She works for Alaska Airlines
Airports are always a hub of activity with business people and happy vacationers alike bustling from terminal to terminal. But among the busy travelers there’s a hidden evil that many fail to notice, human trafficking. Traffickers often move their victims through airports to get them away from their home countries where they stand a better chance of escape.
These days, airline employees are trained to notice signs of human trafficking and an observant a flight attendant used this knowledge to save a life. In 2011, on an Alaska Airlines flight from Seattle to San Francisco, 49-year-old Sheila Frederick noticed something suspicious about a teenage girl and a well-dressed man seated together. “Something in the back of my mind said something’s not right,” Frederick told WTSP. “He was well dressed, that’s what kind of got me. Because why is he well dressed and she is looking disheveled and out of sorts?” Frederick said.
Things seemed even more fishy when the man answered all of the questions she directed to the girl. Frederick whispered “go to the bathroom” to the girl where she left a note for her. On the note, the girl wrote she needed help. Frederick then told the pilot who informed authorities on the ground of the suspicious activity. When the flight landed, the man was arrested for sex trafficking and the girl was rescued. Frederick and the girl remained in touch and she’s now attending college.
Here are seven signs of human trafficking in airports according to CNN:
1 -- A traveler is not dressed appropriately for their route of travel
They often have no personal items and wear ill-fitting clothes.
2. -- Strange tattoos
Sex traffickers will often brand their victims with bar codes or the trafficker’s name.
3 -- They can’t provide details of their flight information
To prevent escape, traffickers keep their victims in the dark about where they are or where they’re going.
4. -- Their communication seems scripted, or there are inconsistencies with their story
Traffickers will coach their victims to say certain things in public to avoid suspicion.
5 -- They can’t move freely in an airport or on a plane, or they are being controlled, closely watched or followed
Traffickers must keep close tabs on their victims to prevent their escape.
6. -- They are afraid to discuss themselves around others
Traffickers often prevent their victims from communicating with others.
7. -- Children under the influence
Trafficked children are often drugged and dressed in a sexualized manner.