The Ultimate Airline Bankruptcy And Merger Cheat Sheet

Thinking of taking a trip but can’t remember which airlines are bankrupt and which ones are part of Delta? We know it can be difficult—that’s why we’ve put together a little cheat sheet to help you get through this time of uncertainty.

We’ve listed most of the major airlines and their regional affiliates. We’ve indicated whether the airlines are now defunct, part of Delta, recently bankrupt, or possibly looking for love with another airline. Regional airlines are marked with their affiliates’ logos. Watch out Continental… we think United has her eye on you. Enjoy!



Edit Your Comment

  1. blitzcat says:


  2. Chols says:

    I’ve had no problems with Delta in the past, just the occasional delay for inclement weather.

  3. SkokieGuy says:

    Clearly the oil companies have taught the world a lesson.

    Consolidate, demand subsidies, jack prices to punishing levels, when people complain, blame others (it’s demand, it’s terrorism, it’s security costs…..)

  4. Is American Airlines looking? I thought she was too big to marry with anyone domestically.

    I heard rumors that she was going to become the Russian bride of British Airways though. Because merging two airlines that lose luggage so consistently will obviously benefit us all.

  5. BigElectricCat says:

    US Air isn’t single. They just tied the knot with America West a couple of years ago.

    And AA snagged TWA about five years ago, too.

    If United gets Continental, that’ll leave only American, Delta and United as the large legacy carriers in the US. Everyone else will either be feeders, regionals, charters or low-cost carriers like AirTran or Southwest.

  6. jamar0303 says:

    Thinking in the *long* long term, what will happen to the whole of the airline industry if oil does run out?

  7. weakdome says:

    I hope US Air can hold out for one more tryst with me at the end of this month before she hooks up with someone else for good.

  8. BuddyGuyMontag says:

    I mainly fly CO – does UA have that Economy Plus deal, with the more legroom for a standard fee? At 6’4, it’s getting to the point where I’ll fly Virgin America and JetBlue just to be comfy.

  9. TechnoElf says:

    I have flown on a US Airways flight run by Pinnacle Airlines. I think they might be partnered to?

  10. BuddyGuyMontag says:

    @jamar0303: Catapults?

  11. Snarkysnake says:



    R.I.P. Last week.

  12. econobiker says:


    Either soybean oil jet fuel, slower dirigibles, or we go back to sailing ships…

  13. BlondeGrlz says:

    This is genius. I hate Delta but since Independence Air went out of business sometimes I don’t have much of a choice. Looks like it’s getting worse instead of better.

  14. sir_eccles says:

    @jamar0303: Put your arms out the window and start flapping.

  15. Snarkysnake says:


    “Clearly the oil companies have taught the world a lesson.”

    No, the oil companies have LEARNED a lesson:Despite charging more for our product (much more),a lot of Americans will buy a vehicle that uses wasteful amounts of it and adapt their budget and lifestyle to prioritize the purchase of that wasteful vehicle.

    I like living in America. It’s great. But we are burning an ever more expensive product in hulking SUV’s and pickup trucks for personal transportation.As if that wasn’t bad enough,there are food riots happening around the world because we are also burning food to keep these dinosaurs on the road.YOU HAVE EVERY RIGHT TO OWN AND DRIVE AN SUV. But don’t bitch and moan and send our military to seize the fuel when it gets too expensive.

  16. ClayS says:

    The oil producers are a cartel, a monopoly of sorts and their control the oil supply and therefore prices is nothing less than colussion.

    The oil companies have had a not-so-surprising epiphany that we will curtail our use of gasoline little despite soaring prices.

    When we reduce our demand for gas, prices will tumble.

  17. ohiomensch says:


    “.YOU HAVE EVERY RIGHT TO OWN AND DRIVE AN SUV. But don’t bitch and moan and send our military to seize the fuel when it gets too expensive. ”

    I thought that was why we are in Iraq. Oh yeah, fergot what a despot Saddam was, couldn’t have been for the oil..

  18. ClayS says:

    Really? When are we going to seize the oil?

    Because the last I’ve heard, US taxpayers have been footing the bill for this war. It might be nice if the Iraqis chipped in a little.

  19. blitzcat says:

    @Snarkysnake: Yeah, I know, I want to know why it didn’t make the chart.

  20. econobiker says:


    Actually oil was cheaper when Saddam was IN power. The probable reason we went into Iraq was because the Saudi’s were pissed off at Saddam’s continual dumping of oil on the black market at below market prices which lowered the price overall. Some say that George Bush had it in for Iraq even before the religious wack job Osama butted into the global political fray…

    Remember the UN oil for food (new palaces, sports cars, etc) deal with Iraq?

  21. holocron says:

    Technically, Midwest Airlines is owned by Northwest. Northwest to be owned by Delta. Therefore, Delta owns Midwest. You need to update the chart.

  22. coolkiwilivin says:

    Get over it people. The reason oil has gone up is b/c demand has shot through the roof. It’s NOT just the US but China and India. One of the Trivial Pursuits question in the 80’s is how many highways does Beijing have? Answer 0. I have no idea what the answer is now but I’m sure it’s no longer 0. We have oil all over the freaking place, off the coast of Florida, Anwar, etc etc. Our problem is short sighted environmentalists who can’t even allow a new refining plant to be built in the US in over 25 years. Conservation is one answer and new and innovative technologies are another but simple old fashioned importing is NOT the demon you all are making it out to be.

