Home

Here’s How Flight Attendants Spot Victims Of Human Trafficking On Flights

By DeAnna Taylor

Share

Human trafficking is becoming a serious problem across our nation. There were over 450,000 victims between 2012 and 2018, according to the U.S. State Department. Young women and children are being taken at alarming rates and now the world is on high alert.

Several airlines have invested in extra training for their flight attendants in hopes that they will be able to spot victims and report it to the proper authorities.

“It’s important that flight attendants not profile certain kinds of passengers or put themselves in danger, “Brady Byrnes, the managing director of flight-service recruitment, training, and administration for American Airlines, told Business Insider. “We don’t want to put our flight attendants in any harm whatsoever,” he said.

If someone is suspected of being a victim, attendants are trained to. notify the Captain who in turn notifies airline’s system-operations-control employees. They provide the Captain with information that helps them to learn more about the victim and possibly where they are flying too.

If you want to be on alert as well, here are 5 ways that you too can spot victims of human trafficking while flying.

A young passenger who isn’t traveling with luggage.

Of course, small children require certain things and necessities. Therefore, if you spot a young person traveling with absolutely nothing at all, this may be a sign that they are a victim.


An adult traveling companion does not allow a young passenger to talk to the flight attendant about where he or she is traveling.

Children are inquisitive and most enjoy speaking with people they barely know. If you notice the child’s adult companion trying to ensure that they don’t talk to others, this may be a sign.

Related: Minnesota Hotels Hope To End Sex Trafficking With Required Training

A young passenger is constantly being watched by an adult companion.

This one can be a little hard to draw the line on because most parents will watch their children closely anyway. However, if you can pick up on behaviors that seem a little odd, it is best to report it.

A young passenger’s hand stays very close to an adult’s hand, possibly concealing a handcuff.

Children tend to move around a lot, especially on an airplane. If you spot a child being forced to stay in their seat and not move, please notify an attendant.

A young passenger won’t acknowledge or make eye contact with the flight attendant.

This goes hand in hand with the point made above. Children love to look at people and engage with them. If you can sense that they are being forced to do the opposite, it could mean that they are a victim.

While these signs may not be the end-all-be-all to spotting victims, it can definitely help to keep you in notice when traveling.

Share
Travel Noire

DeAnna Taylor

DeAnna Taylor is a criminal defense Attorney turned travel writer. The Charlotte native recently completed one year abroad working as an English teacher in South Korea. Her hobbies include fitness, traveling to new countries, and trying new foods.

Want more?

Get exclusive, unpublished tips from Travel Noire's CEO to help you get off the beaten path, into the hearts of locals and onto a better, more cultured life.

It’s National Cheap Flight Day! But Don’t Buy A Ticket Before Reading This

It’s National Cheap Flight Day! But Don’t Buy A Ticket Before Reading This

August 23 marks National Cheap Flight Day but despite the name of this unofficial consumer holiday, travel experts say it’s not the best time to purchase a cheap plane ticket. National Cheap Flight Day began in 2015 and marks the day when airlines reduce ticket prices as the summer travel season ends. It’s tempting to buy […]

Parker Diakite

Passenger Leaves A 15-Inch Snake Behind At TSA Checkpoint

Passenger Leaves A 15-Inch Snake Behind At TSA Checkpoint

The fear of traveling with snakes on a plane seemed like an irrational fear until the movie dropped more than a decade ago and since then, there have been a few incidents where the slimy creatures have appeared on a flight. Back in 2013, hundreds of passengers were forced to stay the night in a […]

Parker Diakite

Passengers Forced To Sit In Vomit-Covered Seats By United Crew Members

Passengers Forced To Sit In Vomit-Covered Seats By United Crew Members

Sam Trail and his wife were flying from Vancouver to their home city of Houston when the unexpected occurred. They boarded United Flight 2057 on August 17 to find one of their assigned seats covered with fresh vomit. Trail speaks of their experience to Click2Houston saying: “The seat in front of me was covered with […]

Kelsey Marie