Woman called 'smelly fatty' on flight grateful to 'hero' fellow passenger

Cornelia Mascio
Mag 18, 2018

I'm not the most important individual on the aeroplane, however I'm not the smallest.

Phllips said she usually tries to "sit in a row where I don't have to sit next to anyone".

"My worst nightmare is someone being uncomfortable because they have to sit next to me", she wrote.

An Oklahoma woman claims she was fat-shamed on a plane and credits another passenger for standing up for her. He looked like he was in his 60s and had on bright yellow sunglasses. He also had the brightness on his phone screen "turned all the way up" with "huge font", making his fat-shaming barbs hard to miss. "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 stated: "I used to be shocked and it was like affirmation of the unfavorable issues I take into consideration myself each day".

"Before I knew it, I could feel hot, salty tears coming down my face". I was so hurt. The pilot came overhead and said there would be a 30 minute delay before he could take off- great. I sat and cried silently ...

She learned the passenger who helped comfort her was Chase Irwin, a father and manager at Dierks Bentley's Whiskey Row Nashville on Broadway.

When he saw the man's words, Irwin was so angry he felt like he was going to vomit, he later told WTVF in Nashville.

"Hey babe, I can't believe this".

"Can't even put the armrest down. I'm sitting next to a smelly fatty".

"All of a sudden, someone from behind us taps on the guy's shoulder and says, 'Hey- I need to talk to you.' The guy next to me takes out his headphones". Irwin then told him they were going to switch seats because he knew the man was texting about Phillips and he wasn't "putting up with that".

Savannah Phillips
A woman was bullied on a flight to Chicago. Savannah Phillips Chase Irwin

Phillips said the passenger told the comedian he would not tolerate the text messages he was sending.

Irwin told the man he was "heartless". "He asked if I saw the texts and I nodded yes".

After switching with the man, her new seatmate saw her crying and "encouraged me not to let that guy get to me and that everything was going to be fine".

"I was so blessed and happy he was there", she told News Channel 5.

Initially, Phillips did not know Irwin's name.

Some people accused Phillips of invading the man's privacy by reading his text.

Savannah's story has clearly been resonating with loads of people, with her post being liked 2.7k times and shared over 800.

And while she normally tries to pick her seat to avoid sitting next to anyone on planes, she was unable to do so this time, as she had been moved from a later flight, she added.

Irwin's employer lauded him in a Facebook post, too, writing "it has warmed the heart of our entire team". And Chase, I'll be emailing your work, telling them you deserve a paid vacation to Disney for your family and kids!

Irwin told the flight attendant what he meant to do before he switched seats with the man. Phillips wrote that the attendant "kept trying to give him free drinks and told him that he was her hero".

'He wasn't her hero - he was mine'.

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