American Airlines ended its sponsorship of the Humane Society of St. Thomas’ Pets with Wings program last week due to “restructuring” and the number of requests it receives, the St. Thomas Source reported Friday. American Airlines reinstated the program over the weekend, however, after being endorsed by philanthropist Jeffrey Epstein.
Epstein is one of the largest investors in the US Virgin Islands. He is also a financial supporter of the Humane Society.
The Pets with Wings program allows travelers on American Airlines to chaperone a local shelter animal from the US Virgin Islands to another shelter in the United States. American Airlines typically charges $125 for pets that travel under a seat and $175 for dogs that go as cargo; however those fees are waived for pets traveling through the program.
American Airlines has flown more than 150 animals from the US Virgin Islands since the program began two years ago.