A United Airlines flight was forced by unruly passenger to reverse and land 15 minutes after takeoff. The PLANE was forced to make an unscheduled landing and almost 300 travelers were delayed for 24 hours because of Mr Jeremiah Mathis Thede who suddenly developed unquenchable appetite for nuts and crackers.
The United Airlines flight was 15 minutes into its route from Rome to Chicago when the passenger, Jeremiah Mathis Thede, stood up and demanded a bag of “nuts or crackers”, the UK Telegraph reports.
A member of the crew managed to calm him down temporarily with some nuts, but 10 minutes after returning to his seat, Mr Thede stood again and demanded more.
“I can have as much nuts and crackers as I f***ing want,” Mr Thede allegedly said after being told that other passengers would need to be fed as well.
He continued to be an agitative presence, making numerous trips to the bathroom, strolling up and down the aisle and constantly opening the overhead lockers. Eventually, the pilot decided to dump 50,000 litres of fuel and land in Belfast.
According to the Telegraph, Mr Thede appeared in court this week facing charges of disruptive behaviour, common assault (against a flight attendant) and endangering the safety of an aircraft. The court was told that the plane’s passengers were delayed by 24 hours, and the incident had cost United Airlines more than $AU600,000.
“There were 269 passengers lying sleeping on the floor of the terminal because there were no hotel rooms found for them,” a police constable said.
“(Mr Thede) said it wasn’t him, there was a conspiracy theory against him, people were picking on him.”
Judge Christopher Holmes has ordered a psychiatric examination.