Green Room

Video: Triskaidekaphobia costs big bucks

posted at 10:01 pm on September 13, 2013 by

Today’s Friday the 13th, which turns out to be a real bummer for the economy, according to CNN. The economic impact may be close to a billion dollars lost today, especially in the transportation industries. Let’s face it — if you’re even the least bit suspicious, would you want to get on an airplane today?

On the other hand, some enjoy flaunting their lack of superstition — or tempting fate:

Would you board flight 666 to HEL on Friday the 13th?

For superstitious travelers, that might be tempting fate. But Finnair passengers on AY666 to Helsinki — which has the 3 letter designation HEL — don’t seem too bothered. Friday’s flight is almost full.

“It has been quite a joke among the pilots” said veteran Finnair pilot Juha-Pekka Keidasto, who will fly the Airbus A320 from Copenhagen to Helsinki. “I’m not a superstitious man. It’s only a coincidence for me.”

The daily flight AY666 from Copenhagen to Helsinki falls on Friday the 13th twice in 2013. Friday the 13th is considered bad luck in many countries and the number 666 also has strong negative biblical associations.

Some airlines, like Scandinavian Airlines, take these fears seriously and don’t have a row 13 on board. However, the negative connotations are a relatively new phenomenon for northern Europeans, and Finnair and other regional carriers like Norwegian and Estonian Air keep row 13.

I’m not superstitious (although I’m never enthusiastic about flying), so that combination wouldn’t bother me. Does anyone really have a problem with the number 13? As much as it’s discussed, I don’t believe I’ve ever personally known anyone with triskaidekaphobia.

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Some airlines, like Scandinavian Airlines, take these fears seriously and don’t have a row 13 on board.

I don’t understand the fear. Are the phobics afraid that people who sit in Row 13 are more likely to die? Or will the plane crash if they sit in Row 13, but it will land safely if they’re seated safely in Row 14, and strangers occupy Row 13?

aunursa on September 13, 2013 at 11:58 PM

Do people have a problem with the number 13? Absolutely. When I was a kid, my family was in Summerside in Prince Eduard Island, Canada on Friday the 13th with a full moon. There was a festival going on and all hotels had been booked a long time ago. We couldn’t find a room anywhere. Even Charlottetown was booked when we called around. It was getting very late and no luck. We stopped for gas and saw a motel across the street. Decided to give it a shot for the umpteenth time. My Dad goes in and then comes back laughing. He says they’re all booked except for one room that no one wants. It’s room 13. My Dad was laughing because the guy offered it for half price as they couldn’t book it even with the festival on. Needless to say nothing weird happened. What was nice is that everything in the room was brand new (or at least never used). Not sure why they didn’t just label it 12B.

MrX on September 14, 2013 at 12:29 AM

I live in Lubbock, Texas and for a long time the TNMO bus station’s address here was 1313 13th Street. That gave me quite a pause the first time that I took the bus out of town. :)

Theophile on September 14, 2013 at 5:45 AM

I guess my son is not superstitious. He boarded a flight to Europe from Houston yesterday, Friday 13, 2013. He’s flying to Greece, so – according to the embedded video – it does not matter. Or maybe it just doesn’t matter, period.

No Truce With Kings on September 14, 2013 at 7:45 AM

Some airlines, like Scandinavian Airlines, take these fears seriously and don’t have a row 13 on board…

Just because it’s labeled 14 doesn’t mean it isn’t the 13th row, or building story, or room number. Just another example of those evil money grubbing corporations taking advantage of the oppressed masses. They should be forced to label it properly and leave it vacant as a public service. It wouldn’t cost them anything, they’ve got plenty of money.

Fenris on September 14, 2013 at 8:36 AM

Nationally, November 4, 2008 was one of the unluckiest days.

gbear on September 14, 2013 at 8:41 AM

That was the name of my first band.

I keed, I keed, but it was the name of my art studio. You guessed it, it was space #13 in the building.

Hubby and I were married on Friday the 13th. We lived on 13th Avenue at one point in our lives. I don’t mind 13. I detest 31 though… go figure.

Fallon on September 14, 2013 at 8:46 AM

Historically, I have the best luck on Friday the 13th. Take yesterday: I breezed through a jam-packed DMV in something like 15 minutes.

Count to 10 on September 14, 2013 at 9:29 AM

No 13th floors. Just another number to me.

Bmore on September 14, 2013 at 10:22 AM

If people avoid flying on the 13th, wouldn’t that be delayed revenue, not lost revenue?

If those same people still need to travel and book on another day, what’s lost?

JadeNYU on September 14, 2013 at 10:44 AM

I’m not, but one of my favorite composers was — to the extreme:

http://www.omg-facts.com/Technology/Composer-Arnold-Schoenberg-Was-So-Afraid/13023

bmmg39 on September 14, 2013 at 2:51 PM

Does anyone really have a problem with the number 13?

I dunno’, but why don’t you ask Lovell, Swigert and Haise.

cozmo on September 14, 2013 at 8:22 PM

I felt the need to be the thirteenth comment.

cozmo on September 14, 2013 at 8:28 PM

I’ve run the full gamut of superstition. Everything but the black cats. One of my adopted pups gave me pause though. Black with hazel eyes that glowed green in the dark POOKA HOUND!!!!!

katy the mean old lady on September 15, 2013 at 11:14 AM

I can think of one day in the year that would concern me about flying, but it has noting to do with superstition.

thuja on September 15, 2013 at 7:50 PM