Flight Diverted Over Nuts: United Airlines Flight Diverted Over Passenger Dispute

A United Airlines flight was diverted over nuts. Yes, you read that correctly — over nuts.

The Chicago-bound flight from Rome was forced to divert to Northern Ireland due to a passenger’s dispute over wanting more nuts.

Jeremiah Mathis Thede, a 42-year-old man with dual Italian and American nationality, became unruly on the flight shortly after takeoff when he started demanding “nuts or crackers,” according to the Associated Press. He was given some nuts by the flight attendants, but soon after he requested more. Thede stood up while the seat belt sign was on, and refused to sit down until he was given more nuts or crackers. The attendants told Thede that he would be given more after the others received theirs, and that is when his rage started.

“I can have as much f*****g nuts or crackers as I want,” he reportedly yelled.

According to a previous report by the Inquisitr, Thede was blocking the aisles in the plane and handling random bags. At one point, Thede was apparently ready to fight over the bag of nuts. The pilot then asked the male flight attendants to surround Thede “in case he became physically violent.”

Because of Thede’s erratic behavior, the pilot was forced to divert the United Airlines flight to Belfast International Airport, dumping 50,000 liters of fuel in the process, which costed the airlines approximately $550,000 (€490,000). The diverted flight also left 268 passengers stranded for nearly 24 hours until they could board another flight because there were no hotel rooms available.

While he never actually struck any of the cabin members, Jeremiah Thede is being charged with charged with endangering the safety of an aircraft, disruptive behavior, and common assault against a female cabin crew member. Thede is denying the allegations.

Defence barrister Aaron Thompson said his client “has done nothing wrong and this was an over-reaction by the staff on the plane.” He added that his client would passport and rent a place in North Ireland for the hearings if he was given bail, which was originally denied.

[Photo via Shutterstock]