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07th Feb 2017

Flight Attendant Saves Girl From Human Trafficking By Writing Secret Note

An American flight attendant has been hailed a hero after saving a teenage girl from human trafficking.Sheila Fedrick was working...

Megan Roantree

An American flight attendant has been hailed a hero after saving a teenage girl from human trafficking.

Sheila Fedrick was working on an Alaska Airlines flight from Seattle to San Francisco when she spotted a young girl who she instinctively felt was in trouble. She said the young woman who was about 15 or 16 looked ‘disheveled’ and like ‘she had been through pure hell’.

Fedrick grew suspicious because the man was so well dressed compared to the young girl with ‘greasy blonde hair’. The man she was traveling with would not let her speak to the flight attendant. This is when Fedrick wrote a note and placed it in the plane toilet. She managed to whisper to the girl telling her to go to the bathroom. When the young girl went to the bathroom, she wrote on the back of the note explaining that she needed help. Fedrick then went to the pilot to tell him about the issue and he then called the police, who were waiting for them when they landed. She told 10 News,

 “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. If you see something, say something.”

Flight staff in the US are now being trained to spot the signs of people in trouble on flights and to look out for human trafficking. Airline Ambassadors International run training sessions for airline workers across the US. Fedrick’s story highlights how important this type of training is and how it should be more widely available to airline staff all over the world. Without her strong instinct and ability to spot a suspicious situation the young girl’s story could have been very different.

Fedrick says the girl is now attending college and that they even keep in touch,

“I put my phone number on the note that I left for her and I guess she memorised it, so a few weeks later, she called me.”

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