CEOs on new airline vax bill, ‘Not something we’re looking to do’

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Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., introduced a bill to require travelers on domestic airline flights in the United States to be vaccinated for COVID-19, test negative for the disease, or have had a previous infection.

It is good she recognized natural immunity and gives a testing option. Unfortunately, this requires proof – a health passport of sorts, it’s precedent-setting, and it will hurt air travel.

The U.S. Air Travel Public Safety Act would require the Secretary of Health and Human Services to consult with the4 Federal Aviation Administration to develop national vaccination standards and procedures related to COVID-19 and domestic air travel.

“We can’t allow upcoming holiday air travel to contribute to another surge in COVID cases,” Feinstein said on Twitter.

The kids are crowding the football stadiums, but no surge. Someone needs to explain this.

Meanwhile, United Airlines announced it is firing about 600 employees who chose not to comply with the company’s vaccine requirement. The airline said it was a difficult decision but necessary for safety.

Frontier Airlines has announced a similar policy requiring employees to be vaccinated by Oct. 1 or provide “regular” proof of a negative COVID-19 test.

It could seriously harm air travel. It requires it for domestic air travel although there have been no surges on planes at all.

Airlines: ‘Not something we’re looking to do’

Feinstein’s bill would allow air passengers who don’t have proof of vaccination or a negative test to provide “written or electronic documentation of recovery from COVID–19 after previous SARS–CoV–2 infection.”

Airlines have expressed opposition to a vaccine mandate, citing among other issues the logistics of enforcement.

“Requiring vaccinations to travel and not requiring vaccinations to do anything else around the country isn’t something we’re looking to do,” said American Airlines CEO Doug Parker told the New York Times in August.

Parker emphasized, “it wouldn’t be physically possible to do without enormous delays in the airline system.”

Delta Airlines CEO Ed Bastian also has argued “the logistical challenge of getting vaccination paperwork and understanding exemptions … would cause a massive crimp on the operations.”


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