Passenger Innocently Brings Snack from Plane to Customs- Ends Up Paying $500

By: Ene Ayegba | Last updated: Nov 08, 2023

In-flight meals will definitely be served on every long-haul trip you embark upon. However, those meals can be either delicious or unappealing. 

There is a reason international flight tickets are expensive—the meals are factored into the cost. However, as tempting as it is to save some some of them for later, it is best to eat all you can during the flight. You don’t want to incur some huge fine like the lady we’re telling about in this story did.

The Most Expensive Apple Ever

Apples are abundant and cheap to buy at the grocery store. Depending on its weight and freshness, you can buy one for less than $1. However, one woman who traveled on a Delta Airlines flight had to pay $500 for an apple. 


Source: Vanamo Media

It so happens that an attendant handed the woman an apple as part of her in-flight meal. Since she was not hungry at the time, she wrapped the fruit and slipped it into her bag. On arrival, customs slammed her with a $500 fine for bringing in undeclared food. 

Saving the Situation

The officials at customs were unempathetic about the fine, as the woman tried, with no success, to explain her ignorance of such policies. Delta Airlines did acknowledge the apple being from its flight, but insisted that the food was to be eaten on the plane. 


Source: Wikimedia Commons

There have been several such cases of passenger trying to bring food through immigration which have resulted in strict and heavy fines. So, as far as in-flight meals are concerned, leave it on board if you lack an appetite. 

Paying Heavily for Fast Food Leftovers

In a similar case, a man was traveling from Indonesia to Australia. Before boarding, he walked into a McDonald’s and got himself a McMuffin. Unable to finish the food, he slipped it into his bag and forgot entirely about the leftovers. 


Source: Geograph

Eventually, he arrived in Australia and was going through immigration when he was called aside for a bag search—a police dog had found his bag irresistible. Immigration found the leftovers and fined him $1,800 for bringing in undeclared food. 

Why Fine Passengers for Their Food?

The woman fined for an apple was particularly furious that the airline did not warn its passengers about the dangers of coming onboard or going off the plane with undeclared food. In reality, airlines don’t check their passengers for such things. 


Source: Wikimedia Commons

However, airport immigration and customs officials usually try to discourage passengers from bringing in food items – raw or processed – that may pose biosecurity risks. So, always avoid taking foods that are undeclared through customs and immigration.