How Taking a Piece of Fruit From the Plane Could Cost You $500

Don't take fruit or vegetables through customs like this woman didCrystal Tadlock—an American woman who recently flew from France to the United States—is facing a $500 fine from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) for saving an apple she received as a snack on her Delta Air Lines flight.

Tadlock told Fox 31 Denver that near the end of her flight, flight attendants passed out apples in plastic bags as a snack. She put an apple in her carry-on to save for when she was hungry during the second leg of her trip—and then did not declare its presence when her bag was searched at customs. Well, that’s a big no-no since, as the CBP makes clear, “every fruit or vegetable must be declared to a CBP Agriculture Specialist or CBP Officer and must be presented for inspection – regardless of its admissibility status.”

The fine is bad enough, but there’s more. According to FoxNews.com, “Tadlock said the innocent mistake could end up costing her bigger than just the $500 fine – she could also lose her Global Entry Status, which allows pre-approved, low-risk travelers to have expedited clearance into the U.S.”

I was surprised to see this story trending because the traveler should’ve known better as a Global Entry member. In any case, it serves as an important reminder to not to take fruit or vegetables across borders, even if it’s provided by an airline.

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Johnny Jet
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4 Comments on "How Taking a Piece of Fruit From the Plane Could Cost You $500"

  1. I think this is ridiculous; the woman forgot the apple was in her bag. There are a lot more important things to worry about than a piece of fruit. Couldn’t they give her a warning? Perhaps the airline shouldn’t have been passing out fruit in the first place.

  2. Scott Goff, MD | April 24, 2018 at 11:01 am | Reply

    Plead not guilty; demand a jury trial. There are plenty of potential jury pool members who DO believe in jury nullification concepts ( from old English common law days ). If the jury member believes the law is “bad law”, you vote not guilty regardless what the physical evidence & testimony is about.

  3. It sounds harsh -a warning seems more appropriate. If Global Entry people do these things it will destroy the effectiveness of the designation and its usefulness to all of us. It is very important to declare these things if you are approved for Global Entry. It means that you know the rules and will obey them regardless whether you are checked or not. I take no chances and even declare coffee and chocolate bars. It is no big deal, there is a quick question about the items and you are through anyway. You should take no chances if you are Global Entry. There is not as much leniency, nor frankly should there be. People seem to cry “it is someone else’s fault” too often when in reality, a person should take responsibility for their actions instead of crying about it.

  4. I did the same thing a couple of years ago (before I had Global Entry). When the airline gave me a snack on the airplane, I decided to save the apple for later and then forgot about it. Both my husband and I had to go to the agricultural check room at the airport and watch while the inspector completely emptied our suitcases. We were embarrassed but didn’t get into trouble otherwise. Either punishments have gotten more harsh in the last two years, or the fines are inconsistent from airport to airport.

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