Flight Attendants on a Mission

Airline Ambassadors International (AAI) epitomizes the relatively new concept of voluntourism: traveling to help others.

A nonprofit organization dedicated to providing for orphans and vulnerable children, AAI was founded in 1996 by American Airlines Flight Attendant Nancy Rivard.

After making a commitment to take one action each month to help a child, Rivard set about planning a mission. “On our first mission, three flight attendants delivered hotel amenities from layover hotels to refugee women and children in Bosnia,” she remembers. “Since then, our teams have hand delivered more than $60 million in humanitarian aid to children in 54 countries.”


AAI volunteers, most of whom are American flight attendants, have escorted 2,000 children for life-changing surgeries and hand delivered thousands of pounds of medicine, medical supplies, food, clothing and school supplies directly to children in need.

AAI teams help when disaster strikes in the U.S. as well as in remote communities around the world. The organization also has become a leading advocate for human trafficking awareness in the travel industry.

AAI receives support from American’s Miles for Kids in Need® program, and American provides extra cargo space for employees traveling to make a difference.

In 2012 alone, AAI volunteers escorted 265 children for life-changing medical care and provided humanitarian assistance to 11,000 children in five countries. For more information, visit aa.com/joinus or www.airlineamb.org.
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