Nutrage the sequel: Flight Diverted Over Nuts
Published: June 23, 2015
Nutrage the sequel: Flight Diverted Over Nuts, A plane travelling from Rome to Chicago had to be diverted to Belfast after a man became angry and abusive over nuts and crackers, a court has heard.
A 42-year-old American citizen, Jeremiah Mathias Thede, appeared before magistrates charged with endangering the safety of the plane in the alleged incident that took place on Saturday.
He is accused of assaulting a member of cabin crew and being disorderly.
It is alleged that 15 minutes into the flight, Mr Thede had insisted on standing up whilst the seatbelt sign was on. Cabin crew asked him to return to his seat but he refused to do so until he was given nuts and crackers.
The court heard that the Californian then got up again after a further ten minutes and demanded more nuts and crackers. He became abusive when he was refused the snacks, the court was told.
Police constable William Robinson described Mr Thede as engaging in “erratic behaviour” including allegedly squaring up to cabin crew, blocking aisles, lifting bags in and out of overhead lockers and making passengers feel intimidated.
Mr Thede denies to allegations.
The United Airlines flight was forced to divert to Belfast International Airport, dumping 50,000 litres of fuel in the process.
282 passengers then had to wait almost 24 hours before being able to board another flight.
The airline estimates that compensation costs could be up to £350,000.
Mr Thede was remanded in custody to appear in court again next week.
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