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California Flyer Faces Charges Over Cheese and Crackers

Pile of golden crispy crackers and old cheddar cheese in glass plate on a white background

Flyer charged with endangering an aircraft, accused of causing a scene over a snack.

A California flyer is hearing charges against him in a Northern Ireland court, accused of causing a United Airlines flight diversion over cheese and crackers. Irish broadcaster RTÉ reports 42-year-old Jeremiah Mathis Thede is facing accusations of endangering an aircraft or persons in the aircraft after the alleged demonstration over snack service.

According to testimony shared in court, Thede was one of 264 passengers aboard the United Boeing 777 flight from Rome to Chicago on June 20, 2015, when the situation took place. The flyer was sitting in the economy section of the aircraft when he allegedly became agitated over not being served a snack of cheese and crackers. Thede is accused of chasing a flight attendant into a galley where he was stopped by purser Shelia Wire.

“He responded that he went to the back, he wanted cheese and crackers, and ‘[the flight attendant] wouldn’t give them to me’,” Wire told the court in her testimony, according to RTÉ. “I remember standing there taking a very deep breath and I remember in my mind thinking ‘this is over cheese and crackers?'”

Wire claims the flyer’s behavior became more agitated as the flight continued. His alleged behavior included standing and opening overhead bins while the seat belt sign was illuminated and threatening another passenger who confronted him about a discarded tray. The purser told the court she prepared four flyers to assist her in the event Thede became more agitated.

The decision was made to divert the flight to Belfast International Airport (BFS), where Thede was arrested. As a result, passengers were made to wait nearly 24 hours for the next flight to Chicago, because the flight crew had nearly expended their flight hours due to the diversion.

The flyer remains on trial in Northern Ireland. Thede has not been convicted of his accused crime.

[Photo: Getty Images]

Comments are Closed.
hammie April 12, 2016

The dude is from Berkley, mommy and daddy never told him no

BJM April 8, 2016

Yes it's always the flight attendants fault.

April 8, 2016

What? Is there more to this story? I've had to chase lots of FA's in coach to get stuff because they skipped me (usually my entire row) or they "forgot" to do certain services. And I was just in first class on JL last month where a passenger opened and closed the overhead bins to get stuff when the seat belt light was on. The threatening another passenger part might be an issue, but the rest of it doesn't seem that outrageous enough to divert a plane. I've read other news reports that have more details and it STILL doesn't sound like it warranted a diversion. Obviously I wasn't there, but I've read several reports and none sound like he was endangering the safety of the crew or passengers. He sounded like a frustrated and annoyed customer that wasn't getting the services he paid for. So he complains, the lazy FA's all ignore him, and he gets more frustrated. You know what would have ended this? At the first instance of the cheese and cracker complaint, one of the FA's could have said "We are so sorry it happened. Here are your cheese and crackers. Would you like 2 to make up for accidentally skipping you?" He would have walked back with cheese and crackers and none of the rest of this would have happened. But that would have required customer service. And it was obvious the FA's wanted a pissing match instead.

GulkanaAlaska April 8, 2016

The power of wensleydale cheese....

gaelflyer April 8, 2016

also here http://www.irishnews.com/news/northernirelandnews/2016/04/06/news/passenger-chased-flight-attendant-who-refused-to-serve-him-crackers-court-told-477503