Do You Qualify for the American Airlines Vaccine Incentive?

Published: 03-14-2021
Should pilots receive an incentive to get the vaccine?

On Friday, March 5th, 2021 American Airlines issued a letter to employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine. In fact, American Airlines is offering actual incentives for some employees to get the vaccine quickly, so business can resume as normal.

Does this apply to you? Read on.

American Airlines Vaccine Incentive

According to Doug Parker, American Airlines CEO, and Robert Isom, AA President, “We still don’t know how quickly demand will return, but we know vaccines will be an important part of the recovery. That’s why we are fully engaged in the effort to make vaccinations available to our team as quickly and widely as possible”.

Thus far, American Airlines has decided not to make vaccines mandatory. But they do want all employees vaccinated.

To achieve their goal, AA will offer an extra vacation day in 2022, and $50 in “Nonstop Thanks” points if employees get a COVID-19 vaccination as soon as possible. This applies to all staff based in the United States.

No guidance was provided for employees who live in areas with a vaccine shortage, but presumably the program will last into the summer when vaccines are expected to become more available. The letter did specifically mention that employees based in Chicago O’Hare may be able to receive the one-shot vaccination produced by Johnson & Johnson as early as this week.

Other Companies Offering Vaccine Incentives?

Thus far, American Airlines is the only airline to offer vaccine incentives for employees.

Delta offers on-site vaccines, but not explicit incentives, such as extra vacation days. The international airline Etihad demands that staff gets vaccinated, and if they don’t, then the employees forfeit any paid sick leave should they get ill.

Here’s what other big businesses are offering employees to get vaccinated:

  • Lidi: $200 payment

  • Kroger: $100 payment, $100 in-store credit, and 1,000 fuel points

  • Marriott: An extra half of a wage earned in a day

  • Aldi, Dollar General, Trader Joe’s, Darden Restaurants, Starbucks: four hours worth of pay

  • Instacart: $25 payment

Given the toll that COVID has taken on the airline industry, it only makes sense that other airlines should offer concrete incentives.

Captains and pilots are cleared to receive the following COVID-19 vaccinations as of February 2021:

  • Pfizer-BioNTech

  • Moderna Therapeutics

  • Janssen, produced by Johnson & Johnson

Be sure to keep vaccination documentation on hand in case your airline does decide to offer a vaccine incentive in the future. You will likely retroactively qualify for an incentive bonus.

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