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When an Apple fine is rotten to the core

Go on. What harm could one apple do?

There’s the law and then there’s the law.

Some of you may have followed the headline of Crystal Tadlock who was busted by United States Customs and Border Protection for the incorrigible crime of bringing in illegal agricultural produce. You could assume that since she was coming from Paris, it was secret stash of some French onions but nope, it was an apple given to her by Delta still wrapped in the plastic with the Delta logo on it.

From ABC News:

Tadlock said she was going through Customs when she said her bag was randomly searched by an agent who found the apple inside the plastic bag it was originally handed out in that included the Delta log.

According to Tadlock, the agent asked if her trip to France was expensive, and she replied yes.

“It’s about to get a whole lot more expensive after I charge you $500,” the agent then allegedly said to Tadlock, she told KDVR.

She said she was then fined $500 and lost her global entry status.

In a statement to ABC News, Delta said, “We encourage our customers to follow U.S. Customs and Border Protection protocols.”


In a statement to ABC News, CBP said “Privacy policy prohibits CBP from discussing the details of any individuals specific inspection, however all agriculture items must be declared. Prohibited items that are not declared by a passenger are confiscated and disposed of by CBP. More importantly, civil penalties may be assessed for failure to declare prohibited agricultural products and may range up to $1,000 per first-time offense for noncommercial quantities. If the items are determined to be for commercial use, violations will be assessed at a much higher rate.”

According to the CBP website, travelers must declare fruits, vegetables, plants and animal products.

At the time, Ms Tadlock said she would fight it in court.

Fast forward two months and the headline in SF Gate ” Delta passenger wins battle over a $500 apple” suggests she did indeed win in court. Except that the subline gives it away that it was her state Colorado Congressman,  Ed Perlmutter, who intervened with Customs and the Department of Agriculture to get them to revoke the fine and reinstate her global entry status. It’s nice to have friend in low places.

So does this this merit a “Feed them to the lions” judgement? If this was a pattern, then I’d say yes but this sounds like an individual being overzealous. The officer should have had better judgement.

The Summer of our discount tent

This about sums up our summer

This summer ended up being as Caligula would put it, ‘a complete horrible anus’. It stated going south in June when Mrs Caesar had jewelry and her laptop pilfered after Delta forced her to check it in her hand luggage at the gate at Milwaukee airport. Mrs C was travelling First Class with her dog (which she had paid quite a bit extra for) and had done the MKE to IAH route with the pampered pooch many times. This time however, the gate agent insisted that the dog in its carry bag counted as one piece of hand luggage and with her purse, she had used up her allowance. Even though the dog obviously wasn’t going to go in the overhead, it still didn’t matter. Her backpack needed to be checked in despite vigorous protestations about it containing valuables. “Don’t worry. It will be safe” the agent said.

But it wasn’t. The flight was a connecting flight and with weather delays, the luggage sat for a very long time in Atlanta. At the IAH carousel, it was obvious all  her luggage including those checked, had be disturbed. While lost luggage clerk was somewhat sympathic with a now visibly upset Mrs Caesar, the later Delta customer service agents that she delta with were far from it. After many hours dealing with Delta’s online reporting system which would go down mid-entry, the claim as I expected, was denied. “We do not cover jewelry or electronics” in checked luggage even if we forced you to check then in.  But still Mrs C flies with them despite my advice to ‘F’em: fly Southwest’. For this,  I will give Delta a “Feed them to the Lions” classification due to their lack of concern about baggage theft in their operation in their main hub of Atlanta airport. They don’t care. I very much doubt it was MKE or IAH end as there bags were mainly on the plane.

The other big event of the summer, impacted all of Southwest Texas : Hurricane Harvey. In late July we moved house. In late August, we were flooded with  18 inches of water and lost both cars. We are temporarily displaced and staying in Mrs Caesar’s sister’s villa. The Palace is being repaired but Roam lost our main computers which held my software, passwords and information. Our backup drive also got flooded.

Some things in life are bad, they can really make you sad. Other things just make you swear and curse. When you’re chewing on life’s gristle, don’t grumble, give a whistle. And this’ll help things turn out for the best…and..


Running on empty: Delta cut down on air rage by flying with 2 passengers

An Empty flight as viewed from the back  row

An Empty flight as viewed from the back row

Dahlings, It seems that Delta is trying a new way of improving it’s in flight satisfaction at least with respect to interactions with other passengers.

Their idea may take a bit longer to get there but is guaranteed to be one with no air rage from fellow passengers.

What is it you ask? Are they going to drug the passengers?

Oh don’t be silly. Delta are too conservative to do this but I would bet it would be something Michael O’Leary of Ryannair would look at to make a buck or two. (Btw, Mick. If you are reading this. Love you. Mwahh!)

No, their model is of course NOT to drug up their passengers but to delay the flight for 11 hours, get most passengers on other flights and then your are left with two or less straggler passengers.

Don’t believe me read this Daily Mail report. Maybe Chris O’Leary, one of the two passengers mentioned, is fact a relative of Mick. A scout for Rynnair perhaps?

As my dearly departed friend Andy Warhol once said during his fifteen minutes of fame, “But I always say, one’s company, two’s a crowd, and three’s a party”.

What a visionary. He could have worked for Delta in their marketing group.

Ciao for Now.

Kicking someone when they are down: Sickly looking passenger kicked off when not actually sick

Keith Richards. Need I say anymore?

Keith Richards. Please don’t fly Delta.

Dahlings, Delta kicked 72 year old Suzzane Hays, off a connecting flight after a fellow passenger complained that she looked ill. The poor dear has already flown in from Ohio and was on her way to Orlando. From the article

Before Flight 19 would depart from Detroit to Orlando, there was a problem. Hays said a passenger who was next to her decided to talk to the airline crew about her looking tired and drowsy.

“Then she came back and said they’ve moved us because I might be contagious,” said Hays. “Contagious with what?”

Shortly after that, Hays said she was asked to leave the airplane. She said she was devastated.

“I started crying and crying,” she said.

Hays said she was told if she did not cooperate, they would call the police to escort her off the aircraft

Other sources say that Delta then gave her a $20 voucher for ‘soup and tea’ – as if that will cure her pale complexion ! – and she caught a later flight without incident.

After reading this, my ancient diety friend, Set, popped up and whispered a travel tip in my ear: “Cleo, Next time you are stuck in a middle seat on a full flight, simply call up the FA and say that the person in that isle seat next to you has a funny complexion and looks contagious. It may help that if you add that in your opinion you are ‘fearful for everybody’s safety’. Ten minutes later, that coveted Isle seat now becomes free !”

Thank you Set, you wicked devil.

Ciao for now, Cleo.