American Airlines welcome special human rights guest onboard

Published: Monday, October 7, 2019

American Airlines Cargo welcomed a special guest on a Buenos Aires – Dallas flight, Sandra the orangutan who has human rights.

The 33-year-old orangutan has spent her life in captivity, born in Germany before moving to a zoo in Argentina 25 years ago.

After protests to provide Sandra with better living conditions, she was granted human rights for a non-human by Argentine judge Elena Liberatori to aid her relocation to a primate sanctuary.

Sandra flew from Buenos Aires Ezeiza International Airport to Dallas Fort Worth International Airport on a Boeing 787-8 for the 11-hour flight.

Airline team members volunteered their time to assist Sandra on the morning of 27 September, and in accordance with federal labour laws and centre for disease control procedures, they were on hand to ensure best-in-class customer experience.

Upon arrival, Sandra was safely loaded into a waiting van to travel to Sedgwick County zoo in Kansas, where she will complete quarantine before moving to the Center for Great Apes in Florida.

Sandra travelled in a specially designed container to which she had grown accustomed and would willingly enter ahead of the flight.

The cargo operations and sales teams in Dallas and Buenos Aires worked closely with Sandra’s handlers and airport personnel to confirm her journey would be the best option.

David Vance, vice president operations for American Airlines Cargo says: “It was an honour to provide our services to aid in Sandra’s relocation and eventual new home in a more suitable environment. Our teams worked hard and quickly to ensure everything ran smoothly, and we look forward to following Sandra’s story.”