Airline Passenger Fined $500 For Apple
Before they were overpriced computer equipment apples were and for that matter still are a delicious and healthy snack. We've all heard that an apple a day can help keep the doctor away. It's too bad this particular Delta Airlines passenger was going through United States Customs and not for a physical checkup.
This story isn't so much about Delta Airlines, an overzealous Customs agent, or for that matter an apple. It's more about travelers needing to be more aware of their surroundings. In this case, the passenger Crystal Tadlock, was given an apple aboard a Delta Airlines flight that was bringing her back to the United States.
It was reported that Tadlock did not eat the apple on board the plane and decided to save it for another flight that would take her from Minneapolis to Denver. What could be wrong with that?
Plenty. She was fined $500 for bringing contraband substances into the country.
Catching drug dealers is not the only reason that we have border security at all points of entry into the United States. Agricultural quarantine is one of the many other reasons border agents ask where you've been, why you've been there, and what you're bringing into the U.S.
What if this single apple contained a disease that could go viral and decimate the United States apple crop? Don't think it could happen? Ask cotton producers about the boll weevil or people in Minnesota about crawfish.
As someone who has journeyed abroad a lot over the past two decades, I can tell you the United States is pretty lenient compared to some nations. In New Zealand, you will be fined on the spot and have to pay on the spot in cash if you attempt to bring in any animal or plant life. Even if it's an apple or a muffin from the plane or cruise ship.
Before we boarded a plane that was leaving Peru we were warned to get rid of any cocoa leaves or products made from cocoa leaves, such as candy, because having those objects will add a lot of "baggage" to your travels.
Do I feel for Crystal Tadlock? Not really. I don't care where you travel you always have to be aware of your surroundings. That includes being aware of what items you might have on your person or in your bags. As they say, ignorance is no excuse, unless you're an elected official.