Starting Today Vaccine-Exempt United Airlines Employees Forced Onto Unpaid Leave [Roundup]

News and notes from around the interweb:

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

More articles by Gary Leff »


  1. Every airline has pilots that pass all the training and do an acceptable job, but are not the best of the bunch. They are the non standard pilots that “do it their way” , they are problem children that are well known to the Professional Standards Committee, they are the one’s that often struggle in training and then blame the training department for their woes, etc etc. The small anti vax group seems to make up an outsized percentage of this group. On the other hand, the truly professional pilots that know the job well, that don’t need to bring their politics to work and are respected by their peers for their flying and CRM skills seem to be just fine with getting vaccinated and don’t buy the many conspiracy theories the anti vax folks promote………this could be a an overall improvement to the seniority list.

  2. Well… hmmm… yeah. I’m ok with this.

    Individual choice, like free speech, can have repercussions in a free country.

    Choose and do what you wish, but be an adult and take the consequences.

    If you choose to be part of the outlier 20% that believes that personal choice trumps public health, then fine… but kindly GTFO and away from the rest of us 80% that would like to get on with life.

  3. Simple fact is safety is THE most important thing at an airline, not your personal belief in conspiracy theories, not your desire for personal choice nor your political beliefs. It’s the safety of everyone your job interacts with that is most important.
    The workers that think “they know better” are a hazard at any airline. Anti vax is a willingness to compromise the safety of others….get rid of those workers.

  4. Can I have some of what the AHLA is smoking? I mean seriously; how can anyone say that with a straight face??

  5. I would be willing to bet that anti-vax employees are also the lowest performing employees and therefore this is a great way to get rid of the lowest tranche without violating the law.

  6. The Soviet purge of industry is now beginning.
    Round up the unvaxx and place them in camps THE UNVAXX ARE THE PROBLEM

    “Everything within the government. nothing outside the government. Nothing against the government”

  7. Jojo McCarthy, the commies are after us!….I guess all the kids who had to get vaccinated to go to school are victims of a communist plot anf the pilots have to pass a government physical just to fly!
    Commie plot too I guess. Geez, that whole commie argument is so lame and misplaced.

  8. Darth Vader: Help me take off this mask.
    Luke Skywalker: But, you’ll die.
    Darth Vader: I have my rights.


    John, you’re 100 percent correct. These individuals are problem children — militancy is in the nature of their personality . . . not just about this issue.

    The conditions of your continued employment is X — it’s your choice to comply with X or seek other employment — but, the individual has not lost the ability to choose.


    bensenise, you’re 100 percent correct. It is an advocacy publication regularly read only by those in the industry. We are honest. We are fair-dealing. We would never deny our loyalty program members benefits. We are good citizens.

  9. Geeze guys, these are people that were GRANTED EXEMPTIONS., these are not the “my body my choice” folks. Do you people even read the article before commenting?

  10. @Jojo

    That quote was from Mussolini, not a Soviet, but the sentiment is the same.


    Are you claiming that the novel COVID-19 vaccines are the same as the measles/MMR vaccine? That vaccine is far more effective than the COVID_19 vaccines. Measles is far deadlier and more contagious than COVID-19 and attacks children at a greater rate than COVID-19. There have only been 595 deaths of children with COVID-19 in the US so far. The measles vaccine had already been around for about a decade before schools started mandating them. Why risk the health of the current generation of children on vaccines that have zero long-term studies when they are at virtually no risk of severe outcomes from infection? The vaccines are very poor at preventing spread. They have no benefit for children.

    For all of you folx who assume the vaccine hesitant are just a bunch of low-information MAGA cultists, you should know that vaccine hesitancy is actually highest and most constant among those with PhDs (Dr. Jill Biden is not in this cohort).

  11. WE have accepted all governments telling us to take injections for the good of all. IF we did not then the population will die. You can not look at just yourself but look out for everyone.

    Anti-Vaxs are all about the “ME” They only look out for them and are more willing to PUSH their views on others rather then have their view be acquired by others . It is like those pushing religion on you by visiting you at your house.

    Jacobson v. Massachusetts, 197 U.S. 11 (1905), was a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court upheld the authority of states to enforce compulsory vaccination laws. The Court’s decision articulated the view that individual liberty is not absolute and is subject to the police power of the state

    Jacobson in Zucht v. King (1922), which held that a school system could refuse admission to a student who failed to receive a required vaccination

  12. Good Gawd people, read the article…it has nothing to do exclusively with pilots, has nothing to do with politics… these are people who were granted medical and religious exemptions yet will be taken offline and will become inactive employees for the time being. If anything these are not the hardened anti vax conspiracy theorists that you dispise and wish ill will on (as disgusting and as twisted as that is) but those with legitimate and verifiable medical or religious concerns as verified by the company. Move along with all your toxicity to your next target.

