United Flight Delayed In Belfast Because Of Crackers, Could Cost Airline $550,000

It’s amazing what a craving for a salty snack can do to people, like say, even divert an airplane. Or at least that’s the reason being given for a situation over the weekend in which nearly 300 United Airlines passengers crew members were stuck at a Belfast airport for nearly 24 hours.

Back on Saturday, a United Airlines flight from Rome to Chicago made an emergency landing in Belfast shortly after takeoff because of an unruly passenger.

While details about the actual fracas weren’t readily available, Business Insider now reports that the hassle was allegedly because of a passenger’s desire for more crackers – and it’s reportedly coming at quite a cost to the airline: $550,000.

Trouble with the flight apparently began shortly after the plane left Rome and a 42-year-old man reportedly demanded crackers from flight attendants.

According to the Telegraph the man refused to sit down until he received the snack.

While the crew gave in to his demands the first time around, when he commanded another order, they refused, saying he would get them after the rest of the cabin was served.

As one might expect, this didn’t go over well, with the man yelling that “I can have as much nuts and crackers as I f****** want,” officers tell the Telegraph.

After still declining to give into the man’s demands, the crew became concerned for other travelers’ welfare and the pilot decided to make the unscheduled stop.

However, the long international flight had only been in the air a short amount of time, meaning it still had enough fuel on board to make it to Chicago, and that posed a problem.

To further ensure the safety of passengers, the jet purportedly had to dump some 13,000 gallons of fuel before landing in Northern Ireland.

Once the plane landed, the man was taken into custody, but by then crew members had reached their maximum working hours as dictated by the Federal Aviation Administration. And with a lack of local hotel rooms available, the passengers were made to spend the night in the empty terminal.

Although United declined to provide an exact figure for the cost of the disruption, the Telegraph reports that the court in which the disruptive passenger appeared this week put the expense at about $550,000.

‘Cracker rage’ could cost United Airlines $550,000 [Business Insider]
Transatlantic flight diverted ‘after passenger kept demanding nuts’ [The Telegraph]

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