The best way for you to get cheap flights and cheap hotel rates are by not booking directly with the airline or hotel.
Third party booking agents typically offer best rate gaurantee, meaning if you find the price cheaper any where else they will match it. Airlines and hotels direct will not match rates.
With fights you're able to earn frequent flyer miles no matter where or who you book with and can possibly double dip by earning rewards from the party you booked with. I have always found customer service to be just as good if not better when I have booked with sites such as Orbitz and hotels.com. An extra peice of advice is hotels.com gives you a night free after every 10 nights you stay at any hotel in any part of the world book through them. No cancellation fees, 24 hour live customer service and best rate guaranteed. You can beat it!
If you're looing to always get the best price on any flight or hotel, make sure you shop around and look outside of booking directly with an airline or hotel.