Savannah Phillips is a seasoned traveler and had been airborne quite often for the past three weeks when she was forced to endure a gut-wrenching and unforgettable encounter in the air. There was no escaping the hate and hurt that she felt as she was trapped thousands of feet up in the air.
After the incident, Savannah, 32, decided to share her story on Facebook, not to garner sympathy for herself, but for another reason. Despite the heartbreaking experience she was subjected to, there was one silver lining in the form of a complete stranger.
When Savannah’s flight to Chicago was changed to an earlier time due to storms, she was unable to select her seat. For her own sake and the comfort of others, she tries to sit in a row where she doesn’t have to sit next to anyone.
“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.”
Since her seat was assigned at the gate, she was very nervous upon boarding. She discovered she had been seated next to an older gentleman who told her he was a comedian.
He seemed harmless at first — a man in his 60s sporting bright yellow sunglasses, she said. He hopped up to allow her to pass through so she could access her seat and they both buckled up.
As the flight attendant segued into her safety speech, the stranger next to her whipped out his phone with its huge font and screen brightness turned all the way up and proceeded to rip her to shreds in texts to someone. Savannah said she was able to see his phone because it was a mere 12 inches from her own face.
“…he proceeded to text someone that he was sitting next to ‘a smelly fatty.’”
Savannah was stunned and crushed. She instantly looked away from what she had seen, ill from the harshness of this man’s perception of her. She admitted that she has negative thoughts flooding her mind every day just like this as a mom still carrying around pregnancy weight, but this, this was uncalled for.
“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. 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.”
She squished herself up against the plane’s wall, unable to stop the flood of tears cascading down her face. Suddenly, someone from behind them taps the man on the shoulder and briskly informs him that they would be switching seats immediately.
When Savannah’s seat mate asked the other man why he wanted to switch, the stranger in no uncertain terms informed her seat mate — along with some colorful language peppered in — that “You are texting about her and I’m not putting up with that.”
The next thing Savannah knows, the stranger seated behind shoves his way into their aisle and plops down next to her. Shocked to see her crying, she told him that she had seen the texts.
“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, among other things. He said he just happened to see that guy’s text messages and he started shaking he was so mad and knew he had to do something. He stopped the flight attendant and told her what he was about to do.”
Savannah thanked him profusely and told him how much what he did meant to her. The flight attendant lavished him with free drinks and claimed he was “her hero.”
But at that moment, he was Savannah’s hero, too. She shared with him that at church, the congregation was told that God sees everyone in both good times and bad, at our weakest and most confident moments.
“And God saw me today. I told him that he was a blessing sent to me and how thankful I was that he was there.”
Savannah shared her story on Facebook and asked everyone to help her find the man named Chase who works for Whiskey Row in Nashville. She wanted people to know how wonderful of a person Chase is and that there are “more good people in the world than bad.”
Guess what? She found him. Watch his response to the incident he witnessed in the video below and how he just had to rescue Savannah.
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