Top Ten Ways to Game the Airline Fee System

Last week, both JetBlue and Sun Country advertised "all you can fly" deals good for a month's worth of flights. Will this work for you? A rule of thumb is, if you plan to take more than two coast-to-coast flights in a month, the answer is probably yes.

Also look for "all you can check" bag deals, such as United's ongoing special, which allows you two free checked-bags on every flight for a full year for under $250 (and this includes free bags for your traveling partners).

#4: Check Bags Without Paying Fees: How to get freebies.

You need a credit card, so why not use one branded by your favorite airline? Most will help you rack up miles, plus Delta's and Continental's cards give you free checked-bags. Only you know if the annual card fee is worth the number of bag fees you'd pay for in the course of a year.

Other options: fly JetBlue or Southwest and get bags for free, or do what I do and use a carry on. Bonus: you'll escape the airport a lot sooner than the checked-bag brigade.

#5: Save on Change Fees: Pay for standby instead (though this can be risky).

Not all airlines offer this, but American, for instance, allows you to change your ticket within 12 hours of your flight by paying a $50 standby fee (which sure beats the carrier's $150 "change fee"). Caution: this is only good for same-day flights, for the same itinerary. Also, if the airline has no empty seats, you're out of luck.

#6: Avoid Peak Travel Surcharges: Avoid the most popular days to fly.

An easy way to save but it gets a little tricky around the holidays when the airlines load up on designated peak travel days. So be sure to glance at a chart that shows dates without airline surcharges and fly then.

#7: Avoid Multiple Passenger Upcharges: Don't pay this unnecessary extra.

Traveling with a friend? Or a crowd? Taking the easy way out by purchasing all the tickets all at once can cost you.

I know this sounds crazy, but if you go online and request two tickets and the airline only has one ticket priced at $100 but it also has two tickets priced at $200 apiece, the system will not split your order; it will fulfill your request by giving you the two $200 tickets. So buy tickets one-at-a-time and pay a total of $300, or buy both at once and pay $400. Case closed.

#8: Use Technology: It will pick up savings you will probably miss.

You could spend your life eyeballing your computer for deals, or sign up for airfare alerts, and don't forget Twitter and Facebook. And attention iPhone users: we now have a real-time airfare alert app just for you.

#9: Save on Airfare: Shop Tuesdays through Thursday

An old tip but a good one: the cheapest fares are usually available during sale periods -- even from airlines that didn't begin the sales -- and this time frame is typically Tuesday through Thursday.

Saving on airfare gives you some wiggle room to splurge on that roomier aisle seat or early boarding (or both).

#10: Hope for an Internet-Worthy Incident (but do not instigate one).

JetBlue didn't have to do this, but they have pretty savvy PR and marketing folks, so when their flight attendant went viral by bailing from his plane via the emergency slide , the airline gave all those passenger a voucher worth 100 bucks.

Hey, I'll take my savings anywhere I can find them.

This work is the opinion of the columnist and does not reflect the opinion of ABC News.

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