A free snack on Delta ended up making a trip to Paris far more expensive.
Crystal Tadlock says a Delta flight attendant gave her an apple toward the end of her flight from Paris.
She took the piece of fruit and put it in her carry-on bag. When she went through customs, an agent pulled out the apple in a plastic pouch from Delta.
“He had asked me if my trip to France was expensive and I said, well yeah, I didn’t understand why he was asking that question, and he said ‘it’s about to get a whole lot more expensive after I charge you $500,” said Tadlock.
Passenger Blames Delta
Tadlock is angry and will contest the fine on the grounds that Delta gave him the apple. That may be a novel legal defense, but it won’t fly. She argues that Delta should offer passengers a clear warning when handing out food onboard. Hint: it’s on the blue form or Global Entry kiosk.
Delta has responded, stating only that “we encourage customers to follow U.S. Customs and Border Protection protocols.”
Simple Rule: Follow the Rules
It’s not that I don’t have sympathy for Tadlock.
My wife got caught with two apples at Honolulu Airport a couple days ago. She had forgotten them. We too could have been fined $500. Thankfully, it was Hawaii and the cousin who was scanning bags was very laid back and let it go.
Had we been fined, it would have totally been on us. And this situation is also totally on Tadlock. She had Global Entry and should have known better. While Global Entry participants do not fill out the blue arrivals form, she was asked via the Global Entry kiosk if she was carrying any fruit. She responded NO, even though she admits to knowingly taking it with her for a snack on her connecting flight.
The rule is simple: declare it, dump it, or be fined. Don’t get caught with an unexpected fine.