Global Entry Revoked When Beagle Finds A Banana?

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A cautionary tale from Flyertalk member AeoNKiNG posting in Flyertalk’s Trusted Travelers forum about the “worst mistake ever

“I just got caught by one of the beagles while waiting for my checked bag to come out. Accidentally left a banana in my carry-on. The woman with the dog said it doesn’t matter that it was an accident–the fact that I didn’t declare it at the Global Entry kiosk warranted a $500 fine. She also said that it means my GE access is revoked and now I have a customs violation on my record so likely will be rejected if I ever apply again.

Worst mistake ever.

Anyone have any experience with this? I paid the fine on the spot so I’m not sure if that means I can no longer protest it”

Global Entry Revoked

Agriculture Canine As Pictured On The U.S. Customs And Border Protection Web Site

The story has gotten quite a few responses from other travelers who have also forgotten that a piece of fruit was in their carry on bag while re-entering the USA, and the punishments for the forbidden fruits have varied.  The one common theme, tho, is that the ‘detector dogs’ are good at their job.

According to the CBP, “When it comes to finding prohibited fruit, vegetables, plants, and meat products from high-risk countries, the nose knows.  A trained agriculture dog can scan a piece of luggage for smuggled or forgotten fruits in mere seconds.”

Bottom Line:

I’ve always assumed when I’ve seen detector dogs sniffing bags that they were looking for illegal drugs rather than prohibited agriculture items.  It’s seems easy to forget about a piece of fruit in a carry-on bag, but I feel like I’ve learned the important lesson of double checking my carry-on prior to re-entering the USA. Anyone else?

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  1. Beagle caught my mother’s banana once – no fine, no issue, just had to throw it in the trash can. She did not use Global Entry, but she had stated she had nothing to declare all the same, so I suppose they could have fined her.

  2. Got caught 2005 with 2 apples in my backpack going into AKL from MEL. $200 spot fine per apple! Ironically the fruit, while purchased in Australia, was grown and imported from New Zealand

  3. We were caught at CNS in 2008 on flight from RAR via AKL. We answered that we had nothing of food stuffs. The agent found a single small half ounce packet of shelled sunflower seeds in the bottom of the largest bag. We’d honestly forgotten about it. They were in factory sealed package purchased in USA and after a stern lecture we were let off without the 200 fine. They went in the dust bin. We’ve always been triple careful since then. When we’re on an extended trip of several months (the only kind we take) we have one whole carry-on filled with prescription drugs, in proper containers/labels, etc. Surprisingly, we’ve never had a single question about these drugs or containers.

  4. My eyes just rolled out of my head. Nexus and GE put so much and yet make it very difficult to get and a banana…they take it away. Insanity.

  5. In Oct we flew to SFO from LHR and forgot about a Mandarin from the Galleries lounge in our carry-on. Used GE, forgot we had the Mandarin so didn’t declare it, but it got caught on x-ray because we had declared other foods. Really nice officer just opened our bag and threw it out and then we had a nice chat about what is and isn’t allowed since we like to bring interesting foods home as souvenirs. Still have our GE. Our rule-of-thumb is to declare all foods, even generally permissible things like snacks, and risk getting x-rayed, rather than risk losing our GE.

  6. The corgi sniffed my bag the other day and got quite excited. It turned out that the dog sniffed the residue from a slightly squashed banana which I’d eaten shortly before landing.

  7. Made the same human error two years ago coming from AMS to ATL, grabbed a banana at the Klm lounge before boarding. Totally torgot it when I landed. The TSA lady with the beagle at ATL frankly was a b$tch about it but for whatever reason she let me go to the customs clearing line. The guy there shrugged, watched me throw it away and was reasonably understanding. She lectured me like I was smuggling cases of illegal fruit to sneak into the US. You would think common sense would prevail. I wouldn’t be surprised if they get a gold star or something good on their performance rating for this stuff.

  8. Coming back form LHR to EWR, I had a bacon and egg sandwich bought airside in LHR that I didn’t eat en route. Totally forgot about. The beagle found it and I had to go thru to ag screening. The agent there said I need to be a lot more careful, that I could have lost my GE for that. Also, that it was a permanent entry on my record, so no more mistakes allowed.

    I carry a cloth shopping bag in my briefcase and put the stuff I’ll need on the flight into it (iPad, headphones, etc) and usually a snack bought airside, maybe some fruit or cheese from the lounge. I now check that thoroughly while taxiing to the gate and discard any leftover foods while still on the plane.

    Based on stories I’ve read here on BoardingArea, I don’t want to deal with customs agents who get annoyed if you do or don’t report it, depending on their mood.

  9. You get punished severely over a banana. Fined and humiliated over a simple overlooked mistake. What about the Workers crossing the border with viruses that are killing and infecting our youth and population. For committing a felony they are given praise, money and all the help they can get while you the Taxpayer and hard working individual is treated like scum by the Federal Government.

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