A Colorado woman who saved the free apple that she received on her Delta flight says she is now facing a $500 fine from U.S. Customs and Border Patrol.
Crystal Tadlock was flying back to the U.S. from Paris when attendants passed out apples toward the end of her flight, according to Fox Denver. She told the TV station the apples were in plastic bags with a Delta logo on it.
"I wasn't hungry at the time so I jammed it in my carry-on," she told KDVR, the Fox affiliate. Tadlock also said that she hoped to eat the apple during the second leg of her trip to Denver.
That decision may cost her $500.
As she was going through customs, Tadlock told KDVR that her bag was randomly searched.
The agent then pulled the apple out of the plastic bag from Delta, according to media reports.
"He had asked me if my trip to France was expensive and I said, 'Yeah,'" Tadlock told the Fox affiliate. "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 Fox that it's unfortunate she was "treated like a criminal over a piece of fruit."
Delta said in a written statement to media outlets that "We encourage our customers to follow U.S. Customs and Border Protection protocols."
An official with the airline told The Washington Post that food provided on the flight “is given with intention you consume it on board.”
U.S. Customs said in a statement to USA Today that the agency does not discuss details of specific inspections but "all agriculture items must be declared." That includes fresh fruit, according to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website.
Fines can be as high as $1,000, according to USA Today.
Tadlock told Fox that she plans to fight the $500 ticket in court.