What more airline troubles mean for you, the consumer

The bad news for the airlines just keeps coming, doesn't it? Today, Delta announced a loss of over $6 billion for last quarter. Northwest announced a loss of over $4 billion for last quarter. And the two want to combine to make a double-digit billions per quarter loser of an airline.

Fuel costs are killing the airline industry, although I don't think many would disagree that for several years now, the management of most of the airlines has been sketchy. The airlines have simply had cost structures that made it hard to consistently make money.

As airlines go out of business, file for bankruptcy protection but continue operations, or try to combine to form more powerful companies, the consumers are the big losers. Never mind how much shareholders of the airlines stand to lose. Consumers are the ones who feel the direct pinch of airline industry problems.