Colorado woman fined $500 over free airline snack

U.S. & World

A Colorado woman’s trip to France is costing her even more money now that she’s back in the United States and it’s all because of the free snack the airline gave her.

Crystal Tadlock said near the end of her flight from Paris attendants passed out free apples as a healthy snack. Tadlock says she wasn’t hungry at the time, so she put the apple, wrapped in a Delta Airlines plastic bag, in her bag to save for later.

When her plane landed in Denver, she went through Customs and her bag was randomly searched. The Customs agent went through her bag and pulled out the apple, still in the plastic bag with Delta’s logo on it.

“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,’” Tadlock told KDVR.

Tadlock said she understands U.S. Customs regulations, but that this one went too far, especially since the apple came from her Delta flight.

“I understand the laws and the Department of Agriculture doesn’t want certain insects in the U.S.,” Tadlock said. “But once again, the apple is from Delta and I think that’s the most important part of the story.”

Delta released a statement addressing the incident, saying “We encourage our customers to follow U.S. Custom and Border Protection protocols.”

A spokesperson for U.S. Customs and Border Patrol declined to provide further details about the incident, but said “Privacy policy prohibits U.S. Customs and Border Patrol from discussing the details of any individual’s specific inspection. However, all agriculture items must be declared.”

 Tadlock plans to challenge the ticket in court.

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