Delta and Northwest have finally agreed to merge together and form the world’s crappiest airline. The new airlines will be known as “Delta.” Are airline mergers like bank mergers, where the losing party in the deal usually gets to become the new namesake? [NYT]


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  1. BuddyGuyMontag says:

    I thought the World’s Crappiest Airline would be called Valujet.

  2. humphrmi says:

    Are airline mergers like bank mergers, where the losing party in the deal usually gets to become the new namesake?

    Delta isn’t the losing party, they are buying Northwest, they will own Northwest.

    With airline mergers, the losing parties are usually the employees and customers.

  3. Mollyg says:

    It could be worse, an airline could merge with Comcast or Verizon. Then the pilots would get lunch instead of pulling up to the gate, claim that no passengers were at the gate, and then lose your bags.

  4. BuddyGuyMontag says:

    I stand corrected, the world’s crappiest airline is Oceanic. They’ve had a hijacking and an unexplained crash in the last 10 years.

  5. chrisgeleven says:

    I will stick with flying Southwest thank you very much. Last week’s safety lapse withstanding, they have fantastic customer service and I completely trust them.

    How come they get it but few other airlines get it?

  6. homerjay says:

    @Mollyg: but not before setting the plane on fire.

  7. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    @Mollyg: And they’d also claim that the pilot waited at the gate for you for four hours with the plane running.

    Seriously, that’s the best name they could come up with? Delta? The could have named it “Grandma’s Happy Fun Time Awesome Fun-Pony Skybus,” but no…let’s keep the crappy old name to remind people just how much fun they’ve had in the last few years.

  8. Manok says:

    I use NW exclusively when I fly overseas (philippines mostly), but domestic…it’s a crap shoot. Delta always loses my luggage to my destination, without fail. I hate flying domestic.

  9. Hmm, good news for me I guess. My most frequent route is DTW to ATL, two hubs now.

    Oh well.

  10. GothGirl says:

    This could be awful for Memphis, TN.. which is a major hub for NW. People are scared here that they will close the airport even….

  11. ptkdude says:

    @GothGirl: According to both Delta and Northwest, no hubs will close. As for the “synergies” of the merger, I love how they tout increased destinations. Uh… I don’t think so. If I want to fly somewhere, I look to see what airline goes there, and I fly one of them. The net result to the consumer is the same number of destinations, the only change is the name on the outside of the plane and the flight attendant’s uniforms.

  12. Crazytree says:

    which trademark do you think has the more valuable goodwill… “delta” or “northwest airlines”?

  13. windypoo says:

    I, too, live in Memphis and I say Northwest is getting exactly what it asked for. Several years ago, Southwest Airlines wanted to enter the Memphis market but greedy Northwest announced that it needed ALL of the extra airport space/runways because they suddenly had plans to add tons of new flights to the Memphis area. This meant no room for Southwest! Consequently, Northwest slowly went broke because there really wasn’t enough demand for all of the ficticious flights they pretended to add. They might not find themselves in the pickle they are in if not for their foolishly selfish business practices. So, Ha! Ha! No, I do not work for Southwest Airlines =)

  14. Phas3Sh1ft says:

    How is Delta the loser here? Speaking from personal experience, I’ve never had any problems with NW. It’s the cheepest direct flight from Portland to Tokyo (and back), no lost luggage, etc. Delta, on the other hand, has had outstandingly crappy service and has lost my (and my family’s luggage) multiple times.

    Ben, if you’re gonna say something like that, say why!

  15. Me - now with more humidity says:

    LOL @ mollyg

    GothGirl: how stupid are you? no airline is going to close an airport.

  16. timmus says:

    I stand corrected, the world’s crappiest airline is Oceanic. They’ve had a hijacking and an unexplained crash in the last 10 years.

    Ha ha! It even has its own Wikipedia entry:

    Flight #
    815 In flight crash due to electro-magnetic pulse LOST
    343 Hijacked by terrorist; Plane retaken by special ops team in-flight Executive Decision
    762 Bomb planted on-board Nowhere to Land
    816 Police hunt for a murderer aboard the flight Code 11-14
    762 Emergency landing after being struck by lightning Category 6: Day of Destruction
    456 A passenger is murdered during the flight Diagnosis Murder

  17. StevieD says:


    Don’t see Memphis being downgraded from a hub just yet.

    While geographically Memphis will be redundate with Delta hubs at Dallas and Atlanta, there is a problem with traffic levels at DFW and ATL that will keep Memphis around for a good while.

  18. krunk4ever says:

    @chrisgeleven: Probably because they don’t have a union like the other airlines.

