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UAL is giving away chance to win free flights for a year — if you're vaccinated

Date: May 23, 2021

By Asha Gilbert, USA Today

United Airlines joined other companies in promoting COVID-19 vaccines by giving customers enrolled in its loyalty program a chance to win free flights for a year if they share their proofs of vaccination.

The move comes as the White House continues to reach out to businesses for help in encouraging Americans to get vaccinated and as airline travel begins to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Five grand prize winners of the “Your Shot to Fly” sweepstakes will win one year of free air travel to any United Airlines global destination in any class of service for themselves and a companion. Additionally, 30 winners will win a roundtrip flight for two to anywhere in the U.S. in any class. 

In order to enter for a chance to win, members of the company's MileagePlus loyalty program need to upload their vaccination cards to the United Airlines app or site.  

Maddie King, a spokeswoman for United Airlines, told USA TODAY that people do not need both shots to enter and can upload proof of their first shot.  Also, those who do not want to upload their vaccination card for privacy concerns or are not getting the vaccine due to religious or medical reasons can still enter through the mail-in sweepstakes.  

"We're proud to do our part to incentivize people to get their shot," United CEO Scott Kirby said in a press release. "Thanks to the vaccine, more and more destinations are opening up for travel — and we know our customers are eager to fly. We're excited to give people one more reason to get vaccinated so they can reunite with friends and family or take that long-awaited vacation which all could be just one shot away."

As air travel continues to rebound, airlines are beginning to end pandemic policies.

Alcoholic beverages and coffee are making a comeback to certain airlines like Southwest which will begin to serve red wine and beer on flights from the U.S. to Hawaii on June 24. Delta Airlines stopped blocking their middle seats on May 1.  

The Transportation Security Administration reported 1,863,697 passengers were screened at TSA checkpoints on Sunday versus 267,451 passengers on the same day last year. 

“With Memorial Day weekend coming up, we’re expecting it to be the busiest weekend since the pandemic which is a sign of recovery,” King said. “Seeing people who are interested in traveling and taking their next trip helps us incentivize customers to get the vaccine.” 

The grand prize winners will be randomly selected on July 1, and the other winners will be randomly selected throughout June.  

The sweepstakes began Monday and will run through June 22.

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