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Woman fined $500 for carrying apple in her bag

MINNEAPOLIS: Flight passenger Crystal Tadlock says she’s facing a $500 fine over an apple she got from an airline on her way home from Paris.

Crystal Tadlock got off a plane last week in Minneapolis after an 8-hour flight from Paris. She was to catch a connecting flight home to Denver on her way she decided to save an apple she had been given as part of the in-flight meal service.

“I put it in my bag, not thinking anything of it,” said Tadlock.


Delta passenger Crystal Tadlock


But before her next flight, she had to go through customs, where she was stopped by a Customs officer.
“Well, what do we have here?” Tadlock said the agent told her. “Well, we have an apple. This is a civil violation.”

Tadlock tried to explain to the officer that the apple was clearly from Delta Air Lines as it was in a Delta-branded clear bag, along with some silverware from the flight. But regardless of her explanations, the officer wasn’t convinced and told her there was no way to know whether the apple might’ve come from somewhere else in  France instead.

“Then he asks me if my flight to France was expensive,” Tadlock said. “And proceeds to say, ‘It’s about to get a whole lot more expensive.'”

Tadlock offered to throw the apple away but said she was taken to a back room at the airport and served penalty papers that stated she had 20 days to pay the fine.

When she contacted Delta about the incident, they responded by tweeting the agricultural rules and regulations, which state that many food products are prohibited entry into the US because may carry plant pests and foreign animal diseases.

Tadlock said she has Global Entry and this was her first time flying with it.

Global Entry is a Customs and Border Protection program that allows US citizens to go through an expedited process upon returning from an international trip.

According to information from the CBP, people with Global Entry are “required to answer the customs declaration questions presented on the [entry] kiosk,” but “will not need to complete the paper customs declaration form (CBP 6059B) before arrival.”

Delta Air Lines says the rules and regulations regarding customs items are made very clear at airport entry points and forms.

Tadlock has filed a complaint with the CBP against the border patrol agent; because she said he was unnecessarily rude and seemed to take pleasure in her unfortunate situation. However, she’s still on the hook for the $500 and also had her Global Entry status revoked.

“It took me six to seven months to get and cost me $160,” Tadlock says. “And the funny thing is, the fine was $500 because I had Global Entry. If I didn’t have it the fine would have been less.”



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