Airline passenger's 'cracker rage' strands fellow passengers for almost 24 hours

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In the classic case of one person ruining it for everyone else, one airline passenger's disruptive behavior was powerful enough to prompt a flight diversion, during which his fellow passengers were stranded on the terminal floors of Belfast International Airport.

Airline passenger's 'cracker rage' strands fellow passengers for almost 24 hours

It started out simply enough: 42-year-old passenger Jeremiah Mathis Thede requested another helping of snacks during a transatlantic flight from Rome to Chicago. Though the snack in question has been reported to be a bag of nuts, Karen May, United Airlines' spokeswoman, clarified, "we haven't confirmed that it was nuts." Rather, the more likely temptation seems to have been crackers.

As the flight went on, Thede's behavior became increasingly threatening as he demanded more than the crew were able to give, eventually causing airline staff to notify the captain. The flight was then diverted to Belfast, where the rest of the passengers should have been able to continue on with their journey.

But as luck would have it, the flight's crew had reached their maximum duty time by United's regulation standards, forcing passengers to wait it out at the airport until the next flight took them back on Sunday.

However, the airline was more than sympathetic. May explained that the passengers affected were not only refunded for their Rome to Chicago flight, but also able to choose from two more forms of compensation: another reimbursement for any additional connecting flights they might have had to take, or a travel certificate for their next journey, adding, "we truly apologize to our customers for what happened."

As for the disruptive passenger, May commented that the individual had not yet left Ireland, and was still in Belfast, as far as she knew.

This wouldn't be the first time a flight was interrupted over a snack debacle. In December 2014, a "nut-rage" incident resulted in a Korean Air executive being jailed for breaking aviation law. Heather Cho, who was the Korean Air Lines chairman's daughter as well as the airline's former vice president and head of in-flight services, forced a plane to turn around because the plane's nuts were served to her in a bag, and not a bowl. Cho was arrested for obstruction aviation safety and was sentenced to a year in prison, but was released from incarceration after five months.

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