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I often search multiple-hop flight routes from a source to a destination. it is very important that the flight route fits my schedule and budget. that includes adjustments or constraints due to commute times from home or workplace to airports (often there are multiple airports in the same city offering different options).

All or most of the flight search engines are limited to a filter of "2+ stops". It includes 3+/4+, but I want to compare such 3+/4+ stop flights ONLY and sort by distance/duration/price/etc, then book an itinerary that fits my schedule and budget. It may not make sense or may sound totally strange, but I am okay with paying an additional expense to get an extra hop that fits my schedule (takeoff and landing times).

I often use the usual sites like Skyscanner/Ctrip, Expedia, Kayak. Sometimes I'd like to see all options on a map like Kiwi or across a date range like Momondo. Even Gantt charts like Hipmunk or Skiplagged showing intermediate stops are fine. (Thanks, Team at Kiwi, Momondo, Hipmunk, Skiplagged)

Other sites i tried: Adioso, Hopper, Orbitz, Priceline, Travelocity, TripAdvisor, Hotwire.

I'd be happy to fly more segments. so 3+/4+ from A to B and 3+/4+ for B to A on the return leg is what I am looking for. That adds up to 6+/8+ for the entire trip.

Update: In short, I want to find a list of hops P,Q,R on one-way such that i can reach from A to B via P,Q,R in sequence, then K,L,M on the return leg to get back to A from B.

Trip:[A->P->Q->R->B], then [B->K->L->M->A] 3 hops in each side, 6 in total.

Any special function/feature i missed on the sites listed above?

  • I'm not sure how to specifically seek such flights, but can report that they aren't entirely uncommon. I once flew YQR-YWG-YYZ-YUL-YQB within Canada; that was the only way I could use my reward miles on the route on the day I wanted to travel. Buying a ticket from an airline that doesn't serve your home or the destination airport, but flies to both countries, could also work, e.g. on UA: YQR-YYZ-EWR-FRA-DUS or YQR-YYC-SFO-SYD-PER, among others. – Jim MacKenzie Nov 7 '17 at 3:44
  • But all 3+/4+ stop flights are included in the "2+ stops" filter, so...? – AakashM Nov 7 '17 at 9:05
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    Usually, you can filter for budget and schedule easily, so I really cannot mentally reproduce the problem. You seem to be making it harder for yourself by trying to filter for hops and then look through which match your other constraints. – skymningen Nov 7 '17 at 10:12
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    @DavidRicherby done, i did say my schedule and budget, thats why some reasons are best left "unstated", its a personal choice anyways, it simply means "i am ready to pay more to fly more and spend more time in the air to fit takeoff and landing timings into my schedule" – computingfreak Nov 7 '17 at 10:16
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    @DavidRicherby yes, i understand that there is a bell curve, direct flight perhaps most expensive (also the least expensive in some cases), then a reasonable flight with one hop or two, then an increasing cost as more segments are added. i only pick what fits in the reasonable region along with satisfying the time constraints. thanks for reading the updated question. i think it's a very common situation to buy a different flight than the most obvious route (in terms of cost and hops) so that it fits into the passenger's schedule, even if that means spending a little more. – computingfreak Nov 7 '17 at 11:44
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ITA Matrix, as always, is probably the most powerful flight search engine out there, and with a bit of trickery, you can ask it for flights with lots of stops.

Under its advanced routing codes, you can take advantage of the fact that F means any flight. If you F F F F+, you'll make sure that the flights are 4 segments or longer. For example, the following search will only return results 4 stops in each way from San Francisco to Johannesburg, South Africa.

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Once you find a flight like this, you can go to BookWithMatrix to book the ITA Matrix flight by pasting in the final itinerary there. Let me know if this works for you!

Edit: I initially totally missed that you can just do "F" for any single flight! Thanks @chx for the tip.

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    I can offer some anecdotal evidence that BookWithMatrix does work. I recently searched for and found flights for an ATL-LON-JNB-CPT return trip on ITA Matrix, copied and pasted the result for the option I liked into BookWithMatrix, and paid the exact fare which ITA listed. eTickets have been issued by the airline, so it's all legit. – brhans Nov 7 '17 at 13:36
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    Why the trickery? I put in f f f f and it worked just fine. – chx Nov 7 '17 at 15:33

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