Arvada woman files complaint against U.S. customs for $500 fine for airline apple

DENVER -- A woman fined $500 by U.S. Customs and Border Protection for an apple given to her by an airline filed a complaint with the federal agency over the incident.

Crystal Tadlock was flying from Paris to the U.S. With a few hours left in her flight, she was given an apple by a Delta Air Lines flight attendant.

Tadlock said she wasn't hungry at the time so she threw it in her bag.

When Tadlock went through customs in Minneapolis, an agent found the apple, wrapped in plastic packaging with Delta's logo on it, and fined Tadlock $500 for the apple.

Tadlock also lost her Global Entry Status during the incident. Passengers apply and interview for the Global Entry Program.

If admitted into the program, travelers get to use an express checkout through customs.

While other passengers might be given a warning or a smaller fine for their first offensive, because of Tadlock's Global Entry status, she was immediately fined $500.

"This is my very first time using my Global Entry and coincidentally, Global Entry means you’re a seasoned traveler and you have higher expectations than people who don’t have Global Entry," Tadlock said.

On Monday, Tadlock filed a complaint with U.S. Customs and Border Protection and inquired about fighting the fine in court.

Tadlock's story has traveled around the world. Tadlock said it's been "pretty crazy" watching the story go viral and seeing responses pour in from across the country.

She hopes that in the end, it will prompt Delta to remind passengers traveling internationally not to bring food given to them on the flight through customs.

A Delta spokesman said Monday it's too early to know if any policies will change because of Tadlock's story.

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