air travel space. You canr ead more about our take here:

    Thanks once again for covering and supporting us in this endeavor.


    1. Grant

      Good afternoon Kaushik, I appreciate the update regarding the long search times. Any chance you will add one way searching?

      I will check out the Quora article as well. Keep up the great work!

      1. Kaushik Anand

        Yes, we are thinking about both one way searching and multi-city options. We do see significant savings in the multi-city option but haven’t implemented both yet. Will update you as we do.

          1. Kaushik Anand


            We have implemented the one way booking feature. For example, we are able to save $157 off the cheapest Boston-Sydney fare on Kayak ($775) for June 2. Do check it out. I think the one way feature would be particularly beneficial to your readers as we don’t see anyone else optimizing for it.



          2. Grant

            Thank you for the update. I tried to replicate your search but whenever I click on One Way, the page starts searching even though I have not added the departure or destination cities. I’ve tested this with Google Chrome and IE and it happens both times.

          3. Kaushik Anand


            You can enter the origin, destination cities, date of departure and then press one-way instead of round trip. Sorry about the confusing UI!, We are working on revamping it to make it closer to other travel sites.



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