Man Describes Woman As A 'Smelly Fatty' On Plane, Another Passenger Steps In

Aug 31, 2020 by apost team

Back in 2018, Savannah Phillips was on a United flight from Oklahoma City to Chicago when she was called a "smelly fatty" by the guy sitting next to her.

Phillips, a mom of two and a seasoned traveler, has always been hyper-conscious of her weight when flying. She knows she's not tiny, but she also isn't huge. And so it's her worst nightmare to make someone on a flight uncomfortable due to her size. Because of this, she always tries to sit next to an empty seat.

Savannah was waiting on her flight to Chicago when it was delayed due to bad weather, so she was thrust on a new plane in which she couldn't pick her seat. She boarded the plane and sat next to an elderly man who told her he was a comedian.

According to Phillips’ account, which she posted on Facebook (since removed), she noticed him texting on his huge phone about how frustrated he was having to sit next to a "smelly fatty.”

After seeing these words, Phillips was crushed.

“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,” she wrote on Facebook.

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“I was so hurt. The pilot came overhead and said there would be a 30 minute delay before he could take off- great. Just more time I would have to sit next to this creep.”

All of a sudden, a man approached her seatmate and sternly informed him that they would be switching seats.

That man was Chase Irwin. According to his recollection, the text read: "Hey babe, I can't believe this, I'm sitting next to a smelly fatty. I can't even put the armrest down. I'm gonna vomit. I'm stuck by this fatty."

“I grabbed him by his shoulder and I said, ‘You’re gonna sit in the seat I was sitting in, and I’m gonna sit here. And he said, ‘Thank you, but why? What’s wrong?,’” Irwin recalled in an interview with Inside Edition.

“And I said, ‘You’re a heartless human being. I read the texts that you were writing … and she’s crying,” he added.

Phillips said that she and Irwin made small talk after he switched seats, which made her feel better about the situation. After a flight attendant realized what Irwin did, he also kept receiving free drinks.

However, Irwin told Channel5News that he wasn’t seeking recognition. 

"I was going to wait until the end of the flight to say something but I could not have this guy sit next to her this whole flight and her thinking he's making fun of her," Irwin said. "It really gets to me deep down when I see someone crying, and when I saw her crying it really hit me hard and actually got sick to my stomach."

Since Phillips’ post went viral back in 2018, it was picked up by local and national news outlets from The Kansas City Star to Newsweek.

According to Newsweek, Irwin’s workplace, Dierks Whiskey Row, received messages applauding the man for his kind deed.

"Thank you to everyone who has messaged us regarding this story," the company wrote on Facebook, according to the outlet. "It has warmed the heart of our entire team."

United Airlines also released a statement to Newsweek following the story’s national news coverage.

"We appreciate the efforts of the customer and would like to hear from Ms. Phillips to understand what occurred," spokesperson Kimberly Gibbs said.

Readers from around the world have also been touched by Irwin and Phillips’ story. 

“Chase is my hero. All men should stand up for women this way whether it's about their weight or not. If you're reading this chase- thank you for being a real man. I wish I knew you so I could thank you,” an Inside Edition viewer wrote on YouTube.

“So glad this guy stood up for her. If we would all stop with saying, it's not my problem, or mind your own business, this world might be just a little better. Good to see some kindness,” another YouTuber added.

However, not everyone was on Irwin and Phillips’ side, as some had privacy concerns. 

“You're not supposed to look at other (people’s) text messages,” one critical comment reads.

“There is absolutely no hard evidence that he was fat-shaming her. She could be lying,” another viewer said.

What do you think about Irwin and Phillips’ story? Was the man wrong to send such an insulting text, or were Irwin and Phillips wrong to violate his privacy? Let us know, and be sure to pass this story on. 

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