We all love a good deal and numerous websites are dedicated to finding the best prices for trips away. But besides avoiding peak season, what other tips are there for getting a cheap flight?
Try flying on Friday 13th. The weekend is just about to hit and with sunny days ahead it would seem like a nice time to travel. But many people avoid travelling on the 13 on superstitious grounds.
Those brave enough to travel could save 33% on a ticket by taking off this Friday, according to the flight search engine Kayak. “Flights on Friday 13 May are around €108 euros cheaper compared to the average price of all other Friday flights this year,” stated Kayak.
The average ticket costs €380 but decreased to €255 because of Friday the 13th.
However, not all airlines see a drop in numbers, Le Figaro reported. Some companies have sales to offset the potential downturn, which could make it a good day to find flight deals.
What’s up with 13?
The number 13 is seen as unlucky for several reasons. One is that it is a prime number with none of the symmetry of 12, which is considered a lucky and complete number. There are 12 months in a zodiac, 12 hours in a clock, 12 signs in the zodiac.
Another superstition relates to the Bible in which Jesus’ last supper before his crucifixion was attended by 13 people. Judas was the 13th member of the party, who betrayed Jesus and lead to his crucifixion.
But it goes back even further. In Norse mythology, the trickster god Loki crashed a party in Valhalla, bringing the number of guests to 13. The god Hodr was then deceived by Loki into shooting his brother Balder, the god of light and joy, which killed Balder immediately.
Yet it wasn’t until the 19th century that Friday the 13th became linked to misery. Putting together Friday and the number 13 was a Victorian invention, reported CNN.
Fast forward to the ’80s and a hockey-masked killer named Jason Voorhees went on a killing spree in Sean Cunningham’s horror film ‘Friday the 13th’, cementing the unluckiness of the day in the popular imagination.
Before the Judeo-Christian era, it seems that both Fridays and the number 13 were seen as harbingers of good luck.
Friday is linked to Old Nordic goddesses related to fertility, beauty and love. The number 13 was associated with lunar and menstrual cycles and seen as auspicious due to its focus on fertility, which in turn celebrated feminine power.
Pagan beliefs were at odds with the patriarchy of the new Judeo-Christian faith, and the celebration of Friday and the number 13 was considered unholy due to its emphasis on goddesses and fertility.
Friday the 13th is still considered an unlucky day but with increased knowledge of how misogyny has silenced women throughout the ages, the tides may be beginning to turn. Pop singer Taylor Swift sees the day as lucky.
What about the statistics?
There don’t appear to be any more flight accidents on Friday the 13th compared to any other day of the year. The Aviation Safety network did a statistical analysis of flights from January 1, 1945 to Friday, 13 September 2013. They found an average of 0,091 fatal accidents per day. In this period there were 188 Fridays on the 13th, with eight fatal crashes, translating into 0,067 per day.
Friday the 13th comes around one to three times a year. In 2022, there will only be one Friday the 13th so for anyone wanting cheaper flights, today is the day to go for it.