Friday the 13th

Would you board flight 666 to HEL?

by DAVID MAC DOUGALL

alt

File Photo

The daily flight AY666 from Copenhagen to Helsinki falls on Friday the 13th twice in 2013.

HELSINKI (AP) — 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."

____

Online: Track Finnair flight AY666 to HEL in real time at www.flightradar24.com

David Mac Dougall is on Twitter at www.twitter.com/davidmacdougall



More Local

Is former city manager back in the running in Grantville?

Johnny Williams is back in the hunt to reclaim his old job as Grantville city manager. The move to rehire Williams might prove difficult as ... Read More


UPDATE

Body in creek: No sign of foul play

After a preliminary investigation Friday, authorities do not believe Willie Jerel Stargell’s death was a homicide. On Thursday, Starge ... Read More


Locals react to new take on Cuba

On Wednesday, President Barack Obama announced his plans to renew and normalize relationships between the Unites States and Cuba. Although U ... Read More


First Fill the Stocking checks presented

The first checks for the Fill the Stocking campaign for 2014 have been presented – helping to meet needs of families and children duri ... Read More


Schools ask for input on 2016-2017 calendar

The Coweta County Board of Education is seeking public input and comment for the revisions to the proposed 2016-2017 school calendar. The pu ... Read More

Christmas gift ideas at local businesses

Looking for the perfect present? Look no further than Coweta’s small businesses. They offer great gifts at affordable prices. Here&rsq ... Read More