Most people think that it’s a flight attendant’s responsibility to wait on you hand and foot, and make sure you’re as comfortable as possible during a flight. But really, their job is to make sure that each and every passenger is kept safe from the moment they board the plane to the moment they step off the aircraft.
So when flight attendant Shelia Fedrick was working on an Air Alaska flight one day in February 2017, she was hailed a hero for the incredible thing she did after she discovered the sickening truth about one of her passengers.
Shelia Fedrick has always been extremely outgoing and loves working with people, which is why she was drawn to getting a job working as a flight attendant. As she expected, she was a natural when it came to dealing with passengers.
The Perfect Job
“I love to smile, like being around people, that’s why I’m a flight attendant,” said the 49-year-old, who also works as a model and an actress when she’s not working as a flight attendant. “Loving working with people and taking a risk.”
10 Years Of Experience
So when Shelia, who has been a flight attendant for the past 10 years, showed up to work on an Air Alaska flight from Seattle to San Francisco, she expected it to be like any of the countless other uneventful flights she had worked over the years.
Not What She Expected…
When Shelia got to work that day, however, she had no idea that the nearly 2.5-hour flight to San Francisco would not just change her life, but completely change the way she and other flight attendants performed their jobs forever…
But as Shelia watched all the passengers file onto the small plane, alarm bells started going off in her head when she saw one of the passengers and she started to get the feeling that this flight would be different than any other she had worked on.
The Girl In The Window Seat
Once Shelia helped all the passengers to their seats and made sure their bags were all safely stored away in the overhead compartments, she noticed something seemed very strange about a young girl that was sitting in the window seat of aisle 10…
It’s not unusual for passengers to look a little messy or disheveled while they travel, but Shelia thought the girl, who appeared to be 14 or 15 years old, looked unusually unkempt. The girl “looked like she had been through pure hell,” Shelia said.
First Red Flag
The girl’s hair was extremely greasy and it looked as though she desperately needed a shower. The man the girl was traveling with, on the other hand, was older and was wearing nice clothes. But that wasn’t the only thing that was a red flag to Shelia…
A Strange Conversation
The 49-year-old flight attendant’s instincts were already telling her something wasn’t right. But when she tried to start a conversation with the pair like she normally did with other passengers, the girl never responded for herself and the man quickly got defensive.
At one moment during the flight, Shelia carefully whispered to the girl so the man wouldn’t hear her and told the girl to visit a specific bathroom on the plane. The young girl looked petrified but got up and went to the bathroom that Shelia had pointed to…
“I left a note in one of the bathrooms,” Shelia said. Once inside, the girl found the note, which asked if she was alright, on the mirror. She quickly wrote back a reply and then went back to her seat before the man she was traveling with got suspicious.
When Shelia went back into the bathroom, she discovered the girl’s response on the note, which confirmed that her instincts had been correct about the situation the entire time. “She wrote back on the note and said ‘I need help.’”
The Flight Goes On
Shelia assumed the man had kidnapped the girl or she was a victim of human trafficking, but had no way of knowing the truth based on the girl’s short note asking for help. However, it was clear that if the pair got off the plane, Shelia would have no way of helping the girl.
Call To The Cockpit
Shelia discreetly called up to the pilots in the cockpit and told them about the passengers and the note that the girl had written asking for help. While they were still in the air, one of the pilots notified authorities on the ground in San Francisco…
Police Save The Day
So by the time they landed at the airport in California, the police were waiting for them in the terminal. The man had no idea what was waiting for him just inside the airport, but as the passengers got off the plane, police officers apprehended him.
When news spread about what Shelia did for the helpless girl and how she stayed so calm, people around the world hailed her a hero. “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,” Shelia said…
Even though Shelia had 10 years of experience, she felt she had never been properly trained to spot the signs of human trafficking and it made her wonder how many victims had gone undetected on her flights throughout the years.
See Something, Say Something
“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,” said Shelia, who was contacted by the grateful girl that she helped rescue a few weeks after the flight…
“I put my phone number on the note that I left for her and I guess she memorized it, so a few weeks later, she called me,” Shelia said about the girl, who has been given a second chance at life and is now enrolled as a student in college.
Others Aren’t As Lucky
Because Shelia listened to her intuition, this story thankfully had a happy ending. However, the incident shed light on the fact that most flight attendants don’t receive enough training to spot the signs of human trafficking. Now, organizations like Airline Ambassadors are working to teach airline staff across the country how to spot and report human traffickers.
Flight Attendant Hailed A Hero After Saving Girl On Plane is an article from: LifeDaily