Crystal Tadlock may think twice before accepting anything from a Delta attendant again. Flying back from Paris, the Colorado woman accepted a free apple handed out by an attendant and stuffed it in her carry-on bag—only to discover at customs that the fruit would cost her $500, KDVR reports. The customs agent "asked me if my trip to France was expensive and I said, 'yeah,'" said Tadlock after her bag was randomly searched. "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 asked if she could toss the apple or eat it, but the agent said no.
"It’s really unfortunate someone has to go through that and be treated like a criminal over a piece of fruit," says Tadlock, who also lost her Global Entry Status. She blames Delta for handing out the fruit without warning, and says Customs should have cut her a break. Customs and Border Patrol responded by saying that "all agriculture items must be declared," and a Delta spokesperson said "we encourage our customers to follow US Customs and Border Protection protocols." For her part, Tadlock plans to fight the fine in court. "I understand the laws," she says, per KPTV. "But once again, the apple is from Delta and I think that’s the most important part of this story." (Read more Delta Air Lines stories.)