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US: Delta Airlines passenger wins battle over $500 apple

Two months ago, a Delta passenger generated national headlines when a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer fined her $500 and revoked her Global Entry membership, all because of an apple. But thanks to a Colorado Congressman, the fine has been revoked and her Global Entry status restored.

Late April 2018, Crystal Tadlock returned to the U.S. from Paris and proceeded to clear Customs before catching her domestic connecting flight. In her purse was an apple given to her by a Delta flight attendant on the flight from Paris. The apple was in a plastic bag with Delta’s logo on it. She had decided to save the apple for a snack on her domestic flight.

But a Customs agent spotted the apple and confronted her with it: It is illegal to bring undeclared fruit into the country, apparently even airline fruit. He denied her request to just throw the apple away, and instead slapped her with a $500 fine. And he pulled her Global Entry membership for good measure.

Representative Ed Perlmutter from Colorado heard of her plight and decided to step in. In Washington, he suggested to officials from Customs and the Department of Agriculture that their agencies need to learn to use discretion instead of strictly going by the book. As reported on, Customs agreed to drop the $500 fine and to restore Tadlock’s trusted traveller status.

Publication date: 6/18/2018



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