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18: Thinking in Bets at the Airport

Yesterday, my first flight was delayed and there was about a 15% of me making that flight, so I changed to a later connection.

My first flight came in earlier than expected! I hauled ass to that terminal, counting down the minutes till the boarding gates closed... watching the remaining time go from 8 minutes, to 5 minutes, to 3 minutes...

I, completely out of breath, skidded to a stop in front of the gate with one minute remaining. "I was... huff booked for this huff flight, can I still huff get on?"

"We're sorry, the flight is completely full. We can put you on standby, but it doesn't look good, everyone checked in for this flight."

I sat down, and for the first time I thought, ‘I'm going to be sad if I don’t make this flight, but I stand by my decision! The probability was in favor of me having to take the later flight. If I didn’t book the later one and it filled up, I’d likely be spending the night in Dallas.”

A disheveled dude my age ran up to the gate. "Hey there, I was... huff booked for this huff flight, can I still huff get on?" He got the same spiel and slumped into a chair next to me.

“Damnit, I shouldn't have made this decision! I was on the fence about it!”

I tried to explain that decision quality isn't related to outcomes, but he was lost in his anger. And every time before this, I've been in his shoes. But yesterday, I thought in probabilities and salvaged my mood.

Ps- There were exactly two no-shows, and both he and I got on the flight. "I knew made the right decision!" the dude said. I chuckled to myself.