Our airlines are underappreciated. Even when there are glitches, a plane usually shows up, we board, and the pilot apologizes because it took us 25 extra minutes to cross the country.

Equally fascinating is how airlines price their services. The same seat that cost one passenger $228 with a three-week advance purchase can cost a last-minute flier over $2,000. This is maddening for the business flier, who cannot plan 21 days ahead and spend the weekend away from home.

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