United Offers Flight Crews Vaccination Bonuses


United Airlines is trying the carrot rather than the stick to convince its flight crews to get  vaccinated against COVID-19 sooner rather than later according to CNBC. Late last month, the company  offered pilots up to 13 hours of pay to roll up their sleeves. The first deadline was June 1 but those who get the jab by June 10 will get 12 hours while vaccinations obtained before June 30 will get them 11 hours. About 80 percent of United pilots are already vaccinated but it’s not clear if the bonuses apply to those who got it done without the incentive.

Similar bonuses are being offered to flight attendants with a 13-hour offer to those who get the shot before July 1. The offer is a sharp contrast to CEO Scott Kirby’s well publicized January comments that he wanted to make vaccinations mandatory for all 60,000 employees. Delta announced last month that all new employees would need vaccination certificates.

Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.

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  1. I am immune compromised. I will return to flying commercial only when vaccination is mandatory for all crew and passengers. As an employer, UAL has every legal right to require vaccination of all employees as a condition of employment. You would think that the employees would want this also, so they could be safe working in crowded, enclosed environment, despite HEPA Filters.

  2. I know many doctors who decline the vaccine for health or personal reasons. in America we still have (declining) freedoms, including freedom over our bodies, unless you are not born yet.

    • Whoa, John, hold on there. Making decisions without context is the very definition of lunacy. Taking a non FDA approved injection (for something that a paper mask was supposed to defeat) is rather extreme.

      Look up the opinion of Eric Clapton on what he thinks of the push to just follow without question…

    • Your definition and misuse of the insult ‘quackery’ bears resolution.

      Doctors in America are also Americans, and as such continue to exercise our God given (not government given) freedoms.

      • At the hospital I work for more than 60% of physicians and nurse practitioners elected top get the vaccine. Of the 30-40% who did not I’m sure that they recommended it for people it was appropriate for. People are individuals. A good physician does not treat statistics or a population. We treat individuals.

  3. You can’t make me get the shot. Everyone knows the shot doesn’t work. I’m not giving up my freedom. I have a medical condition that prevents me from getting the shot, though I still can get a 1st class medical. My religion forbids me from being vaccinated. I have personal feelings about vaccines. OH WAIT! I can get 13 hours pay, around $2500 or so, for just getting the shot…Where do I sign up???

  4. Can employers who mandate the vaccine as a condition of employment be sued by employees who suffer debilitating reactions or death as a result of getting the shot? Remember the shot is not FDA approved, and did not undergo the full regimen of testing required before FDA can approve. It is given under emergency use authorization. Everyone should read this full disclosure of informed consent by Dr. Russell Blaylock before deciding whether to get the vaccine: https://www.technocracy.news/blaylock-on-vaccines-what-you-need-to-know-for-informed-consent/

    • Russell Blaylock, really? Twenty years from now when someone asks what you did during the Covid pandemic, you can tell them you didn’t do anything, except try scare people with rumors, lies and falsehoods.

      • Don, you have it backwards!
        I was not being scared, so I enjoyed driving on empty roads, flying from empty airports, and camping at deserted lakes. I want to thank the people in the political/news industry for giving me the whole outdoors and the best summer ever!

          • You asked the question “what did you do…”. and I answered your question as to what I did. How can that be answered for anyone but me? So yea, it’s a personal answer; duh!

        • I don’t remember asking you anything. Perhaps you’re a little sensitive trying to defend a position that is indefensible.

          • You raised the question, so I answered. Again you have it backwards; I never feel shamed for enjoying the God given natural rights and freedoms that are recognized in the Constitution. I did, and I will tell others. See ya!

  5. Yosemite last summer was wonderful with 25% the normal tourists. As was Glacier and Yellowstone. The absence of sheep improved the experience.