The job of a flight attendant includes everything from hospitality to emergency response, and for one Alaska Airlines attendant, the decision to act on her instincts and save a teen from being sex trafficked.
In 2011, Shelia Fedrick (pictured above) noticed a young girl with greasy blonde hair on a flight from Seattle to San Francisco. According to the 49-year-old attendant, the girl "looked like she had been through pure hell.”
Fedrick also found it odd that the girl, whom she believed to be about 14 or 15, was traveling with a well-dressed, older man. Additionally, whenever Fedrick tried to engage in conversation, the man would become defensive.
Then, Fedrick made an impromptu decision to send a message to the girl.
"I left a note in one of the bathrooms," Fedrick told NBC. "She wrote back on the note and said, 'I need help.'"
Fedrick says she called the pilot and told him about the passengers, and when the plane landed, police were waiting at the terminal.
Although the incident took place several years ago, it’s recently received attention because of the new training programs for flight crew to spot sex trafficking. During times of heavy travel, including the Super Bowl, sex trafficking numbers may rise, meaning that flight attendants need to be on high alert.
Last year, the Federal Aviation Administration Extension, Safety, and Security Act of 2016 created a special training of flight attendants to spot and report potential trafficking victims.