The World From Your Airplane Window
A science writer's guide for the inquisitive air traveler.
- By Brian Clegg
- AirSpaceMag.com, February 07, 2012
Airport gates are traditionally numbered, with one exception: You'll usually find that gate 13 is missing. Although few people truly suffer from triskaidekaphobia, the number 13 is still often regarded as unlucky, something airlines and airports are enthusiastic to avoid.
Of course, in airports with no Gate 13, some passengers still consider gate 14 unlucky because ‘it’s really gate 13’. To prevent this from happening, Gate 12 in London Heathrow’s Terminal Four is at one end of the building, and Gate 14 is at the other end. As you never see the two gates side by side, it’s not obvious that Gate 13 is missing.