Just after the 13th hour on Friday, Oct. 13, Flight 666 took off for HEL — the International Air Transport Association code for Helsinki-Vantaa Airport in Finland — for one last time.
The Finnair flight departed Copenhagen, and landed safely roughly an hour and a half later. Greeting the aircraft, thankfully, were not hellish flames but “partly sunny weather.”
The Helsinki Airport made sure to receive the esteemed flight by having it arrive at gate 26 — double of 13.
Since 2006, Finnair has flown Flight 666 to Helsinki 21 times on Friday the 13th, according to the airline. The airline said it will be changing its flight numbers at the end of the month, and Flight 666 will become Flight 954.
The number 666, according to the King James version of the Book of Revelation, is “the number of the beast,” which many associate with the Devil. Friday the 13th has long been feared by the superstitious as a dreaded day of misfortune.
Possible reasons for the origins of the Friday the 13th bad luck story abound. For example, the 13th guest at the Last Supper, Judas, betrayed Jesus. Jesus may have been crucified on a Friday the 13th. There is a Norse myth about a god crashing a dinner as the 13th guest, wreaking havoc. A 1993 study published in the British Medical Journal even concluded the “risk of hospital admission as a result of a transport accident may be increased by as much as 52%” on Friday the 13th.
Why the change in flight numbers?
“We’re growing, so we need more flight numbers,” the company tweeted. “This is why we’ve done the renumbering.”
Those who aren’t spooked by traveling on Friday the 13th may be rewarded with cheaper flights. According to a study conducted by the travel search engine Kayak, the average cost of a flight departing from Britain on Friday, Jan. 13, this year was significantly cheaper than any other day that same month.
“Flight prices are very much based on demand — when demand is up they rise and when it is down they fall,” a Kayak spokesperson told The Telegraph. “Our data, therefore, indicates that many are choosing not to travel on Friday the 13th.”
Finnair’s morbid sense of humor won’t end quite yet.
“Farewell to Finnair AY666, but remember, we still have from SIN to HEL,” the airline wrote on Twitter, referring to Singapore.