The $500 Apple

Woman boards a Paris Delta Airlines flight headed to Denver. Shortly before landing, woman is given apple by flight attendant passing out snacks.  Woman is not hungry so stashes apple away and promptly forgets about it.  Plane lands and woman’s luggage is selected for random search by snarky Border Patrol agent, who is angry about life in general and in particular a certain undeclared apple found in woman’s bag.  Woman is denied option to eat or throw away said apple and receives $500 fine.  Woman is rightly appalled and feels a loss of dignity.  Border Patrol agent’s inferiority complex, unfortunately, remains solidly in place.

This is what happens when rules take priority over common sense.  It’s also the kind of stuff that sparks revolutions.  Just infuriating.

Link to story here.

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27 Responses to The $500 Apple

  1. Fortunately these kinds of events are rare on the whole. Now… I am not being dismissive here. I am suggesting that these incidents that DO happen always seem to get a life of their own simply because of our technology to communicate it across the globe to masses of people… and judgments and opinions are formed because of them way beyond the scope in which the event occurred. It’s amazing how many opinion blogs I read where the author is making some huge point over a seeming innocuous event reported in some obscure opinion rag.. and thusly perpetuating it and exploding it out of context as if it were some national norm that needs “fixing” or we need to publicly roast someone, or chastise an entire organization.
    All that being said… the seeming “lack of common sense” in a lot of these kinds of things (and gawd knows I assign a lot of those incidents to public schools) is that likely the border officer had no latitude very possibly for fear someone might be testing him.. and we all know the bad press TSA, et al, get when someone slips through, even if it’s a test. To me there’s a much greater question than your apparent judgment on the officer’s “bad day”… why the hell is there a $500 fine for bringing an apple into the country? What is the law being broken here? A fine is a punitive thing. If the apple itself were a threat then you confiscate it… question the person if necessary. What exactly was she “caught” doing in bringing an apple into the country? Illegal importation? Tariff violation? I am guessing there’s likely a right to appeal. Yeah, a pain in the ass… but she would get her day in court. In the meantime.. welcome to Trump’s America!


    • Tricia says:

      The simple act of not declaring a piece of fruit against the brute force of a Customs agent on a power trip speaks volumes to me.

      The fruit regs have something to do with bug infestation fears which is valid but that doesn’t mean common sense goes and compassion go out the window.. It’s really common to forget about food stashed away after a long trip. I’ve done it, just about everyone I know has. I’ve never heard of anyone not given the option to just toss things out.


      • Yeah.. the bug thing was the other aspect… and me being in California with its bug stations illustrates the concern a bit. Again.. a fine is punitive. It’s not impossible that even one infected apple could theoretically bring down the nation’s entire apple crop… but a single apple is not a $500 punishment. Just confiscate it. The future of the apple industry remains secure and the lady doesn’t hate America (was she a U.S. citizen? If that’s true, in a way that makes it all the worse.)

        Liked by 1 person

  2. When I heard this I thought yee gads. Where is the common sense. The airline gave it to her. Just take it and throw it away.


    Liked by 1 person

  3. ColorStorm says:

    Can’t stand the intellectually crippled. It’s her apple. she paid for it in the price of a ticket.

    I’d love to see this adjudicated where a sane judge must conclude: ‘get outta my courtroom, as you have no right to be here since you have no common sense.’

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Al says:

    This TSA agent just confirms the adage “one bad apple spoils the whole bunch.”


  5. Sean Mungin says:

    Seriously? Over an apple? 😏


  6. Dennis says:

    As I understand the story the lady will (is) fighting the fine in court. A legal contributor to Fox said that the fine will be revoked due to: US grown apple, US Airline purchased in US, the fruit never touched foreign soil, was given to the lady over international water in international airspace. The Custom agent failed.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. How many prospective global travelers will hear this news story and say to themselves, “I hadn’t made up my mind which airline to fly, but now I really want to fly Delta Airlines on my round trip vacation to Paris.”? Answer = zero.

    How many such travelers will instead say, “Well there’s no way I’m picking Delta Airlines to travel to/from Paris. There are lots of other choices.”? Answer = way more than zero.

    So why hasn’t Delta Airlines announced that it “regrets that she had a bad experience, will give some consideration to their policies regarding food offerings for inbound international flights out of respect for the U.S. Customs Service and the airline’s customers, and will pay her $500 fine”??? Who cares whether the Airline is responsible or not. $500 is the smallest pricetag ever for avoidance of this absurdly bad publicity.

    Somebody is brain dead in the PR Department in the Delta Airlines headquarters building in Atlanta! Hey, CEO Ed Bastian — ignore your jittery lawyers. Turn this sour lemon into sweet lemonade, man. I hereby authorize you to literally copy the above paragraph from my comment and release it to the press — no charge from Jeff for the OBVIOUS advice.

    Can you say “Duh” with an Georgia accent?

    – Jeff

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tricia says:

      That’s a really good point Jeff about Delta offering to step up, pay the fine and change their policy Instead their PR person resorted to typical blame shifting double speak. We expect that from the federal government, Delta missed an opportunity to look good here.

      I don’t speak Georgian….;)

      Liked by 1 person

      • They don’t even have to actually change their policy to reap the PR benefits. All they have to say is that they’ll give consideration to their policies. The news cycle will move on very quickly here, and nobody will check back to see if they really did stop handing out forbidden agricultural weapons of mass destruction on their inbound flights….unless/until this whole thing happens again.

        – Jeff

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I suggest Crystal Tadlock contact Delta to get the name of the flight attendant who clearly was an accomplice in this situation. It shouldn’t end there. The CEO of delta should be brought in for questioning as well to determine if enough evidence exists to subpoena him or her to testify before a grand jury.

    The apple should be DNA tested as well to find EVERY hand involved in the transportation of this apple across international waters to properly charge all persons involved in this conspiracy. Personally, I’m frantic because I don’t know whether this was a genetically modified apple or not.

    Stop the Mueller independent counsel investigation. Shift his responsibilities over to handling the Crystal Tadlock case. I’ll bet anything this apple is the missing piece of the puzzle in the Russian Collusion debate. Comrade Tadlock should be deported just after we waterboard her and find out the real motive why she chose NOT to eat that apple! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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    Liked by 1 person

  10. Dennis says:

    Don’t know if I trust anyone with “fly” and “official” in their web name. Just saying.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Canuck Carl says:

    Thank you for sharing Tricia. A very unfortunate incident about an insecure agent using improper use of his power.

    Liked by 1 person

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