US Airlines Choose Not to Require Vaccines for Workers

US Airlines Choose Not to Require Vaccines for Workers

( – Three major US airlines have rejected forcing their staff to get the COVID vaccination. While all three say they’ll “encourage” staff to get the jab, none of them plan to make it mandatory – at least for existing employees.

On August 6, United Airlines announced that all its staff need to get vaccinated against coronavirus by October 25 or face termination – a move the airline, and apparently the Biden administration, hoped would set a standard for the industry. Less than a week later, it’s clear this hasn’t worked, as American, Delta and Southwest all stated they won’t be enforcing an employee vaccine mandate.

American Airlines CEO Doug Parker says his team is offering incentives to get vaccinated, including an extra 2022 vacation day for anyone who gets jabbed before August 31, but won’t bring in a mandate. Delta requires proof of vaccination for all new hires, but boss Ed Bastian said that with 75% of employees vaccinated already, the numbers affected by a mandate are too small to make it worthwhile. Southwest CEO Gary Kelly simply said that while they’ll continue to “strongly encourage” vaccination, they won’t be forcing anyone.

So far, only two small airlines – Frontier and Hawaiian – have actually followed United’s lead. With three major carriers refusing the mandate, the pressure on the others is now off.

Copyright 2021,