by Greg Dickinson The Telegraph, April 23, 2018
A woman has been issued a $500 (£357) fine after US customs officials found an apple in her carry-on luggage. The fruit had been handed to her as a free giveaway on the first leg of her Delta flight from Paris to Denver.
When Crystal Tadlock was given the apple in a Delta plastic bag, she decided to keep the apple for the second leg of her flight from Minneapolis to Denver.
She told Fox31: “I wasn’t hungry at the time, so I jammed it in my carry-on”. However, at customs checks on arrival her bag was randomly searched and the official discovered the apple in her bag.
Ms Tadlock said she was asked if her trip to France had been expensive, to which she replied yes. Tadlock says that the official then went on to say: “It’s about to get a whole lot more expensive after I charge you $500”.
When Telegraph Travel contacted Delta to enquire about the apple fine, they responded: “Delta recommends all passengers comply with U.S. Customs and Border Protection rules and regulations when entering the country.”
On the US Customs and Border Protection website, it states: “All travelers entering the United States are required to declare meats, fruits, vegetables, plants, seeds, soil, animals, as well as plant and animal products (including soup or soup products) they may be carrying.”
Their guidelines also say: “Civil penalties may be assessed for failure to declare prohibited agricultural products and may range up to $1,000 per first-time offense for non-commercial quantities”
Tadlock has told local media that she is planning on challenging the fine in court.