More airlines follow United’s lead, require staff to be vaccinated
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Editor’s note: This piece has been updated with additional information from American Airlines and Alaska Airlines.
On the heels of United’s announcement today that it would require all employees to be vaccinated, Frontier has announced a similar policy.
Frontier Airlines says it will require all direct employees to be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus by Oct. 1, 2021.
For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
Frontier Airlines president and CEO Barry Biffle said, “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. 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.”
Employees who do not comply with the vaccine mandate, either because they’ve chosen not to or are unable to, will be subjected to COVID-19 testing on a “regular basis.” This differs from United’s policy that states that non-compliant employees (who don’t have a medical or religious reason for not getting the vaccine) will be terminated.
The airline says the policy is “a clear next step for the airline as it remains committed to the health and safety of all passengers and crew members.”
Although the airline did not provide any numbers, Biffle said, “The good news is that the vast majority of our employees have already taken this important step and have gotten vaccinated.” He added that he hopes the mandate “will further increase the percentage of [Frontier’s] workforce that’s fully vaccinated.”
Delta Air Lines announced it would require all new hires to be vaccinated against COVID-19 back in May. Spokesperson Morgan Durrant told TPG via email that the airline is “strongly encouraging” its people to get vaccinated and noted that its employee vaccination rate is “now above 73%,” but stopped short of confirming that a mandate is on the way for employees.
A JetBlue spokesperson told TPG that the airline is “continuing to evaluate a vaccination requirement for all JetBlue crewmembers, and in the meantime, are actively encouraging our crewmembers to get a shot to protect themselves and those around them.” The spokesperson added that “Thousands of JetBlue crewmembers have already been vaccinated” and that the airline is “providing them with information about the benefits of vaccines and have held vaccination pop-ups in a number of locations to make it convenient for crewmembers.”
American Airlines CEO Doug Parker recently told The New York Times that his airline would not mandate vaccinations for employees, and a spokesperson for the airline told TPG in a statement that it had “no update to American’s policy at this time.” However, the airline is “strongly encouraging” employees to get vaccinated and is offering team members who get vaccinated an additional day off in 2022 and $50 through its employee recognition platform.
Alaska Airlines, for now, is also going the “strongly encourage” route, per a spokesperson. “While we currently do not have plans to mandate vaccines, we are exploring other ways to keep employees safe, such as mandatory weekly COVID testing for employees who choose not to get vaccinated. We will continue to adjust our policies and protocols as needed to ensure the safety of our employees and guests,” the airline said via email to TPG.
A spokesperson for Southwest said the airline had “no news…in this arena” when asked whether a similar policy is in the works.
Meanwhile, The Guardian is reporting that daily COVID-19 cases have moved above 100,000 per day for the first time since February as the delta variant continues to drive rising infection rates here in the U.S.
TPG has reached out to Spirit Airlines to inquire about any upcoming vaccine requirements or changes in policy and will update this post with additional information.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
- Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees