How an Apple Got This Delta Passenger Hit With $500 Fine

She has vowed to fight the fine in court if she has to.

A free apple offered as an in-flight snack has ended up costing a Delta passenger $500. 

Crystal Tadlock had just gotten off a flight from Paris to Minneapolis en route to Denver when she was chosen at random for a bag search.  

Inside her bag, authorities discovered the apple, which she says was given to her as a snack from a Delta flight attendant during the journey.  

The apple was still in the Delta plastic wrap. She says she told the agent she’d be willing to eat it right there or throw it in the trash. Apparently, neither option was considered acceptable and she was slapped with a $500 fine. 

Tadlock, who had won the vacation, was confused when the agent asked if her trip was expensive. 

"I was like, 'Yeah, it was pretty expensive,' but I wasn’t understanding why he was asking that question," she told Inside Edition. "He goes, 'Well, this is about to get a lot more expensive because this is going to be a $500 fine.'"

U.S. Customs regulations prohibit fruits, vegetables, meats, processed foods and plants from entering the United States because they could carry pests or disease that could harm U.S. agriculture, the environment, or our economy. Failure to declare the fruit for inspection can result in a fine. 

“Why are they even giving out produce?" she said. "Just give out a granola bar."

Tadlock says she is definitely fighting the fine.

“He immediately wanted me to pay the $500 right then and there, which I objected and I didn’t want to do that," she said.  

Delta refused to comment on this specific case, but in a statement to Inside Edition, they said they "encourage their customers to follow U.S. Customs and boarder protection protocols."