United Airlines has told flight attendants and pilots that in order to work trips to high-risk countries, vaccinations will soon be mandatory.
Mandatory Vaccinations For United Airlines Crews
United has incentivized flight attendants and pilots to get vaccinated by offering lucrative bonus payments, particularly to pilots. Nevertheless, there remains a holdout among both work groups that has resisted the jab or not made the time yet to get it.
While United will not make vaccinations mandatory for existing crew members, all new hires are required to be vaccinated.
Starting in August, United will take away so-called “pay protection” for flight attendants who are scheduled to operate a trip to a country that requires vaccinations and cannot work the trip because they are not vaccinated. Furthermore, United announced that “to best protect our crewmembers traveling internationally to locations with high incidence rates of COVID-19” vaccinations will be required for crews working trips to:
United also indicated China and Taiwan may be added to the list depending upon negotiations with local governments over crew restrictions.
Pilots at United have worked out an agreement between the airline and union that will not penalize pilots for failing to get vaccinated.
“Since the COVID vaccination is not mandatory, pilots who elect not to be vaccinated will not be subject to any discipline.”
However, Live and Let’s Fly has learned that pilots who are not vaccinated will be removed from a trip to the countries above without pay.
United Airlines will require flight attendants and pilots working high-risk areas in Latin American and India to be vaccinated. The move comes as high vaccination rates continue to bring down COVID-19 numbers in the USA and Western Europe, but many other nations are experiencing alarming surges.