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Do Airlines Ever Get Creative with Flight Numbers?

Finnair Flight 666 made the journey from Copenhagen to Helsinki on Friday the 13th a total of 21 times between 2006 and 2017, all without incident. On the last of those Fridays -- Oct. 13, 2017 -- the Finnish flag carrier flew Flight 666 to HEL (the airport code for Helsinki), taking off and landing without a hitch, despite the supposed "unluckiness" of the day. The 90-minute flight arrived three minutes late, but the weather in HEL was reportedly partly sunny.

The devil is in the details:

  • In 2017, Finnair changed the flight number from 666 to 954, but denied that the Satanic associations of 666 had anything to do with it. The airline said that it routinely renumbers flights.
  • According to the King James version of the Book of Revelation, 666 is "the number of the beast," and a source of angst among the superstitious.
  • Friday the 13th has been feared for centuries. Its ominous origins go back to the New Testament -- for example, Judas was the 13th guest at the Last Supper and Jesus was crucified on a Friday.
Discussion Comments
By dimchild — On Jun 18, 2018

In Greece the unlucky and fearful day is Tuesday the 13th. This was the day that Constantinopole (today's Turkish Istambul) was captured by the Turks in late 15th century AD.

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