The term “good celebrity” implies famous people doing positive things in the world, but it can also be attributed to ordinary folks whose extraordinary deeds thrust them into the spotlight.
Case in point, the story of Alaska Airlines flight attendant, Shelia Fedrick.
On a flight from Seattle to San Francisco in 2011, Fedrick, 49, spotted an odd pairing of an older man and a teenage girl, who, as Fedrick recently told NBC News, “looked like she had been through pure hell.”
At that time, Fedrick had been a flight attendant for a decade and knew something was amiss. She approached their aisle 10 seats and tried engaging in a conversation with the girl.
“The bruises that I saw on her, her demeanor, her appearance, the way she would not answer me, the way should would always look at him, I knew something was just not right,” Fedrick said.
When the male passenger became defensive, Fedrick whispered to the teen to use the restroom.
“I left a note in one of the bathrooms,” Fedrick said. “She wrote back on the note and said ‘I need help.'”
Fedrick informed the pilots of the situation and when the flight landed in San Francisco, police were waiting at the terminal to arrest the man.
The situation was a case of human trafficking, one that is all too common in United States airports. According to NBC News, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested 2,000 human traffickers and identified 400 victims in 2016.
Because of the growing frequency of the crime (which generates an estimated $150 billion for criminals each year), airline attendants are trained to look for human trafficking on flights.
In this particular case, Fedrick did everything right and her advice for others witnessing similar situations is simple: “If you see something, say something,” she told 10 News WTSP.
On the bathroom note, Fedrick added her phone number, which the teen remembered. She stays in touch with her hero of the skies and, according to Fedrick, the young lady is currently attending college.
To learn more about how airline attendants are helping children and promoting human trafficking awareness worldwide, visit the nonprofit Airline Ambassadors International.