Doin' It on the Cheap
My biggest tip for getting cheapy airline tickets is to go as a courier.
Some freight companies who deliver paperwork and packages worldwide have noticed that it is sometimes cheaper to buy a seat on a plane than space in the hold.
For this reason they can be persuaded to employ tight fisted scum like you 'n' me to take their deliveries for them, making it
even cheaper for both parties, by sharing the cost.
The shorter notice you are willing to fly at, the cheaper your flight will be. I managed to get out to Oz at 100 pounds cheaper than the cheapest (student) flight
I could find in any travel agent. It meant knocking around in Tokyo airport for 6 hours but that's a small price to pay, right? Always best to make sure your company is legit and not going to rip you off/ use you to unwittingly peddle drugs
to Japanese kiddies (much better to do that for your own profit). Often they will offer to show you the contents of the package you are carrying, and it is reasonable to ask if they don't.
There are websites that will sell you lists of these companies' details, but they are expensive (around $150 for a "list"). I was lucky to meet someone who already had the details of one. It may take research, but asking around will save you money.