Delta and United Won’t Add New Workers Without Vaccinations

Delta and United Won’t Add New Workers Without Vaccinations
Joe Cortez

Two airlines now say they won’t hire new employees unless they have taken the COVID-19 vaccine. Both Delta Air Lines and United Airlines say workers joining the company must have received their shots, with proof of their vaccination card.

If you are planning on applying for a job with either Delta Air Lines or United Airlines, expect to get another qualification prepared with your resume and interview answers: Your COVID-19 vaccine. CBS News reports both carriers are requiring all new hires get the shot before reporting to work.

Delta Adds Requirement in May; United Starts for Offers After June 15

Delta was the first major U.S.-based carrier to announce they would require new employees to get vaccinated prior to reporting for work on Friday, May 14, 2021. With a reported 60 percent of the current workforce inoculated against the novel Coronavirus, the Atlanta-based carrier said that vaccines would be key to getting international travel restarted.

“The vaccines are not only extremely effective in preventing illness and symptoms from COVID-19, but they are also nearly 100 percent effective in preventing hospitalization and death,” the airline said in a statement. “Vaccines are safe, effective and essential to the future of the airline and our world.”

United announced they would take the same stance on Monday, June 7, 2021. For all new hires who receive an offer after June 15, they must be fully vaccinated against the virus prior to their start date. Employees will need to provide proof of their COVID-19 vaccine card within seven days of reporting for work.

The move was publicly debated for months by airline president Scott Kirby. On at least two occasions, the executive said that he would consider making vaccines mandatory for his workforce but stopped short of announcing United as the policy pioneer.

Delta and United May Stand Alone in Demanding Vaccinations

With both airlines adopting a mandatory requirement for vaccinations, other carriers say they will not follow the trend. In a statement to CBS News, American Airlines said they are “strongly encouraging” their employees to get the shots, but will not make them a requirement unless it’s necessary to arrive at certain destinations.

View Comments (7)


  1. fof9l

    June 8, 2021 at 10:27 am

    There’s a world of difference between an organisation’s requiring proof of vaccination status for existing employees, and their requiring the same proof before a new employee is hired. I see all the airlines cowering over the first, with no employer wanting to be the first to demand this basic public health requirement for its staff, but there should be no airline that would not want to take the step for its new hires.

  2. emcampbe

    June 8, 2021 at 10:44 am

    This is a positive development.

    Should be expanded as well to all new and existing at least public-facing staff (flight attendants, gate agents, managers and any staff who spend a minimal amount of time in the public areas of airports. Give existing staff a deadline, I’d say, 3-4 months in the US at least, and worldwide staff perhaps longer (depending on the ease of getting vaccinated in their local jurisdiction). Exceptions should be given only to those with a valid medical exemption.

    Having the full gamut of FAs vaccinated would also make crew scheduling easier for carriers especially for international flights.

  3. MRM

    June 8, 2021 at 10:59 am

    I’m not here often, but in this case I’m very much in Delta’s and United’s corner. They have a right to hire who they want – and I can’t wait for the “muh rights” crowd start screaming discrimination.

  4. fletchbo

    June 8, 2021 at 2:54 pm

    Hygiene theater continues.

    Fauci even admitted he wore masks for months just for “optics”, after lying to Congress to the fact they work.

    Now it’s CDC ego that can not let go of science fiction. NO RCTs support masks; just guess work.

  5. EdV

    June 9, 2021 at 8:10 am

    This is fantastic news and more need to adopt this.

  6. bozacksmith

    June 9, 2021 at 10:12 am

    their business their right but since when is this even solving the problem for the paranoid?
    Most of the nurses my wife works with that are testing positive again and having to quarantine from their shifts are all vaccinated…………

  7. Transpacificflyer

    June 11, 2021 at 8:43 pm

    Vaccinated people can still be carriers and infect others. The current data suggests that in vaccinated people the vaccine only stops transmission in 40-60% of cases. Depends on the vaccine too. not everyone was dosed with an mRNA vaccine. With the new variants, the data is may change. The benefit of vaccination is that it will reduce the likelihood of serious illness This reduces the potential for health plan medical costs and benefits all employees as well as the employer. It is not unusual for some Covid serious care patients to incur $100,000+ medical bills. An airline cannot afford to have customer facing personnel at risk of serious illness. Nor is it fair to responsible employees who have made the effort to protect themselves and the small number of people who are unable to be vaccinated for medical reasons.

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