What I sacrificed in the honor of the round trip flight ticket of $79!

P Chang
3 min readApr 29, 2024

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Tomorrow I am heading for Las Vegas for a five days four nights serious high tech conference.

Like many companies these days, we were encouraged to save every penny we could on corporate spending. More than two months ago I found this unbelievable flight and hotel bundle deal from a no-frill domestic airline where the ticket started as low as $79 and the hotel could be as low as $37/day during the week days. I immediately placed an order and forgot about it.

So it was not until this morning I started to check in the travel itinerary. I saw the airline sent me some emails few days ago reminding me about purchasing one carry on bag for $67/one way.

I read it, baffled first and then a bit shocked. I started to Google the checked luggage policy of this airline. It turned out that it only allows one small brief case or backpack that is less that 18 x 14 x 8 inches (45 x 35 x 20 cm).

And Las Vegas is a place you go and always come back. Now I understand why the ticket could be that cheap because most likely people have to surrender to the extra expenses of $67*2=$134 carry-on bag fee!

I couldn’t help smiling at this frugality game this airline is playing with us.

Well well it is no longer about whether I am able to afford that $134 for a carry-on bag, it is more about the principles. Am I willing to surrender to the fact that I will have to pay 170% over the ticket for a carry-on luggage? Absolutely not! I will not let the wicked airline win!

But this is an important conference where I will go with my boss for a show, meet our professional colleagues from sibling companies and attend a few dinner meetings and gatherings with potential future co-workers and industrial collaborators. If I had my 22 inch carry-on with me, along with a backpack, I would dress up a bit for the special occasions and help my boss to impress his industry frenemies the least to say.

But how could I let the wicked airline force my hands to pay extra 170% for these corporate vanities?! I decided to dress down for the whole occasion. And I pulled out my 25L hiking backpack and started packing as if I were heading to a few day trip hiking in the wilderness of East Sierra. I picked a pair of black unisex t-shirt with company logo on, two pair of light weight pants, a skirt that can be used for the show or later needed social events, plus the laptop and toothbrush and pjs and skin care cosmetics. The 25L backpack was quickly reaching the limits. I saw there was still a tiny room at the front pocket area of the 25L, I then squeezed in one designer wool cardigan I paid over $400 in a boutique store on Santana Row many years ago.

Ok, I won for this first game!

Judging by this experience, I need to be super vigilant when I get to the hotel to check in my $37/night super deal (normally over $200/week night). There will be more intellectually challenging tricks lay out in-front of me there and I need to be able to quickly spot the caveats and get what I need without any casualties.

I wish myself good luck there.

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P Chang

It all started with the 2020 SIP, when suddenly you became very reflective.