Flight attendant reveals why 13th row is missing on aeroplanes

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Have you ever boarded a plane and noticed the 13th row is missing?

Well a flight attendant has spilt the industry secrets and revealed row 13 is often missing because of “bad luck”.

Flight attendant Henny Lim shared an explainer video to TikTok and told her followers: “In many cultures, number 13 is associated with bad luck”.

“That is why most airlines prefer to avoid igniting the superstitions of their customers and have opted to remove the number from the seating plans,” she said.

Ms Lim said the decision to avoid the 13th row is a practice followed by many airlines around the world in acknowledgment of superstitions associated with the number.

“The irrational fear of the number is known as ‘triskaidekaphobia,’” Ms Lim explained.

According to Barry Markovsky, a professor of sociology at the University of South Carolina, the origins of superstition are “murky and speculative”.

Prof Markovsky said the “bad reputation” could partly stem from the fact that 13 contrasts with the number 12, which is considered a lucky number associated with “completeness” (months of the year and the number of zodiacs).

The USC Professor explained 13 also has bad connotations according to the beliefs of Norse mythology and Christianity.

Air France, Iberia and Ryanair are just some of the airlines that don’t have row 13, with one Ryanair spokesman claiming it was an “American manufacturing tradition”.

However, the number 13 is not the only row occasionally skipped on board.

The number 17 is also considered unlucky, particularly in Italy. That is because when written as the Roman numeral XVII, its anagram is VIXI—which roughly translates to “I have lived” in Latin, suggesting “my life is over”.

“In some countries, for example Italy and Brazil, the typical unlucky number is 17 and not 13,” a spokesman for the German airline Lufthansa explained.

“Seeing as Lufthansa welcomes a lot of international passengers, we try to consider as many of these specific cultural beliefs as possible.

“That way nobody who thinks that the number is unlucky has to sit in that row.”

United Airlines Polaris doesn’t have a row 13 or 14 either, with row 14 considered unlucky in China as it sounds like “will die” in Chinese.

Ms Lim frequently shares about her life as a flight attendant, revealing hidden facts about flying, including why passengers can see “white smoke” inside an aircraft and what the crew eats.

She recently divulged the secret behind black triangle stickers on aeroplanes.

“Passengers sitting next to the triangles get the best view of the wings,” she said.

Ms Lim said if the flight crew needed to check the wings, the triangles let them know the “best vantage points for the slats and flaps outside”.

“If you’re flying an airline that allows you to choose your own seat, look for one of the triangles in the cabin,” she said.

“Anybody who loves taking window shots or videos will get the best view over the wings from these seats.”

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