I'm right at the threshold of a free ticket for my United Mileage Plus miles account, and I wanted to bump myself above 25,000. So I was shopping around for the longest way to get from ORD to GSO and back. They offer direct flights and connections through IAD, but I tried something that I'd never done before and looked for a multi-city route.
After some searching at Travelocity, I found that I could go from ORD-CLE-IAD-GSO and back for only $15 more than a nonstop ORD-GSO round trip flight! I searched some other cities, and the price was the same when I substituted EWR, CMH, BWI and HAR for CLE! I mixed and matched until I found the route that gave me the most diverse mix of planes; all the choices were the same price.
I'm sure that if I was able to find a bargain, it would work for other routings on other airlines. I thought I'd share this tip, for those who need miles or for those who just like to fly more than they have to.