Savannah Phillips is a wife and mother. When she’s traveling by airplane, she also describes herself as “not the biggest person on the airplane, but I’m not the smallest.”
Phillips explained in a Facebook post that she tries “to sit in a row where I don’t have to sit next to anyone” because she doesn’t want “someone being uncomfortable because they have to sit next to me.”
In 2018, on a flight to Chicago, Phillips was not able to choose her seat. Instead, her seat was assigned when she got to the gate. She had a window seat, and when she boarded the plane, the person sitting next to her, a self-described comedian, stood up so that she could get to her seat. After he sat back down, he took out his phone and sent a text, a very rude text about Phillips, and she saw what he was typing.
Phillips explained that the man sitting next to her “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.’” Phillips turned towards the window and started crying.
Phillips is not the only one who saw the texts. Another passenger sitting nearby, a man named Chase Irwin, also read the text and saw Phillips’ reaction. That’s when he decided to come to her rescue. Phillips wrote, “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. Someone behind us says, ‘We are switching seats. Now.’ The guy next to me said, ‘OK- why?’ And I hear someone say (removing curse words), ‘You are texting about her, and I’m not putting up with that.’”
Irwin switched seats with the comedian and tried to comfort Philips. She explained, “He asked if I saw the texts and I nodded yes. He encouraged me not to let that guy get to me and that everything was going to be fine.” For the rest of the flight, they talked about their families, kids, and jobs.
Phillips shared the story on Facebook because she wanted Irwin’s kindness to be known. News Channel 5 was able to track him down. Watch the video below to hear Irwin explain why he decided to switch seats with the passenger sitting next to Phillips and to hear Phillips describe just how much Irwin’s kindness meant to her.