U.S. Airlines split on vaccine mandates

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – As variants of the COVID virus decimate parts of the world, airlines in the U.S. are left with a decision to make: require employees be vaccinated or make it a personal choice.

United, Hawaiian, and Frontier have already released plans to require all employees be vaccinated against COVID. One flyer told FOX 46 that it didn’t matter to her whether the employees helping her were vaccinated.

“I’m sure there are several other entities where employees are not vaccinated. We’ve taken our precautions, so we’re doing good.”

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American Airlines, Delta, and Southwest have all decided not to require employees be vaccinated.

American CEO Doug Parker explained why he believed not requiring the vaccine was the correct choice, in a New York Times podcast.

“What we’ve been doing there, and doing from the start, is putting great incentives in for our employees to be vaccinated. Anyone who’s vaccinated by August 31 at American Airlines gets one day of extra vacation in 2022. They get a $50 gift card, and that we think is the right way to get people to get vaccinated; we’re pushing it really hard. That’s how we intend to do this, certainly encourage it everywhere we can. Encourage it for our customers and our employees. But we aren’t putting mandates in place.”


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Other passengers heavily believe in the vaccine and want everyone to be vaccinated. United passenger Mable Graham, traveling to Newark, says we should all seize the opportunity while we still can.

“Thank God you’re able to get your vaccine and not six feet under.”

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