Lifestyle A 20-year-old aviation expert tells us how he routinely shaves hundreds of pounds off business class flights

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With a high-flying career travelling the world testing first-class seats on new planes, Alex Macheras is a flight booking pro.

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(Arief Rakhman / Instagram)
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Alex Macheras is unlike most 20-year-olds. Instead of burying his head in the books or sending out a stream of CVs, he has built a high-flying career travelling the world testing first class seats on brand new planes.

He was born with the "travel bug" and began providing aviation analysis to the likes of the BBC and Sky News from the age of 14.

Now, he tests new planes before they're delivered to clients and shares photos of his experiences with his followers on Instagram and Twitter.

He's become a pro at booking flights of his own, whether it's to extend his trip into a vacation, or to get back to the UK from wherever he travels.

He told Business Insider that there are many things airlines try to do to catch passengers out when looking for the best deal. "It's not very fair for a member of the public trying to get the best deal," he said. "There are many things you need to know."

Among familiar tips about watching for online cookies and clocking up air miles, one piece of advice stood out.

Macheras said the best trick for getting a cheap flight is breaking up your journey with more than one flight — if you have a bit of flexibility.

"Connecting passengers get a totally different fare, just because your ticket started from somewhere else," he said.

"If I'm flying from London to New York and I want to fly British Airways Business Class, it will be a third off the price If I buy Stockholm to London to New York," he said. "By starting from Stockholm, you're not paying tax to leave the UK."

London to New York via Stockholm is not the exception. Macheras said this trick works for the majority of the long haul network.

"The last time I did it was from London to Singapore. I was starting my journey in the south of Spain anyways, so by travelling from Malaga to London to Singapore, I saved so much money, as I wasn't paying those taxes," he said. "I sat in the same seat, but it was so much cheaper."

He promises the hack is "not a fluke, if you've got the flexibility to do something like that."