  13. Nick,

    Nope, not so…. Most of the conspiracy theorists would not have been granted these exemptions, they aren’t handed out like candy. Most of the crazies with no valid concerns have rolled over and taken it or have been terminated. These employees with exemptions (which the company themselves has deemed valid) will no longer be active employees for the time being as they cannot be accommodated …so again, why all the hate? There is no issue here… they are no longer flying, move along!

  14. Way to paint a broad brush, I can say for the few people I know that have been granted an exemption at my company that is definitely not the case.

  15. A lot of scamming by people using a “religious” exemption. Case in point, the high profile one of the coach at UW. He waffled and mislead everyone and finally chose to put himself above his team. He somehow thinks that defying the Pope (who recommends the vaccine) should give him an exemption as a Catholic. Not sure how anyone could say being anti vax is their religious belief but then how can you explain the fundamentalists that support an ex President that is patently immoral and all about the promotion of hatred against others and the undermining of democracy? Crazy world right now.

  16. Dan this isn’t hate your reading from me, it’s frustration that so many people have been duped
    by misinformation and scams…..and the whole world is paying for it. People like Mercola and frontline doctors have been around for years, it’s just that the consequences of their grift are far greater then ever. The mixture of scam artists, the Internet feeding people hungry for conspiracy theories and political polarization caused by one man who is an expert at scamming have put this country through a lot of pain.

  17. Yes there are always people trying to scam lenient systems, doesn’t discount the need for such exemptions in the first place (take emotional support animals for instance or your UW coach example with this vaccine). And again for all intents and purposes of this article these people are no longer in the workplace.

  18. Weird all the pro-vax nonsense since it is NOW KNOWN that it is the vaccinated that are spreading Delta like the plague rats that they are. They also represent that VAST majority of the hospitalized and the dead.

    In the name of “public safety” (the term which brainwashed idiots loved to use so often), the vaccinated should be banned from flying, banned from restaurants, banned from hotels, banned from grocery stores, banned from every public space! YOU are a danger to the intelligent people who KNEW those vaccines were B.S. from day one! Now go march into that boxcar to your new home, unclean ones!

  19. John… I’ll say it equally to you as well as “Amazing Larry” yet with humble affection for both of you……..Stop with your frustration (in lieu of hate, I’ll take you at your word John), belittling those on both sides of the argument, stop ignoring nuance, stop disregarding peoples’ individual situations or science, disregard conspiracy theories (that one goes to you Larry), contrails anyone?, yet also disregard your own confirmation bias and ruthlessly and constantly challenge your own position and be willing to be proven wrong. If the consequence not getting vaccinated is that they get fired or placed on unpaid leave (in this instance) then that’s what happens. “Amazing Larry” can you accept that as a new condition of employment and adjust accordingly? And to you John, can you let these individuals quietly leave the workforce without kicking them in the guts on the way out? Or is everything absolutism now from both sides. Most of us normal people are in the middle, understand nuance, happy for the vaccinations, wary about mandates and the slippery slope they present (not just now but to a nefarious administration a half century from now using this as a precedent for some crazy crap ). Don’t let the politicians whip us up into a fervor against our fellow neighbors. If we weren’t all pit against each other constantly we’d have a responsible immigration policy, we’d have term limits, we’d have a balanced and sustainable long term social security system and we’d have a balanced, nuanced, sensible Covid strategy going forward. Yet politicians would rather have all of us at each other’s throats and use all the issues under the sun to distract us and bludgeon each other as they continue on yet a second, third and fourth decade in “public service” yet never fix any problems.

  20. Dan….that was very well said. To be brutally honest after my first post I wasn’t completely happy with the point I made…. because the “real” me, like most, isn’t just a singular perspective on anything. It is in fact quite nuanced and in real life I am highly tolerant of all. The one size fits all perspective is not a healthy one.
    I took a stab at the folks who are really just victims.Victims of the circumstances we are in, Victims of the turn politics has taken in this country, victims of the ability the internet has to distort simple truth and promote lies. We are all victims of the ride the far right and the far left have taken us on when in fact most of us are somewhere in the middle…..
    Good job taking the high road Dan

  21. John… very well said as well. I wish more people’s “real” multifaceted, nuanced and tolerant viewpoints would prevail online, cause that’s how most people really are in life when dealing with coworkers, family, friends and partners with all their many faults. We should all strive to present more of that here even though it’s so easy to let the internet devolve us (and we ALL have been guilty of that at some time or another)! Be good to each other people! Cheers John.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.