Customs agents

Feds Fine a Woman $500 for Saving a Free Airline Snack

The apple was wrapped in a plastic bag with Delta's logo on it. Customs still fined her $500.


Danielfela |

The government fined a Colorado woman $500 this week for passing through customs with a free apple she received from Delta Airlines.

Flight attendants had handed out apples toward the end of Crystal Tadlock's flight from Paris to the U.S., she tells FoxNews31. Not feeling hungry yet, she put the individually wrapped apple in her carry-on and planned to eat it later.

When her bag was randomly searched at customs, the officer discovered the apple, which was sealed in a Delta-branded bag. Tadlock explained that she was given the apple on her flight and asked if she could eat it or throw it out. According to Tadlock, the agent said no and fined her $500.

"He had asked me if my trip to France was expensive and I said, 'Yeah,'" Tadlock recalls to FoxNews31. "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, who plans to fight the fine in court, may also lose her Global Entry Status, which allows preapproved low-risk travellers to enter the U.S. with faster clearance.

According to the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol's website, "Every fruit or vegetable must be declared…and must be presented for inspection—regardless of its admissibility status." Failure to declare a food item can bring a fine of up to $10,000, so it could have been worse.