A Colorado woman has been slapped with a $500 fine from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), for saving a free apple from Delta Air Lines on her way back to the United States from Paris.
The woman by name Crystal Tadlock, in an interview with Fox News said, toward the end of her flight from Paris, flight attendants passed out apples in plastic bags as a snack.
She therefore put her’s, in her carry-on to save in case she was hungry during the second leg of her trip.
She mentioned that, when she arrived in the U.S., she went through Customs and her bag was chosen to be randomly searched.
During the search, a Customs agent pulled out the apple in the plastic bag with Delta’s logo on it.
When questioned about the snack, she explained that she received the apple from the airline and asked if she could throw it away or eat it.
The Customs agent allegedly told her no and fined her $500 for carrying the undeclared 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 said.
The woman who is frustrated about the whole incident says, she feels Delta should not have passed the apples out to customers or should have reminded passengers not to take the fruit off the plane.
She lamented that, Customs could have handled the situation differently after seeing the fruit was in an airline-marked bag.
However, a CBP spokesperson said, “prohibited items that are not declared by a passenger are confiscated and disposed of by CBP. ”
According to the spokesperson, civil penalties may be assessed for failure to declare prohibited agricultural products and may range up to 1,000 dollars per first-time offense for non commercial quantities.
” If the items are determined to be for commercial use, violations will be assessed at a much higher rate,” the statement read.
According to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website, “every fruit or vegetable must be declared to a CBP Agriculture Specialist or CBP Officer and must be presented for inspection.”
A spokesperson for Delta commenting on the issue urged customers to adhere to U.S. Customs and Border Protection policies and requirements.
Report by: Stephanie Horsu