Get our free mobile app

This major Minnesota airline isn't mandating that its employees get vaccinated, but it says they'll pay a price if they're not.

Delta Airlines, which earlier this year placed on top of the latest J.D. Power survey for North America Airline Satisfaction, is making some major headlines in our continued fight against COVID-19 and the new ironically-named Delta variant.

Delta, of course, has a major hub at the largest airport in Minnesota, the Minneapolis - St. Paul International Airport (MSP) in Bloomington. I still kind of think of Delta as a 'Minnesota' airline, even though it's not headquartered here. Its corporate headquarters are in Atlanta, but since Delta merged with Minnesota's Northwest Airlines in 2008, Delta still has a major Minnesota influence.

And Wednesday, Delta made news when its CEO, Ed Bastian, announced a new policy that encourages all employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19 or face a new monthly health insurance surcharge.

CNBC says Delta employees, including those roughly 7,000 who work here in Minnesota, were notified Wednesday about the decision, noting:

Employees will face $200 monthly increases on their health insurance premiums starting Nov. 1 if they aren’t vaccinated against Covid-19, citing steep costs to cover employees who are hospitalized with the virus.

Also, as of September 12th, any Delta employee who remains unvaccinated will also other restrictions, as well as being subject to weekly COVID tests while "community case rates are high," CNBC noted. The story said the new policy is just short of a vaccine mandate, which other airlines like United, are already requiring for their employees.

The story went on to say that Delta estimates that between 75 and 80 percent of its employees are already vaccinated, so this new policy is only aimed at a small fraction of its workforce. Still, though, that $200 a month is quite the fee-- which I guess it has to be if you want people to get the shot, right?

Seeing as Delta has just ranked first out of all US airlines this year, you could say their brand is pretty popular right now. But is it one of the MOST popular brands in the country? Keep scrolling to see which brands are!

Listen to Curt St. John mornings from 6 to 10 on Quick Country 96.5
and afternoons from 2 to 6 on 103.9 The Doc

CHECK IT OUT: See the 100 most popular brands in America