Young girl gets saved on the plane by the flight attendant

For many, flying is linked to exciting vacations, but not for everyone. Sheila Frederick, a 49-year-old Alaska Airlines flight attendant with over 15 years of experience, encountered a life-changing situation on a flight from Seattle to San Francisco.

Sheila noticed a blonde girl in shabby clothes sitting next to an older man in nice clothes. The girl’s piercing look gave Sheila a sense of urgency. “I had a pretty odd impression of this girl. I sensed that there was a problem. The fact that the girl was so badly dressed in comparison to the male was the first indication.”

Determined to investigate, Sheila approached them. The man acted defensively while the girl remained silent. Sheila devised a new strategy, leaving a note in the plane’s restroom. After the girl used the restroom, she found the message: “I need help.”

Sheila immediately alerted authorities. Upon landing, police arrested the man and discovered the 14-year-old girl was a victim of human trafficking, kidnapped two months earlier.

This incident highlights the importance of awareness. Retired flight attendant Nancy Rivard founded Airline Ambassadors International, which trains flight attendants to recognize signs of human trafficking. After this experience, Sheila received training to better identify such signs in the future.