Cops: Air Passenger Goes Bonkers Over Nuts

Transatlantic flight has to dump fuel for emergency landing
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 23, 2015 2:34 PM CDT
Cops: Air Passenger Goes Bonkers Over Nuts
A United jet in flight.   (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, James Nielsen, File)

Now in the running for worst air traveler of the year: A middle-aged Berkeley man accused of wigging out over nuts and crackers. Authorities say Jeremiah Thede, 42, was on a United flight from Rome to Chicago Saturday when he got out of his seat just 15 minutes into the flight—despite the "Fasten Seat Belt" sign being lit—and demanded the snacks, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. He got them, sat back down, then allegedly stood up and demanded more about 10 minutes later. Told no, he reportedly said, "I can have as much nuts and crackers as I f------ want."

The crew says he was acting dangerously belligerent, and the pilot diverted the flight to Belfast—but to do so cost the airline an estimated $550,000 thanks to the fuel he had to jettison to make a safe landing, plus costs related to the approximately 270 other passengers who had to wait 24 hours at the airport before getting another flight, reports the Telegraph. Thede, who accuses the pilot of overreacting, is charged with endangering the safety of the aircraft, disruptive behavior, and assault against a stewardess. "He said it wasn't him, there was a conspiracy theory against him, people were picking on him," says a police constable. (This is not the only nut-related air rage case to make headlines recently.)

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