  19. LJKelley says:

    R.I.P. Northwest. In all my world travelling I have mostly flown on Northwest & KLM. In fact Northwest is a much stronger brand than Delta in Northern Europe or Asia (especially with Northwest’s Tokyo Hub).

    I know I prefer Northwest over Delta. But I also knew things were heading for the worse after the Mechanics Union strike. I was pleased with the KLM-Air France merger and enjoyed flying with them after the merger, but I don’t feel this will make a better airline but more of an “American Airlines” huge style airline that will include Delta’s nasty attitude.

    We really do need new airlines in the US, hopefully deregulation will allow European airlines to eventually compete domestically here. I know KLM has always treated me and my family right and I always love the free delicious sandwiches on every flight, even short haul.

  20. gilman says:

    Northwest and Delta, Best Buy and Circuit City… two signs down, five to go to the apocalypse

  21. cabinaero says:

    @Manok: Hey how full is NRT-MNL?

  22. The losers are anyone who has to fly on this airline and the people of Minnesota who have paid through the nose to keep Northworst afloat.

  23. FrankReality says:

    Ok, you take crappy airline #1, merge it with crappy airline #2 and the result is supposed to be the largest non-crappy airline in the world?

    Go figure.

    The big loser is indeed the state of Minnesota – they lose most of the executive jobs, it is unclear what will happen to the state concessions and loan guarantees the state gave to keep NorthWest alive and at last I heard all the maintenance jobs will be moving to Atlanta.

  24. FLConsumer says:

    I saw this in the news and thought the exact same thing as Ben. So you have two airlines who can’t seem to figure out how to turn a profit and are going to try to merge them? Isn’t that like trying to copy the dumb kid’s homework in school? It didn’t make sense then and it most certainly doesn’t now.

  25. LUV2CattleCall says:

    Well, if the America West/US Airways merger taught us anything, this should go GREAT!


    Everglades Express much? Fun fact: If you lift up the seat cushion on Airtran’s 717-200s, you’ll see that the seats were originally ordered by Valujet!


    Yep, the airport is actually in the process of contacting a locksmith to change the locks. There’s this small air-cargo company called Fed/Ex, perhaps you have heard of them? They have what’s called a “Bigmotherfucking” operation out of this almost shut down airport you speak of.

  26. ARP says:

    @FrankReality: I’m sure that money will be used for “retention bonuses.”

  27. ARP says:

    @Me: @LUV2CattleCall: Easy on GothGirl y’all. Maybe she didn’t know FedEx was based there.

    Besides, KMFDM and Lard albums don’t teach a lot about transportation macroeconomics.

    It’s a legitimate concern for some airports if the main airline that serves it is shut down.

  28. t325 says:

    @GothGirl: The airport isn’t going anywhere.

    STL got royally screwed once AA bought out TWA and shut down the hub. We went from a huge international airport with nonstop flights to just about anywhere in the world to an airport with flights to a small handful of domestic (and Toronto, which is the only thing international about Lambert International Airport) flights on small, crappy regional jets (and MD-80s, yeah, that must’ve been fun last week).

    At worst, that’s what will happen to MEM. But if Delta is true to their word, nothing will change (an airline being true to their word? Impossible, I know)

  29. tk427 says:

    I’ll miss the great Northwest fares.

  30. @tk427: Me too.

  31. DeafChick says:

    I’m not happy about this. I have Worldperks mile that I’m planning on using for a trip overseas this winter.

  32. PeteyNice says:

    I was hoping Delta would merge with United if they had to merge (so I can has ATL-SYD non-stop…). I am just glad they didn’t merge with Continental so I still have some choices for ATL-NYC flights.

  33. ThunderRoad says:

    Has there ever, in the history of modern economics, been an instance where a significant merger has been a benefit for the consumer?

    Less choice = higher rates. That’s high-school econ level concepts.

    Of course, this will be approved because it’s best for the wholly-owned subsidiaries masquerading as our political leaders.

  34. TheSpatulaOfLove says:

    Oh great. Two big shitty airlines form the world’s largest shitty airline.

    No thanks, I’ll continue to drive to my destinations.

  35. PeteyNice says:

    @TheSpatulaOfLove: Drive to Europe? Let me know how that works out for you….

  36. Orv says:

    @Mollyg: Or they could merge with Wal-Mart, and make you show your receipt to leave the plane.

    @ThunderRoad: Fares have to go higher, merger or no. Currently they’re too low to sustain the airlines, as evidenced by how many of them have gone under recently. No business can operate at a loss forever. The cost of doing business — mostly fuel — has gone up dramatically and fares will have to follow sooner or later.

  37. ThunderRoad says:

    I don’t disagree that fares have to go higher due to operational costs, but but removing competition, the go higher still.