Not everyone likes to travel by airplane. But one mom actually had her “worst nightmare” come true on a flight from Oklahoma City to Chicago, and it involved an unkind passenger.
When Savannah Phillips flies, she prefers to pick a seat in a row where she’s by herself. It’s not because she dislikes conversing with others though. Savannah explained in a Facebook post that it 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.”
Then came a time when Savannah wasn’t able to choose her seat. Instead, she was assigned one next to an older gentleman wearing yellow sunglasses.
The man stood up and allowed Savannah to get by to the window seat. He looked to be about in his sixties and shared that he was a comedian. But what he did next was nothing to laugh about.
Even before they took off, the passenger showed he had a mean side.
Savannah 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.’”
Savannah was stunned and understandably hurt by the cruel text. In fact, she couldn’t even finish reading it. “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.”
Fortunately, there was another passenger sitting nearby that noticed what was going on.
Chase Irwin from Nashville also read the man’s horrible message and could tell how upset Savannah was over it. He quickly recorded a small video of the guy – posting 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 wasn’t going to just sit back and do nothing. When Chase saw Savannah crying in her seat his heart immediately shattered. He told Inside Edition that he felt “sick to his stomach” too. So like a hero in disguise, Chase stepped into action.
Chase tapped the man sitting next to Savannah on the shoulder, then said,
“Hey, I need to talk to you.” Right away the guy removed his earphones, and that’s when Chase told him, “We are switching seats. Now.” According to Savannah, 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.”
He really was her hero. Chase sat down next to Savannah, put his arm around her, and tried to offer some comfort after the bullying experience. The mom wrote in her post:
“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 to 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.”
After Savannah posted about the good Samaritan’s act on Facebook, her story went viral.
The mom was grateful to Chase for being her guardian angel on the plane, and many people left positive comments as well. One person wrote:
“Thank you Chase for [being] the gentleman and hero you are! Savannah you are beautiful and don’t let anyone tell you any different! Stay strong and always keep your head held high!!”
Someone else said:
“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!”
Watch the video below to see Inside Edition interview both Savannah and Chase about the situation. Thank goodness there are kind strangers on this earth! Please SHARE this with your friends and family.