A flight attendant has saved a passenger from human trafficking.
Alaska Airlines flight attendant Shelia Fedrick rescued a teenager from being the victim of human trafficking, during a flight from Seattle to San Francisco, back in 2011. Upon looking at the 14 or 15 year old and her appearance, Fedrick felt that something was wrong and tried to engage the teenager and her much older accompaniment in conversation, but the latter became defensive.
“I left a note in one of the bathrooms,” Fedrick said in an interview with KTVB. “She wrote back on the note and said ‘I need help.'”
Fedrick then alerted the pilots of the situation, with police awaiting the plane’s arrival upon landing at the airport. The story seems to have surfaced because of the recent Super Bowl that occurred in Houston, Texas. Expert opinion has offered that sex trafficking spikes during big events.
Fedrick’s ability to evaluate the situation in a timely manner is the result of training she received through Airline Ambassadors International, an organization that primarily focuses on training airline workers to spot victims of human trafficking.
“Airports and supporting travel hotels are major hubs of entry and exit for perpetrators and victims alike,” Airline Ambassadors states on its website. “Training is needed for airport and travel industry personnel including airport employees, hotel employees, tourism companies, ground transportation and law enforcement.”
According to a report from NBC News, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested 2,000 human traffickers and identified 400 victims in 2016.