Colorado Woman Fined $500 For Saving Free Snack Provided By Delta Air Lines During Flight

Trisha Faulkner - Author

Apr. 22 2018, Updated 4:16 p.m. ET

A Colorado woman named Crystal Tadlock received a $500 fine from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) for her decision to save the free apple provided by Delta Air Lines as a snack during her flight back to the United States from her trip to Paris, France.

During an interview with Fox 31 Denver, Tadlock said the flight attendants passed out plastic bags containing apples as a snack for the passengers. Crystal was not hungry when she received the apple, but did not want to waste the fruit either. So, she decided to put the apple in her carry-on bag, so she could eat it later when she became hungry. Little did she know that her decision not to waste the apple would later cost her $500.

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Once Tadlock’s plane arrived in the United States, she made her way through customs. She had been randomly selected for her carry-on bag to be searched. According to the Colorado woman, the agent took the plastic bag with the Delta logo containing an apple out of her bag and began to ask questions about the snack. Crystal told Fox 31 Denver she asked the agent if she could eat the apple or throw it away. The agent responded by telling her “no” and issued her a $500 fine for not declaring the piece of fruit in her carry-on.

Crystal also noted the agent asked her a rather unusual and almost teasing question regarding whether her trip to France was expensive.

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“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.'”

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What the woman claims was just an innocent mistake may end up costing her to lose her Global Entry Status, in addition to the $500 fine. Tadlock also told Fox 31 Denver she was extremely frustrated by the situation.

She believed Delta should have either never handed out the apples, or should have reminded the passengers not to leave the plane with the fruit. Tadlock also felt that the situation could have been handled differently considering the apple was clearly in a plastic bag with Delta’s logo on it.

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“It’s really unfortunate someone has to go through that and be treated like a criminal over a piece of fruit.”

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Legally, “all agricultural items must be declared” when entering the United States. Tadlock, however, believes an exception could have been made in her case. She told the local news outlet she plans to fight the charge in court.


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