What Pan Am Did for/to Us

Wonder why Spirit Airlines charged you $26 for your carry-on bag one time but $45 on another flight? It’s called dynamic pricing, constant adjustment of prices based on demand, in general and, more specifically, what their algorithms determine is how badly you want to buy it.

It’s also why if you check flight prices for a particular itinerary and come back a couple days later to discover the fare has gone up. The airline remembers you — think “cookies” — and it will likely cost more the next time you check. They want you to decide you’d better buy now, before the price goes up more.

But what does all this have to do with Pan Am?

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