Oklahoma woman fat-shamed on flight says she hopes her story helps people stand up for others

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OKLAHOMA CITY - Her story has gone viral, even making international news, and now Savannah Phillips said she hopes it does some good.

Samantha Phillips shared a Facebook post about a hero who stepped in after she sat next to the wrong man on a flight. The Oklahoma City nursing teacher was flying from Oklahoma City to Chicago on a full flight.

"I glanced out to the aisle and glanced back, and saw the two words, 'smelly fatty,'" she said, fat-shamed by the stranger sitting next to her.

Phillips said she didn't know what to do, and started crying.

"Crying silently to myself, and I just thought, I need to pray for him," Phillips said.

That's when stranger Chase Irwin stepped in. He also saw the text and told the man, "We're switching seats."

When she turned, she saw Irwin was now her neighbor, and he asked her why she was crying.

"He said, 'Did you see what he wrote?' and I nodded, and he said, 'Don't let that bother you, and don't let it get to you,'" Phillips said. "We made small talk the rest of the trip and made me feel a lot better."

She said the man never said anything, but that the story isn't about him anyway. It's about Irwin.

"I would never in a million years expect someone to do that," she said.

Phillips posted the story on Facebook to find Chase and thank him. It worked, but it also drew the interest of thousands.

"I think it strikes a nerve with people because I don't know anyone who is not self-conscious about something about themselves," Phillips said.

Now, she's hoping it does some good going forward.

"I hope it makes people more brave to stand up to others," Phillips said.

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