If you’ve done any amount of travel and booked your own arrangements, none of this will be a surprise. And things keep getting worse. Some airlines have pulled out of the online travel sites (Southwest never provided their information in the first place) because they don’t want consumers to be able to comparison shop. With options come negotiating power and pressure for better services and pricing. Almost all the service providers deconstruct their pricing and offerings for two reasons. One is so they can present a “base” price that seems more competitive. The other is to provide greater opportunities to upsell things that, not long ago, a reasonable consumer might have expected as part of regular service. (For example, just why does any luxury hotel still charge for Wi-Fi?) All businesses want customers and need to make sales, but there comes a time that your very effort undermines the entire business and leaves it vulnerable. As Ali put it, online travel sites show that strategies to convert visitors to buyers are out of control because they become the entire basis for the interchange. Everything becomes “only 2 seats left at this price!” That may or may not be true, but it eventually becomes the company that cried wolf. Get the full story at Inc.com