Pan Am gets a second life on ABC this fall, but fans of the popular new show may be scratching their heads trying to remember what exactly happened to the now-defunct airline. Many were surprised when Pan American World Airways went under in 1991. Yet, Pan Am is just one airline in an encyclopedia list of companies that have gone under in the U.S.
Like Pan Am, many airlines have been rocked by scandal (crashes, hijacking, safety concerns, etc.). Companies were forced to sell or change their name to hide from the backlash. Other airlines simply suffered from bad decision making, such as an honest marketing scheme where flight attendants said We made it! How about that, upon landing.
Almost every airline files for bankruptcy at one point or another. One company on this list even filed three times, though they probably should have given up after the first.
Click Start to learn about the demise of Pan Am and others. Some, like Pan Am, were leaders in the airline industry. Others we're hoping we never see again.