United Offers Flight Attendants, Pilots Extra Pay for Proof of Covid Vaccination

Chris Helgren | Reuters
  • United is offering extra pay for pilots and flight attendants who share their vaccine status.
  • The incentive is one of many companies are offering to encourage more employees to get their Covid vaccine.

United Airlines is offering new incentives to flight attendants and pilots who show proof of that they have received a Covid-19 vaccination, the latest plan from a company to encourage employees to get inoculated.

The carrier will give flight attendants up to three additional days off for nearly 10 hours of pay in their 2022 vacation day bank if they show they have been fully vaccinated by June 9, according to a memo from their union sent Thursday.

They will receive two days valued at 6.5 hours of pay if they receive the first dose between June 10 and July 1 and the second in the manufacturers' requirements, unless it is a single-dose shot.

The programs are voluntary but the Association of Flight Attendants, their union, noted that governments could require it.

"In the event a vaccination requirement was to come about, any Flight Attendant not vaccinated and/or who has not provided documentation to substantiate the vaccination to United would be ineligible to work any flight to a destination in a country where a vaccination requirement exists," the AFA said.

United last week offered its pilots 13 hours of pay if they showed proof of vaccination before June 1, 12 hours before June 10 and 11 hours of pay after that through June 30, when the incentive ends.

Roughly 80% of United's approximately 12,500 pilots have been vaccinated, according to a company spokeswoman.

United's CEO, Scott Kirby, in January said he wanted to make vaccines mandatory for employees but so far the company has not made a decision. Rival Delta Air Lines last month said the vaccine would be mandatory for new employees. Both Delta and American have offered employees extra time off to get vaccinated.

United last month launched a contest with free tickets as the prize for customers who upload their vaccination cards to the airline's platform by June 22. The airline will hold drawings in June, selecting 30 winners for roundtrip tickets for two anywhere the airline flies. In July, five grand prize winners will receive one year of free travel for themselves and a companion.

More than 500,000 people entered the contest, United said.

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