The news of United Airlines'(NYSE: UAL) bankruptcy has been mildly exaggerated.

Just days after rejecting a pay cut that was considered crucial in helping the airline avoid Chapter 11, leaders of United's mechanics' union reversed course today after weekend negotiations clarified a couple of issues. "It is the final opportunity to avoid bankruptcy and protect against the elimination of our entire collective bargaining agreement," according to a letter to members posted on the union's website. The final vote will come on Thursday.

This is the last major union to agree to significant wage and benefit reductions, and it now means United has a much better chance of landing a $1.8 billion federal loan guarantee. Without it, the company would almost certainly be forced to file for Chapter 11.

Though UAL shares were up by a third today, they are still fraught with risk. As many have noted, it's still far from sure the company will be able to secure the loan -- so bankruptcy is still very much a possibility.