Is the number 13 unlucky?

Preferences for certain numbers over others have affected the floor numbering in a high-profile Hong Kong development. This is akin to the widespread skipping of the 13th floor in buildings in the U.S. and elsewhere around the world (including the apartment building I lived in while I was growing up).

Marc Realty/Chicago

A Chicago office building renames the 13th and 14th floor as 14A and 14B, respectively.

Fear of the number 13 doesn’t extend to all parts of life. Representatives for several major U.S. airlines said all their planes contain a row 13. American Airlines customers are just as likely to choose that row as the 12th or the 14th, according to a spokeswoman. Southwest has first-come, first-seated policies, so it’s hard to say if customers prefer to sit elsewhere. However, spokeswoman Olga Romero said, “We don’t see any lower booking on Friday the 13th. Apparently our customers are not superstitious.”

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