Flight attendant saves passenger from human trafficking

Brianna Chambers contributed to this report.

A flight attendant saved a teenage girl from human trafficking after sensing something was wrong on a flight from Seattle to San Francisco.

According to NBC News, Alaska Airlines flight attendant Shelia Fedrick first became concerned when she spotted a disheveled girl traveling with a well-dressed older man on a flight ahead of the Super Bowl in 2011.

She said the man wouldn’t let her talk to the girl.

"Something in the back of my mind said something is not right," Fedrick told WTSP.

Fedrick left a note in the bathroom on the plane.

“She wrote back on the note and said, ‘I need help,’” said Fedrick.

Fedrick alerted the pilots, and when the plane landed, police were waiting at the terminal.

“I’ve been a flight attendant for ten years, and it's like I am going all the way back to when I was in training, and I was like I could have seen these young girls and young boys and didn’t even know,” Fedrick said.

Fedrick told WTSP that she kept in touch with the girl, who is now attending college.

“I put my phone number on the note that I left for her, and I guess she memorized it, so a few weeks later, she called me,” Fedrick said, according to WTSP.

Hundreds of flight attendants for multiple airlines receive training to spot the signs for human trafficking. Trainings advise aircraft personnel to watch for someone who may seem to be nervous or controlled, who is bruised or disheveled or who won't answer questions, make eye contact or speak for him or herself.

One such training, hosted by Airline Ambassadors, an organization created by former flight attendant Nancy Rivard, aims to teach flight attendants how to identify signs of human trafficking.

Big events, like the Super Bowl, fuel sex trafficking, so many flight attendants were on alert this year. Last week, before the championship game this month, Rivard traveled with colleagues to Houston to host an Airline Ambassadors training session, in which former victims of trafficking told their stories to flight attendants who participated.

Read more at NBC.

About the Author