While those of us who love to wager on sports are lamenting at the suspension of all the major leagues across the world, the reality is that we are living in a time where all aspects of daily life are basically at a standstill. With many people now being ordered to shelter in place, fewer and fewer are leaving the house and travelling for work. The roads are quiet, but the skies are quieter still, as airline traffic is all but non-existent in some places. All of this suggests that the major airlines are going to be in serious trouble if this current quarantine situation continues much longer, but which of them will file for bankruptcy first? We have the Special Wagers Odds for that and are going to make predictions based on a huge consumer airline survey performed in 2019, so let’s get right to it.
Special Wagers – Major Airline to Announce Filing for Bankruptcy 1st
American Airlines (+175)
There are several factors that go into American Airlines being the most likely to go bankrupt first, and it is more than just the results of the consumer survey. AA currently has more debt than they carried in 2011, which was the last time that they filed for bankruptcy, plus they are embroiled in ongoing labor issues. Making matters worse is that a large number of their fleet was grounded when problems arose with the 737 Max. The capper is that this airline finished last out of the 9 major US airlines in that 2019 survey. All of this suggests that they are a good bet to declare bankruptcy first.
Next on the list is Delta, but there are some things that suggest to me that they might not be the first with their hands out during this crisis. The most obvious reason is that they landed in the #1 spot in the consumer survey in 2019, with their worst category there being 2+ hour delays on the tarmac, which is not something that should be an issue right now. Their hub is in Atlanta, which is the busiest airport in the world, so there should still be lots of traffic. People will choose them when given limited options.
United Airlines (+250)
I would certainly out United Airlines ahead of Delta when talking about who is most likely to declare bankruptcy first, and it once again goes back to that 2019 consumer survey. People who are in a position where they need to fly are going to turn to the airline that they trust the most, with that survey showing Delta at the top of the list. United did not do well in that one, finishing down in 8th out of 9, just ahead of American Airlines by the slimmest of margins.
Southwest Airlines (+500)
There were a number of different factors that were taken into account with the 2019 survey, and while Southwest finished 3rd out of 9, they finished first in a pair of very important categories. They had the fewest number of complaints and also the fewest 2-hour+ delays on the tarmac. That speaks to an airline that is efficient and which puts the needs of its customers first. That should serve them well in these troubled times.