In the wake of United Airlines announcing new policies for mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations of employees, American Airlines CEO Doug Parker said there’s a simple reason why he’s not requiring passengers or staff to be vaccinated.
It’s too much.
Saying it “wouldn’t be physically possible” on domestic flights without causing massive delays, he added that requiring passengers to prove they’re vaccinated would be “incredibly cumbersome.”
Parker made his remarks in an interview with the New York Times.
Parker did say that checking passengers for proof of vaccination could be done on international trips because there is more time between flights and passengers are already checked for passports.
But otherwise, he was reticent about the whole process.
“In a world where we still have whatever it is, 40 percent of the United States not vaccinated for reasons only they can explain, requiring vaccinations to travel and not requiring vaccinations to do anything else around the country isn’t something we’re looking to do,” he said.
The airline is requesting, but not requiring, its employees to get vaccinated, offering incentives to staffers who get the shots, such as an extra day of vacation and a $50 gift card.
“We certainly encourage it everywhere we can encourage it for our customers and our employees, but we’re not putting mandates in place,” Parker said.
By Joe Cusmano