Savannah Phillips had the kind of nightmare flight that most of us will never be subjected to and no one deserves.
Flying is never fun, but when you’re sitting next to the least funny comedian on Earth, it’s so much worse.
The unfriendly skies
Phillips picked the window seat of her flight from Oklahoma City to Chicago and keeps her fingers crossed that no one will be in the middle seat so she doesn’t have to chat with people (we get it!).
But her choice also has to do with a fear of judgment.
“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 explained in a Facebook post about the incident.
It turns out she did have a seatmate on the flight – and one who didn’t hide how he felt about her. In fact, he turned up the text AND the brightness on his phone, spewing ugliness without a sound.
Phillips wrote in her post:
“The flight attendant started the safety speech and he got his phone out (with huge font and the screen brightness turned all the way up). His phone was maybe 12 inches from my face and he proceeded to text someone that he was sitting next to ‘a smelly fatty.’”
Who does that!?
Louder than words
During their quick greeting (and before the text) the man told Phillip he was a comedian, but he certainly isn’t funny to us.
Wisely, she decided not to keep reading the large, bright screen just a few inches from her face.
“I don’t even know what the rest of his text said. I turned my head away as fast as I could. I was shocked and it was like confirmation of the negative things I think about myself on a daily basis. 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.”
But someone else WAS watching.
Chase Irwin, from Nashville, was sitting in the row behind and could see the blazing bright, large-font text message for himself. And he was irate.
Going in for the save
Irwin quickly recorded a short video of the guy and posted it on social media with the following caption: “This guy just text his wife that he is sitting next to a smelly fatty and is going to vomit. I watched her read his text and is now looking sad.”
He told Inside Edition that he felt “sick to his stomach” just like Phillips. So he decided to take action.
He tapped Phillips on the sh0ulder and said: “Hey, I need to talk to you.”
The rude passenger took out his earphones to hear what was going on and Irwin took that moment to tell him: “We are switching seats. Now.”
The man was confused about why he was being asked to switch seats – but then Chase let him know:
“You are texting about her, and I’m not putting up with that” were some of the kinder words he used, but the guy got an earful.
And because confronting bullies is the only way to get the cowards to back off, the man slunk off to his new seat.
Helping heal the wounds
Irwin then say with Savannah and tried to console her:
“He encouraged me not to let that guy get to me and that everything was going to be fine. We talked about Ross and the kids, his two year old son, our jobs, amongst other things.”
She went on to say:
“I told him thank you for what he did and that it meant the world to me- and that he would be my husband’s new favorite person. 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.”
It should be no surprise that Phillips’ post about the situation and its redemption by the good samaritan went viral with thousands of likes and shares on Facebook.
One of the commenters summed up our feelings perfectly.
“This story gives me hope that we can change the way we judge people by appearance. This man is such a wonderful example of how we as individuals may promote this change! Fantastic story!”
The two even met up a year later and remain friends!
Scroll down below to watch Inside Edition interview both Savannah and Chase about the awful situation.
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