So long, Northwest. Department of Justice approves merger

For those of you who were holding onto one last shred of hope that Delta and Northwest might not merge, you can go ahead and flush that down the toilet — the Department of Justice just approved the merger, saying:

“After a thorough, six-month investigation, during which the Division obtained extensive information from a wide range of market participants–including the companies, other airlines, corporate customers and travel agents–the Division has determined that the proposed merger between Delta and Northwest is likely to produce substantial and credible efficiencies that will benefit U.S. consumers and is not likely to substantially lessen competition.”

Not that we weren’t already heading full tilt into the merger. Just this week the two airlines integrated upgrade policies (now one can be upgraded on the other based on elite status), and the buzz about NW flight attendants getting fitted for Delta uniforms has already popped up in a few places in the underground.

So to speak, this message from the DOJ just puts the final nail in the coffin. Over the next twelve months you’ll slowly start seeing red tails disappear from the tarmac to become red white and blue, you schedules out of Atlanta, Detroit, Minneapolis and Cincinnati will get rejiggered and your boarding passes will suddenly carry the wrong name.

So long, Northwest Airlines. It was a fun ride while it lasted.