Sheila Frederick: American Flight Attendant Foils Human Trafficking Attempt


Sheila Frederick, an intuitive US flight attendant foiled a human trafficking attempt on an Alaska Airlines flight.

The lady spotted an uneasy teenager with a “well-dressed” older man.

According to her, she sensed something was wrong with the picture.

“Something in the back of my mind said something was not right. He was well-dressed. That’s what got me because I thought why is he well-dressed and she is looking all dishevelled and out of sorts?”

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Sheila Frederick was working on an Alaska Airlines flight from Seattle to San Francisco when she sensed the imbalance between the teenage girl and the man she was on the flight with.

She also sensed that the man got defensive when she wanted to interact with him. So, she tactically did not raise alarm on her suspicion.

The 49-year old wrote a note and left it in the bathroom in hope that the girl would see it. And the plan did work after all, the girl saw the note and begged for help.

“I left a note in one of the bathrooms,” 

“She wrote back on the note and said ‘I need help.”- Sheila Frederick.

On seeing her reply, the flight attendant alerted the pilot who was able to contact the police in San Francisco. On their arrival at the terminal, the suspected trafficker was arrested.

Sheila Frederick has been commended for her sensitivity which has saved the life of a human traffick victim.

Since 2009, an American flight staff has been educating flight attendants on signs of human trafficking and how they can help curb the alarming increase in the crime rate.

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Independent report says that common signs include someone who appears to be being controlled, is battered or won’t answer questions or make eye contact.

Nancy Rivard, founded Airline Ambassadors where flight attendants are trained for the purpose of detecting possible cases of human trafficking.

“I’ve been a flight attendant for 10 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.”

Human trafficking has become a global problem.

In 2016, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement reported the arrest of 2,000 human traffickers and identified 400 victims.