I spent a few hours on the phone with Expedia and Turkish airlines. When the Expedia guy told me about the $430 rebooking fee, he neglected to mention the "plus difference in ticket price" part. Not surprisingly, a same-day ticket to India is quite a bit more than one booked a month in advance. In short, they wanted almost $2000 to rebook the flight.
First, I don't have a spare $2000 kicking around; secondly, other airlines are offering the same flight for about $500 less, no strings attached. Nonetheless, not something could afford.
The Turkish Airways rep added fuel to the fire by telling me they will not honour the return portion of my return ticket, because I was a "no-show" for the first segment. Some bullshit about airline policy. The fuck they wouldn't. Now it's personal.
Feb 23 note: Planning on showing up for return flight (still noted as valid on website). If I have to buy a ticket I will sue and take this "policy" to the Supreme Court if I have to.
I spent a few hours researching and considering my options. The one I ended up choosing was a $600 one-way flight through Priceline.com, offered after a failed name-your-own-price attempt.
With only 2 hours to departure, I dropped everything and headed to the airport (checking first for my passport), dropped off the rental car, and made it to the gate with 30 minutes to spare.