April 29, 2006
Gordon's Choice
Posted by Gordon Smith

Nwa Has anyone around here mentioned how much we despise air travel? Oh, yeah. And here and here. But see.

This morning, my flight from Boston to Detroit was delayed by about an hour for maintenance problems. This was a 6 am flight ... one of the first flights of the new day! Why is Northwest lining up defective planes for the first flights?!

Anyway, the delay caused me to miss my connection to Madison, which means that I am blogging this from the lovely Northwest terminal in Detroit.

En route to Detroit, I was reading David Hoffman's law review article, The "Duty" to be a Rational Investor, 90 Minn. L. Rev. 537 (2006), which rehearses the various cognitive biases that have become part of the standard account in behavioral law and economics. The message: investors are irrational.

Fresh on the heels of that, I was given this choice:

  • Leave Detroit at noon and arrive in Madison at 3:30 pm ... via O'Hare, or
  • Leave Detroit at 5:00 pm and arrive in Madison at 5:30 pm (direct flight).

Which would you take? I took the second option. When is the last time you went through O'Hare in the middle of the afternoon without some sort of catastrophe?

In the meantime, I am hoping to board a direct flight to Madison at noon. I am the first name on standby.

UPDATE: Well, my standby strategy failed. The flight was overbooked. Fifteen minutes prior to boarding, it looked like one seat would be open, and they called me to the counter. But alas, the passenger showed up about 10 minutes before the plane was scheduled to take off.

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