Savannah Phillips was on a United Airlines flight from Illinois to Oklahoma when she ended up sitting next to an ill-mannered passenger.
She shared in a Facebook post how the man fat-shamed her in a text message.
“His phone was maybe 12 inches from my face and he proceeded to text someone that he was sitting next to ‘a smelly fatty’,” she said. After she saw those two words, Savannah couldn’t help but cry silently in her seat.
“I was shocked and it was like confirmation of the negative things I think about myself on a daily basis,” the woman said.
“Before I knew it, I could feel hot, salty tears coming down my face. I sat and cried silently, hoping this guy didn’t try to make small talk, because I didn’t trust how I would react and I didn’t want to get kicked off the plane.”
“I was so hurt … I’m not the biggest person on the airplane, but I’m not the smallest. My worst nightmare is someone being uncomfortable because they have to sit next to me.”
She said in her post that she always made sure to pick her seat so no one has to be “uncomfortable” sitting next to her on flights, but because her flight was changed last minute, she had to be assigned a seat.
Then the situation became worse when she heard the announcement that the flight would be delayed and she had to continue sitting next to the man for another 30 minutes. So Savannah tried to scrunch herself close to the side of the plane as much as she could and continued crying silently.
But something unexpected happened. Chase Irwin, the man sitting in the row behind them saw the text the man wrote about Savannah and tapped the man on the shoulder.
Chase said he was switching seats with the man because he saw what he was doing and he was “not putting up with that”.
When he switched seats with the man, he saw that Savannah was crying and asked if she had seen what the man had written on the text. When she nodded yes, he encouraged her and told her not to let that guy get to her and that everything was going to be fine.
“He said he just happened to see that guy’s text messages he started shaking he was so mad and knew he had to do something,” she said.
“I told him that he was a blessing sent to me and how thankful I was that he was there … he did prove to me today that (1) not only does God see me, but (2) there are more good people in the world than bad.”
“The flight attendant kept trying to give him free drinks and told him that he was her hero. He wasn’t her hero- he was mine.”