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Why Do Planes Not Have a Row 33?

Are you the sort of person who is very detail-oriented? If you are, you’ve probably noticed that some aircrafts don’t have row 33. 

Question is, why do airlines skip this row? The primary reason is that it use to help create a standardization amongst the seat order for older planes, but it is no longer necessary and those planes are slowly being phased out.

Important to note though is that only a few airlines in the USA skip row 33. The most popular airline known for this is United Airlines, and even then, it’s only in a few of its aircrafts. Examples of these aircrafts include Boeing 737-700, Boeing 757-200, Boeing 737-900 and Boeing 737-700. 

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Why Do Some Airplanes Not Have a 13TH Row?

Anytime you’re booking a flight, there are a couple of things that you pay attention to. These include cost, departure times, the items you can or can’t bring among others. 

But do you ever stop to think about the seat that you’re assigned? If you’re not superstitious, then you probably don’t. But if you are, you tend to avoid certain row numbers. 

The reason why some passengers avoid certain seating positions and rows- specifically the 13th row – is because it’s associated with being unlucky. 

The scientific term for the fear of this number is known as triskaidekaphobia. There are a few intriguing stories that explain why this value is deemed unlucky. 

The first school of thought is the fact that it relates to Jesus’ last supper. At the time, Jesus had 13 disciples and Judas- the one who wound up betraying him- was the 13th individual to be seated. 

Another narrative has it that the number 13 relates to Norse mythology. In the story, a 13th unwelcome visitor joined 12 gods during dinner. 

As fate would have it, this 13th individual was the ill-natured god Loki. This god deceived god Hoor to take the life of Baldr. The turn of events caused a lot of mourning across the world. 

Regardless of the version you believe, this is the core reason why some airlines skip this row. Essentially, they’re trying to respect the cultural beliefs of those who deem 13 an unlucky number. 

But as was the case with the 33rd row, not all airlines adhere to this. Delta Airlines is a good case in point. As shown here in its Boeing aircraft, it contains row 33. Others include American Airlines and Southwest Airlines.

Why Is There No Row 14 on Some Planes?

The reason why rows 4 & 14 are skipped is similar to the superstitious beliefs associated with the 13th row. 

In certain Asian countries, row 4 is omitted from the majority of airlines. The reasoning behind this stems from the way number 4 is pronounced in the Chinese language. The word “si” sounds vaguely similar to the translated word for “death”. 

This applies to row 14 as well. Translated to Chinese, the number 14 sounds similar to the same word for death. This explains why major airlines like Hong Kong Airlines and Cathay Pacific skip this row.

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Final Thoughts

The next time you’re given the freedom to choose an airplane seat, you might want to consider the row that it’s in. Some airlines intentionally omit certain rows because of their negative connotations. 

But if you’re not a superstitious individual, then this shouldn’t bother you at all. Rather, you should be more concerned about aspects such as the size of the seat, its proximity to an exit or window among others. 

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Hayden Wall

Hayden is the founder of Travel Gear Discounts and tries to vacation as much as possible. He loves finding the latest travel accessories that will make getting out easier and planning the perfect weekend getaway.