Daily Archives: February 13, 2009

Cause of Buffalo Crash Sought

There are some very early indications that icing might have been a factor in last night’s crash of a Continental Connection commuter turboprop approaching Buffalo Niagara International Airport.

The crash into a house killed 49 people on the plane, and one on the ground.

The black boxes have been recovered. Let’s hope we learn something that can prevent this from happening again.


Afraid To Travel On Friday The 13th? You’re Not Alone

The other day I booked an airline trip for the kid, and found that the best seat choice on one leg was in row 13. So I selected it, wondering whether other people avoided it out of superstition.

Maybe some did. The Times of London reports that a quarter of Brits are superstitious about traveling on Friday the 13th. Last year a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll found that 13 percent (coincidentally) of Americans would be bothered by staying in a hotel room on the 13th floor, although only 9 percent said they’d mind enough to ask for a different floor.

Still, most hotels in the United States omit the 13th floor, going directly from 12 to 14. (I’d argue that there’s always a 13th floor, right above the 12th floor, no matter what you call it.) The practice is so widespread that there’s an argument against doing the logical thing and reinstating the 13th floor — firefighters now assume hotels won’t have one.

Most airlines have 13th rows on their aircraft but a few, including Continental, omit it.

I don’t suppose it really matters, but I still find it annoying. It’s confusing, silly and unbecoming in the 21st century.

So, please, let’s all get out there today and enjoy Friday the 13th.