How to Beat High Airfares

This is an interesting strategy. Obviously, you can't check a bag if you're going to do it. You also have to be careful what you tell the agent at the counter, I'd guess.

A few years ago I had to rearrange my travel plans and this included getting off during a layover in Atlanta without using the second leg of my ticket. Since I was going to check a bag initially, I asked the woman at the counter how I should handle the situation. She informed me there'd be a $35 charge for changing my itinerary. So, I said, OK - I'll just carry my bag on. Her reply was predictable but I didn't see it coming: "Actually, now that I know you're planning to get off in Atlanta, I have to still charge you the $35."

Bottom line, I had to pay an airline more money for the privilege of not using something I'd already paid them for. Needless to say the agent couldn't see my point and/or wasn't in a position to excuse me from this obligation. $35 isn't a ton of money, but I spent the rest of the day trying to figure out what dollar amount would've sent me through the room in a fit of rage. I think anything over $75 would've done it.