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How I Beat The Airlines
Posted by Paulie G.

We decided that we were going to go to Florida somewhat at the last minute, so I went to Cheaptickets.com (great site) to investigate airfare prices. We wanted to go from New York, Laguardia to West Palm Beach. To my dismay the airfare was almost $800 each!! and it was not even a direct flight! so I tried different options-- NY to Ft. Lauderdale, NY to Miami, Hartford to WPB, everything I could possibly think of. All were in the $700 to $800 range.

Finally after about an hour of trying, I remembered my Mother had a cousin in Naples, FL which was approx a 2.5 hour ride from where I really wanted to go. To my pleasant surprise the tickets were only $280 and it went through Miami, which was only 1 hour from where I wanted to go and then it continued on to Naples. So I booked 4 tickets (2 for us and 2 for my sister). I figured the worst case scenario is we would have to drive to and from Naples.

On the day of departure, we arrived at the airport and tried to check in our luggage with the skycap to Miami only. He said there was a problem that he could not do that. So he escorted us inside to the front of a long line and he had a private conversation with the woman behind the ticket counter (it's amazing what 5 bucks can do) and after a little double talk we finally got our luggage booked through to Miami only. At that time she said she would give us our boarding passes not only for the flight to Miami but right through to Naples. I didn't think anything of it at the time seeing we were getting off in Miami anyway. She said she booked Laina and I right through to Naples but my sister and her husband had to check in at Miami to receive their boarding passes to Naples because the flight was full. So we boarded the flight to Miami........ Here comes the good part!

While on the plane in flight (completely bored) I was thinking about what that ticketing agent said "the flight to Naples was full". This is where my brainstorm came in. WE WOULD VOLUNTARILLY BUMP OURSELVES TO NAPLES it was genious!!!

When we arrived in Miami, Laina and my brother-in-law went to baggage claim and my sister and I went to our departing gate to Naples, that we had no intentions of going on. We went up to the ticketing agent and sure enough the flight to Naples was overbooked by 10 people. We asked if we voluntarily bumped ourselves, if we could get compenstation and sure enough he said YES!


On our return flight, we were almost as lucky. My sister who was traveling with my nephew, an infant, called the airline and said that the baby had a very hard time with the flight down and didn't want to fly out of Naples because there is no direct flight to NY and sweet talked an airline Manager to letting us change our tickets to depart from West Palm Beach with no change fees!

To make a long story short, the trip could not have worked out any better and after years of getting screwed by the airlines I finally got them.

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