Airline vaccine mandates: How will requirements affect holiday air travel?

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Vaccination requirements have been stepped up by the Biden administration

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As October winds down, the time that Americans typically start booking flights home for the holidays has begun to accelerate.

Traveling safely amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic comes with stringent guidelines, including wearing of masks, social distancing and immunization against coronavirus.

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Air travel has gradually resumed since 2020, but the road to recovery remains bumpy.

Southwest Airlines won’t fire unvaccinated employees: ‘It doesn’t make sense’

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The airlines, who are also government contractors, fall under President Biden. comprehensive september order That companies with more than 100 employees are required to have employees vaccinated or undergo weekly testing.

The White House has pressured US airlines to make vaccines mandatory for staff members by December 8 without a trial option.

to follow the rules, United Airlines said in September That 97% of its employees were fully vaccinated—not including a “small number” of employees seeking medical or religious exemptions from vaccination.

Six United employees sued the company, claiming the airline was discriminating against employees who are exempt from the vaccine mandate by placing them on unpaid leave.

At the beginning of the month, American Airlines, Alaska Airlines and JetBlue He said he would join United Employees in need of vaccination.

a few days later, Southwest Airlines too Told staff that he needed to be vaccinated by the December deadline — with approval to skip shots for medical or religious reasons — because of Biden administration rules.

However, on Thursday, the airline vowed that employees would be fired for not getting the shot, arguing that “it doesn’t make sense.”

While the airline encourages “every employee” to get vaccinated, it does not want to “lose any employee” over Biden’s federal vaccine mandate, Southwest said in a statement to Granthshala Business.

Employees must submit a request for exemption from vaccination by November 24.

the american has said Workers who have been granted medical or religious exemptions will likely have to wear face masks and undergo regular testing – but the carrier is still working out the details.

“American will not place any team members on unpaid leave as part of the federal vaccine mandate,” US spokesman Matt Miller said this week.

Delta Air Lines says it will let workers undergo routine testing if they don’t want to be vaccinated — though they face a $200 monthly surcharge on their health insurance.

Delta CEO Ed Bastian said last week that 90% of the airline’s employees have been vaccinated and expects that figure to reach 95% in November.

Meanwhile, United has launched dismissal proceedings against nearly 200 employees who neither received shots nor asked for waivers.

What will be the future of the passengers during all this is not clear, but officials have said That the airlines will do its best to meet the deadline and not allow the mandates to hinder the holiday travel.

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The White House delivered a similar message at its COVID-19 briefing on Wednesday.

“Vaccination requirements will not affect holiday travel,” said Jeff Gents, the White House’s coronavirus response coordinator.

Granthshala Business’ Daniela Genovese and


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