FORT WORTH, Texas — American Airlines is offering a couple of perks for employees who get a COVID-19 vaccine, according to a letter American management sent to employees Friday.
U.S.-based employees who get the vaccine will receive an extra vacation day in 2022 and $50 in recognition points. American Airlines Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: AAL) has over 102,000 employees as of Dec. 31, 2020.
"As we close out the first week of March, we remain optimistic that 2021 will be a year of recovery for American. We still don’t know how quickly demand will return, but we know vaccines will be an important part of the recovery," CEO Doug Parker and President Robert Isom wrote in the letter. "That’s why we are fully engaged in the effort to make vaccinations available to our team as quickly and widely as possible."
Parker and Isom said while the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended airline employees should receive prioritization, the actual distribution of the vaccines is up to states. American noted how the distribution of a third approved vaccine by pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson began this week for employees based at Chicago O'Hare.
"Get vaccinated as soon as possible — to protect yourself and others," Parker and Isom said in the letter. "More than 500,000 people in the United States have lost their lives to COVID-19, including some of our own colleagues."
American's move to incentive vaccinations follows a trend set by other major employers. Companies running the gamut from fast-food chains like McDonald's to gig economy companies like Instacart are offering varying levels of incentives for employees to get the vaccine.
American is one of the largest employers in North Texas between its Fort Worth corporate headquarters and operations at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport. The carrier had 33,000 employees in the area before the pandemic. Yet, it's unclear how many employees the company currently has in the area as a spokesperson declined to provide an updated employee count for a February Dallas Business Journal story.