Airline travel has gotten pretty nutty recently. Especially for the 282 passengers aboard a United transatlantic flight from Rome to Chicago on Saturday.
According to The Telegraph, the flight had to turn around over the Atlantic and get rid of over 13,000 gallons of jet fuel before landing in Belfast, Northern Ireland due to a disruptive passenger.
The Telegraph reports that one passenger, Jeremiah Mathis Thede of California, became fixated on getting a snack shortly after take-off.
The disgruntled Thede allegedly got out of his seat 15 minutes after take-off, with the seat belt sign still lit and demanded “nuts or crackers,” The Telegraph reports.
Thede apparently refused to sit back down until he got his bag of peanuts.
A crew member fulfilled the heavy request by giving him some nuts upon which Thede retook his seat.
Ten minutes later, Thede stood up again and wanted more. The crew tried to tell him that they would satisfy his nut craving if there was a snack surplus after serving the rest of the passengers.
Thede responded, “I can have as much nuts and crackers as I f****** want.”
Passengers and crew members became weary of the man’s behavior which continued with many trips to the lavatory, numerous openings of the overhead compartments, along with obstructing the aisles.
The captain requested that several male passengers sit near Thede, in case he became physically disruptive.
His behavior caused the pilot’s decision to turn around and ground the flight in Belfast the Telegraph reports.
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The total cost of this nutty incident is estimated to be between $470,000 and $550,000 a court official said. The sizable sum is a result of fuel costs, and passenger recompense. 269 of them had no choice but to sleep on the terminal floor because of a lack of hotel rooms nearby.
Thede was charged on Monday with endangering the safety of the aircraft, disruptive behavior on board, and common assault against a flight attendant.
He denies that he acted inappropriately and had not imbibed since he underwent a medical examination upon landing in Northern Ireland. The man claims that the entire incident was an overreaction.