American Airlines takes different approach to employee vaccine requirements

American Airlines employees who are vaccinated will get additional day off in 2022

American Airlines isn't requiring its employees to get the coronavirus vaccine yet – although it is "strongly encouraging" them to do so, going so far as to offer rewards for those who get the jab.

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Team members who are inoculated will not only be "provided an additional day off in 2022," but they'll be given $50 through the company's employee recognition platform, an American Airlines spokesperson told FOX Business.  

American CEO Doug Parker previously told The New York Times that he favors incentives, "but we’re not putting mandates in place."

American Airlines

People check in at the American Airlines counter in the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport on July 16, 2020 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  (Joe Raedle/Getty Images / Getty Images)

The airline is one of a growing list of companies incentivizing its employees to get vaccinated especially as concerns surrounding the COVID-19 delta variant – which is fueling a surge of infections – grows.   

UNITED AIRLINES REQUIRING ALL EMPLOYEES TO GET VACCINATED

To combat the surge, some of American's competitors have already begun mandating vaccines for its employees as recently as last week. 

United Airlines was the first major airline to announce that it will require employees in the U.S. to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by late October. Frontier Airlines followed suit saying that it will require employees to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 1 or face "regular" testing for the virus.

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Since the highly contagious delta variant became the leading strain of COVID-19 in the U.S., most airlines have said it hasn’t affected ticket sales.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
AAL AMERICAN AIRLINES GROUP, INC. 17.93 +1.31 +7.88%
UAL UNITED AIRLINES HOLDINGS, INC. 43.99 +3.38 +8.32%
ULCC FRONTIER GROUP HOLDINGS 13.99 +0.43 +3.17%

However, airlines and other companies in the travel business were particularly devastated by the pandemic, which led to worldwide lockdown orders and travel restrictions.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.