A Grand Rapids woman is being fined $2,000 by the TSA for trying to bring apple butter through security. Why?
Hostein said that in January 2013, she was trying to board a plane at the airport in Charlotte, North Carolina but was stopped at the TSA checkpoint because she had a pint-sized jar of souvenir apple butter. TSA agents told her she could not take it onto the plane in her carry-on bag, citing the prohibition of containers carrying more than three ounces of liquid or gel.
She said she went away, then came back later and went through another security line, thinking the butter really wasn’t in violation. Again, agents found the apple butter and confronted her.
She made her flight, but had to leave the apple butter behind. She thought the situation was over.
About a month later the woman was contacted by the TSA, who informed her she was under investigation. Then over a year later they contacted her to inform her their investigation was complete and that they were imposing a $2,000 fine against her. On the surface the story seems a bit ridiculous, in particular the timeline.
The woman claims that she thought the butter wasn’t really in violation of the rules, and that the agents were just misinformed. So I guess you could say she was basically playing the equivalent of “hang up and call again” with the TSA, something we’re well accustomed to with the airlines.
Here’s the news segment about her situation:
My guess would be that she knew the rules, or at least had no good reason to doubt what she was told after going through security the first time. If that’s the case, she was clearly trying to circumvent the rules, though not really in a nefarious way.
Nonetheless, the TSA imposing a fine against her is sort of odd, and not something I’ve otherwise ever heard of for minor “infractions.”
What do you make of this story? Do you think the lady genuinely believed taking the apple butter through security didn’t violate the rules, or was she trying to be sneaky? Does she deserve to be fined?