DENVER — A Colorado woman faces a $500 fine from U.S. Customs and Border Protection for saving a free apple she received as a snack from Delta Air Lines on her way back to the United States from Paris, according to KDVR.
During Crystal Tadlock’s flight home to Denver, attendants passed out apples as a snack. Because she wasn’t hungry, Tadlock put the fruit in her bag and planned to save it for when she was hungry during the second portion of her trip.
But when she went through Customs, her bag was chosen to be randomly searched and an agent pulled out the apple, which had Delta’s logo on it. Tadlock explained she received the apple from the airline and asked if she could throw it away or eat it. The Customs agent said no and fined her $500 for carrying the fruit.
“He 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,'” she told the station.
Tadlock is frustrated, saying the mistake could cost her $500 and her Global Entry Status. She feels Delta should not have passed the apples out to customers or should have at least reminded passengers to not take the fruit off of the plane.
A CBP spokesperson said in a comment to KDVR that “all agricultural items must be declared.”
A spokesperson for Delta also released a statement encouraging customers to “adhere to U.S. Customs and Border Protection policies and requirements.”
Tadlock says the situation is “unfortunate” and plans to fight the ticket in court.