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Woman fined $500 for free flight apple

A Delta passenger says she plans to fight a case against US customs over the fruit in court.

An American returning to the US from a trip to Paris on a Delta Air Lines flight says she will fight in court a $500 fine slapped on her by US customs for carrying an apple she’d been given as a free snack.

The apple had been handed out to passengers in bags, but the accused woman, Crystal Tadlock, said she did not remove it from the bag and instead put it away before landing in Minneapolis, saving it for the second part of her journey to Denver.

But the apple was discovered in a random search by a border agent. Tadlock told the agent she had just received it from the airline and asked if she should throw it away or eat 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’,” she told KDVR-TV, as reported by the BBC.

Fruit protocol
US Customs and Border Patrol has not commented on the case, but stresses that all agricultural items on incoming flights from Europe and elsewhere must be declared.

The aggrieved passenger posted a photo on Twitter of the Delta bag that had contained the illegal apple, adding the hashtag #anappleadaydoesntkeepcustomsaway.

Tadlock vowed to take US customs to court, saying, “It’s really unfortunate someone has to go through that and be treated like a criminal over a piece of fruit”.

However, a Delta spokesperson told CBS Denver: “We encourage our customers to follow US Customs and Border Protection protocols. The apple in question was part of an inflight meal meant to be consumed on the aircraft.”

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