This is largely about ticketing systems, where it is fixed price and you pay in advance. I don't recall ever doing this (that's not entirely true -- obvs I paid in advance when renting the hall and the caterer and all for a wedding or New Year's party or whatever) but I did think about the Flying Fish version of this at WDW -- I never did it, because I'm shy of that level of commitment after having to do a ton of cancellations when T. spent three days of a spring vacation at WDW throwing up.
I like the idea of being able to pay money to get a last minute, cherry reservation. But then, I like the idea of paying extra for an aisle seat, too. Other people disagree with me, and I'm okay with that.
I think the ending note is correct.
"“I think there’s going to be some shakeout in these companies, especially if the economy starts to tank,” said Kimes. Paid reservations, she added, are “kind of a luxury,” and one likely to take hold only in the biggest cities."