You choose, we deliver
If you are interested in this story, you might be interested in others from The Journal Gazette. Go to www.journalgazette.net/newsletter and pick the subjects you care most about. We'll deliver your customized daily news report at 3 a.m. Fort Wayne time, right to your email.

Worth a click

  • 10 Things to Know
     Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:  1.
  • 46 years later, owner to get stolen Jaguar back
      LOS ANGELES – Forty-six years ago Ivan Schneider, successful Manhattan lawyer, bought himself the Jaguar convertible that would feature in a most unusual tale of unrequited love.
  • Dog missing from Pennsylvania found in Oregon
      PORTLAND, Ore. – A Jack Russell terrier that went missing from its Pennsylvania home has turned up at an animal shelter nearly 3,000 miles away.
Advertisement

Would you board flight 666 to HEL?

HELSINKI – 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.

“Less than 100 years ago, the number 13 did not have this sinister meaning; it’s quite recent in the north,” said Ulo Valk, professor of comparative folklore at the University of Tartu in Estonia.

“There are 12 hours, 12 months and in Christianity 12 apostles and this is a divine number. Add one more and it brings in a certain element of chaos,” he said.

But passengers on flight 666 to HEL should have a calm flight over the Baltic at this time of year.

“It’s hopefully smooth skies” says Keidasto. “And if there’s some passenger who is anxious about this 666 our cabin crew is always happy to help them.”

Advertisement