For superstitious folk, Friday the 13th is a doomed day. Notorious for its sinister vibes, it's a day throughout which no one would judge you for reeking of garlic (to ward off vampires, of course) or avoiding dangerous activities. Because if anything were to go awry, it would certainly be due to this particular Friday and its spooky reputation. That said, a group fearless Finnair just travelers took Friday the 13th Flight 666 to HEL with one 'L' — and they survived.
Here's How It Went
Maybe it's just me, but if my Friday, Oct. 13, 2017 plane ticket said I was going to HEL on Flight 666, I probably wouldn't get on board. That is terrifying and freaky and, frankly, something straight out of a horror movie. However, a plane full of brave souls in Copenhagen, Denmark hopped aboard Flight 666 like it was any other flight on any other day. Granted, its HEL destination is actually just Finland's Helsinki airport code and not a three letter reference to a flaming hot inferno. But that doesn't make it any less spooky!
According to The Telegraph, Flight 666's pilot wasn't fazed by the coincidence. "It has been quite a joke among the pilots," he reportedly said previously. "I'm not a superstitious man. It's only a coincidence for me. If there's some passenger who is anxious about this 666, our cabin crew is always happy to help them." How the cabin crew consoles scared passengers, I don't know. Free alcohol? Snacks? Magazines? Reminders that they're still alive and not going to the real hell?
Thankfully, Flight 666 didn't encounter any issues and landed safely in HEL (real name: Helsinki, Finland) at 3:53 p.m. local time, Condé Nast Traveler — who this year named Finnair one of the safest airlines in the world — reports. We can all breathe a sigh of relief.
But get this: Friday, Oct. 13, 2017 wasn't its first Friday the 13th journey. Twitter user @FR24Mike shared a photo of the flight's unique number and destination on May 13, 2016, captioning the eerie realization, "Can it get worse? Flight 666 to HEL on Friday 13th." (No, it cannot. Ever.)
Even back then, people were not having it.
"I'll walk," one person replied.
Another person, Brolin Walters, kindly asked if the plane managed to land.
Spoiler: Just like Friday, Oct. 13, 2017's flight, it did.
However, thrill seekers hoping to one day ride to HEL on Flight 666 might be slightly disappointed to hear that on Sunday, Oct. 29, the flight will be renamed 954. And I'm sure my fellow superstitious people will agree with me that it is, indeed, a welcome change. Today's world is already tumultuous enough without scary trips to HEL.
They're More Than Just Superstitions
If you're afraid of Friday the 13th and/or the number 666, don't discount your fears. They are legitimate phobias.
Paraskevidekatriaphobia is the word for a fear of Friday the 13th, for instance. Though the lengthy word with Greek origins might seem extremely difficult to pronounce, Dr. Donald Dossey from Asheville, NC's Stress Management Center/Phobia Institute suggests that pronouncing it is the cure, NPR reports. It's worth a try, right? The word for a fear of 666 is even longer — Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia — but it's unclear whether learning how to say it will yield the same phobia-banishing result.
I, for one, have both paraskevidekatriaphobia and hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia and definitely would not have been brave enough to buckle into a seat on Flight 666 to HEL. I would've patiently waited in Copenhagen for any other plane to, I don't know, JFK or LGA.