These U.S. Airlines Are Requiring Vaccines for Employees — Here Are Their Policies
Hawaiian Airlines and Frontier Airlines have become the latest United States carriers to require employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19, following the lead of United Airlines.
On Monday, Peter Ingram, the president and CEO of Hawaiian Airlines, said all U.S.-based employees would be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Nov. 1. Employees will be able to apply for medical and religious exemptions and those who aren't vaccinated will be tested regularly.
"There is no greater demonstration of our values than ensuring the safety of others," Ingram said in a memo to employees, according to Hawaii News Now. "Safety is the foundation of air travel, and it is ingrained throughout our operation and service."
A representative for Hawaiian Airlines did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Travel + Leisure.
"As we continue to watch the rapid increase of new COVID-19 cases across the United States caused by the Delta variant, I am concerned for the well-being of our team members, their families and friends," Barry Biffle, the president and CEO of Frontier Airlines, said in a statement. "Safety is of the utmost importance at Frontier and we need to take every step possible for us to keep our teams safe, protect the operation and protect our passengers. The time has come to do what we can to help put an end to COVID-19."
However, other major U.S. carriers are currently holding off.
A spokesman for American Airlines told T+L there was "No update to American's policy at this time," but added the company was "strongly encouraging our team members to get vaccinated" and offering an incentive in the form of an additional day off in 2022 and $50 to those who do get the jab.
In a similar sentiment, a spokesperson for Alaska Airlines also told T+L that they encourage both passengers and employees to be vaccinated.
"While we currently don't require employees to be vaccinated, we're exploring all options to keep our employees safe," the spokesperson said. "We'll continue to adjust our policies and protocols as needed to ensure the safety of our employees and guests."
Delta Air Lines has required all new U.S. hires to be vaccinated since May, but CEO Ed Bastian has said it would be difficult to mandate a vaccine that has not yet received full federal approval. A spokesman for Delta told T+L the company was strongly encouraging current employees to get vaccinated and more than 73% of the workforce have done so already.
Southwest told T+L the company has no new updates to share on the topic of employee vaccinations but added the carrier is strongly encouraging employees to get vaccinated.
Representatives for JetBlue did not immediately respond to a request for comment from T+L on their employee policies.
Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.