A 42-year-old American went berserk on a plane returning home from Rome, forcing the crew to perform an emergency landing in Ireland. All this happened because the passenger was unhappy with the quantity of airline snacks he received.
Jeremiah Mathias Thede is the American citizen who caused all the commotion aboard the aircraft soon after it took off from Italy, BBC reports. 15 minutes into the flight, Thede got on his feet while the seatbelt sign was still on, demanding nuts and crackers.
He apparently refused to return to his seat until he was given nuts and crackers. Then, he got up again, asking for more, and was refused. At that point, he started shouting and became abusive.
According to what a court in Belfast heard, Thede bothered the cabin crew, blocked aisles, lifted bags in and out of overhead compartments, and kept going to the toilet, making other passengers feel threatened.
A constable told BBC that Thede claimed there was a conspiracy against him and he was being picked on.
The pilot was informed of Thede’s behavior, and decided to divert the flight to Belfast. The company dumped 50,000 liters of fuel so that it could land, and estimates that compensation costs could go up to £350,000 (or $552,000). The United Airlines flight reached its destination after a 21-hour delay in Ireland.
Meanwhile, Thede remains in custody in Ireland after being charged with endangering the safety of the plane, and will be consulted by a psychiatrist, likely for going nuts for airplane food.