Since the start of the pandemic, American’s approach has been clear: Ensure the safety and well-being of our colleagues and customers while heeding guidance from the medical community, following scientific evidence and adhering to governmental requirements.
Our hope is that all American Airlines team members elect to get vaccinated, with the exception of those who are not eligible to get the vaccine for documented medical or religious reasons. The science supports vaccination and has shown it’s the only way to fully end this pandemic. We are taking every step possible to help make this process desirable and seamless and we have a few updates to share.
New vaccine incentive submission window. We have heard from many team members that the full approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gives them additional peace of mind when they were previously hesitant to get vaccinated. Because of this, and our desire to encourage as many of our team members as possible to get vaccinated, we are opening a new incentive window for U.S.-based team members through Oct. 1, 2021. Team members who have already been fully vaccinated can still submit their vaccination cards during this new window.
Option for a day of vacation pay. Because we are now into the planning process for staffing in 2022, we can no longer offer an extra day of vacation in 2022 as an incentive. Instead, we will give U.S.-based team members who submit their vaccination card during this new window an extra day of vacation pay in 2021. We will also allow those who have already submitted their information to change their election from an extra day of vacation in 2022 to an extra day of vacation pay in 2021, if preferred. All team members who participate in the incentive program will receive $50 in Nonstop Thanks points.
Eligibility for company-provided pandemic leave. Going forward, given there is an FDA-approved vaccine, pandemic leave will only be offered to team members who are fully vaccinated and who provide their vaccination card to us. Effective Oct. 1, if team members who choose to remain unvaccinated have to miss work due to COVID-19, they will need to use earned sick time and/or medical leave while away.
We have made tremendous progress in recent months through our vaccine incentive program, including launching a similar program in August for mainline international team members. For those who have been vaccinated, we greatly appreciate the role you are playing.
If you are not yet vaccinated, please do so and submit your card no later than Oct. 1. If you are vaccinated and still haven’t submitted your form, please do so immediately, so you don’t miss out on the incentive. And while we are not requiring team members to get the vaccine at this time, we may do so later if the virus continues to mutate, cases increase and certain countries we serve require it.
Just as we have been able to rely on you to navigate our airline through this crisis, we are depending on you to take the steps to help ensure we can continue fulfilling our critical mission of caring for people on life’s journey. Thank you for doing your part to take care of yourselves, each other and our customers.