Sharp-Eyed Flight Attendant Rescued Girl From Human Trafficking

Open Jaw

For anyone who still believes flight attendants are merely servers in the sky, this story is for you.

A few years ago, Shelia Fedrick, 49, was working on an AS flight from SEA to SFO when she noticed a teen, believed to be 14 or 15 years old, sitting in the window seat next to a well-dressed older man. 

Fedrick told NBC News that the victim had greasy blond hair and looked like she 'had been through pure hell.' It was the contrast between the two pax travelling together that raised a red flag.

When Fedrick would speak to the two passengers the girl would not look or talk and only the man would respond, she said. And the perpetrator would allegedly become defensive when the Fedrick tried to make conversation. 

The Alabama-born FA eventually relayed a message to the girl to go to the bathroom where she had left her a note on the mirror.

'She wrote on the note she needed help,' Fedrick said. 

She immediately told the captain about the situation, who contacted police. Officers were waiting for the man at the terminal when the plane landed and arrested him. 

A few years later, the rescued girl is attending college and Fedrick still stays in touch. And flight attendants are now learning about how to spot human trafficking as part of their training.

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