As citizens continue to protest against vaccine mandates, the nation’s four largest airlines are taking different approaches.
Earlier this month, Southwest pilots walked out on the airline after it threatened to terminate any employee who was not fully vaccinated for COVID by December 8. A number of photos circulated social media displaying Gadsden flags hanging from the cockpits of grounded Southwest planes.
The pilots’ stand, combined with the ground efforts of many protesters at the Southwest DFW headquarters, forced the company to change policy—at least partially. The new policy will create accommodations for employees who apply for a religious exemption rather than placing them on unpaid leave. However, if the exemption request is denied, the employee could still face termination.
Southwest CEO Gary Kelly did claim the company would not be firing anyone for being unvaccinated.