  23. mac-phisto says:

    @Snarkysnake: i half agree with you. the part i don’t agree with is the idea that american consumers have “true choice” in the marketplace when it comes to our automobiles.

    sure, many of us bought into the “bigger is better” hook, line & sinker when the glut made gas cheaper than water. & that tipped the market in favor of larger vehicles on the production line. & despite record sales of foreign “economy” cars, american car makers have been making cars bigger, less fuel-efficient, more luxurious & more expensive – killing off sub-compacts & moving compacts into the sedan category.

    it’s not as if americans are ONLY buying SUVs – it’s just that we have to buy foreign to get a real fuel-efficient car with few exceptions (ford focus, saturn ion). american car cos. claim that we are just not buying economical cars & that’s simply bullshit. we’re just not buying their economy cars. vw jetta/golf, honda civic, toyota corolla (to name a few) are all widely popular here.

    so is it really just our fault, as american consumers, that when we visit the dodge lot or the chevy lot or the ford lot, we drive off in a durango or a tahoe or an explorer? perhaps the problem is that we are visiting those lots in the first place?

  24. bobblack555 says:

    Delta. Sucks. Ass.

  25. mac-phisto says:

    @coolkiwilivin: it’s not just demand – it also has a lot to do with market speculation & investors dumping securities & moving into commodities – that happens whenever markets go south. the skyrocketing prices of gold & food can also be attributed to this (that ethanol argument is bullshit – if it’s really that much of a problem, kill corn/soy subsidies & problem solved).

  26. JackAshley says:

    @ClayS: Yes, cause charging the losing country in a war for all the damages often ends well! *cough versailles cough*

  27. ClayS says:

    These are different circumstances. We are supporting the free nation of Iraq in defending itself from insurgents. It would not be unreasonable for them to offer to contribute towards our expenses, especially given the high oil prices which benefit them financially.

  28. MFfan310 says:

    You forgot Republic Airways, a huge regional carrier: they do flying for Delta, American, United, Continental, US Airways, and Frontier.

  29. MFfan310 says:

    Oh, and Comair doesn’t fly for United… they only do baggage handling for them in several cities. They only fly for Delta.

  30. ohiomensch says:


    I guess I didn’t make my point clearly. I was trying to point out that when we went into Iraq there were folks that said the oil there would pay for the war, and as it turns out, we haven’t seen any of that money. Or any of the oil for that matter.

    Perhaps its like Forrest Gump’s “million dollar wound”.

  31. dotyoureyes says:

    You should probably include America West, which still technically exists as part of US Airways’ holding company.

    The reason — the pilot unions couldn’t agree on how to integrate seniority ranks. So USA and AW still fly two separate networks under one name.

    It looks like Delta and Northwest will operate in a similar fashion for a while as well.

  32. The Great Aussie Evil says:

    You shoulda put “Single and Staying that Way” instead of leaving blanks.

  33. katoninetales says:

    My biggest problem with Delta: I flew when I was 18 back for Christmas vacation. One delay led to another, and my last flight was a small plane that couldn’t delay in a storm like all the bigger ones had. OK, so we’re down to Christmas Eve night in Atlanta alone already, right? Then, Delta informs me that according to Airline Policy ™, I am not an adult and cannot be given a room or transportation to a room like all the grown-ups on the plane. Apparently in Deltaland the age of majority is (or was, as this was quite some time ago) 19. So, it’s safer for me to stay in the airport and spend Christmas Eve night sleeping on a chair?

    Eventually, I got a room, but I have not flown Delta since.

  34. BigElectricCat says:


    United does have Economy+, and you can actually *buy* your way into it, even if you’re not an elite frequent flyer. Check it out.


  35. vastrightwing says:

    I hate planning a trip that involves an airplane. I always feel dirty after the experience.

  36. compuguy1088 says:

    @bobblack555: Agreed, I’ve had some bad experiences with them…

  37. ExecutorElassus says:

    When I flew, uh… Delta (I think?) a few years ago, the stewardesses on all legs used the same tagline as part of their spiel after wheels down:
    “We realize you have a choice of bankrupt airlines to choose from, and we thank you for flying [Delta?].”
    It was kinda cute, with undertones of dread.
    Crap. I just booked a transatlantic to Buffalo with Continental; I hope she doesn’t elope before we get to, uh, consummate our relationship. Or that she doesn’t ditch me and my bags at the stopover in Philly.

  38. Buran says:

    @Snarkysnake: Actually, SUV and large-truck sales are down. A lot.

  39. Buran says:

    @katoninetales: I don’t blame you. I thought 18 was legally adulthood for everything except drinking (and smoking? I forget what the age requirement is for buying tobacco).

  40. Buran says:

    @JackAshley: And they got beaten down again for thinking that invading everything in sight was a good idea…

  41. cashmerewhore says:


    So was Aloha, but they listed it on the sheet.

  42. APFPilot says:

    @holocron: wrong

  43. Major-General says:

    @BigElectricCat: So the top three will remain…the top three, just in a different order.

  44. JackAshley says:

    @ClayS: Right…those comparatively impoverished people should certainly give up their (comparatively) meagre supply of cash to pay the people who’s help they didnt ask for. Sounds fair to me! They certainly don’t need it for stuff like roads, bridges, schools, clean water and the like…

  45. Serpephone says:

    DELTA = “Didn’t Even Leave The Airport”