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Delta Air Lines’ Inflight Snack Got This Traveler a $500 Fine at Customs

News Insider Guides
by Morgane Croissant Apr 24, 2018

The forbidden fruit strikes again. After getting Adam and Eve in trouble a couple of years back, it now got Crystal Tadlock in a serious predicament with US customs.

On a flight from Paris to the US, Tadlock was given an apple to snack on by Delta Air Lines’ inflight crew. Because she was not hungry, the traveler put the fruit in her carry-on bag thinking she would snack on it on her connecting flight from Minneapolis to Denver.

Although you’re usually allowed to transport food in an airplane, you are not always authorized to leave the airplane with it. Indeed, some countries (US included) have very strict laws about bringing food across their borders for fear that they may spread plant pests and foreign animal diseases.

Apples, unfortunately for Tadlock who was allegedly unaware of this rule, is one of the food items that are forbidden to cross the US border.

After a random search, a US border agent found the fruit in Tadlock’s bag and fined her $500. Tadlock reported her interaction with the agent to Fox 31:

“He [the border agent] had asked me if my trip to France was expensive and I said, ‘Yeah.’ I didn’t really get why he was asking that question, and then he said ‘It’s about to get a lot more expensive after I charge you $500’.”

On top of the fine, Tadlock’s Global Entry status has been revoked. It was the first time she was using it.

Tadlock, who is understandingly frustrated with what happened explains: “It’s really unfortunate someone has to go through that and be treated like a criminal over a piece of fruit.”

Although a healthy alternative to pretzels, it may be time for airlines to stop giving away fruit on international flights. If not, an announcement about the need to leave the fruit on board the aircraft could save travelers from getting hefty fines and a bad reputation with customs.


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