Passenger Fined $1,874 After Two Undeclared McMuffins Found in Luggage

Travelling with your own food could be very expensive.

Many of us have had the unpleasant experience of pulling up to airport security and being prevented from carrying on something that isn't allowed by regulations—say, a bottled beverage, or a shampoo bottle bigger than 3.4 ounces. Most of the time, it ends with the verboten items being disposed of and a minor inconvenience. But one passenger recently had a pricier experience—namely being fined nearly $2,000 for trying to sneak aboard three undeclared McDonald's breakfast sandwiches.

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The World's Priciest McMuffins

Egg McMuffin with McDonald Premium Roast Coffee is one of the meals choice at McDonald's Weekday Breakfast Specials.

CNN reported that a person who was traveling from Indonesia to Australia was being fined $1,874 for packing two egg-and-beef sausage McMuffins and a ham croissant in their luggage, without declaring the food. A security dog detected the sandwiches. 

The charges: "Failure to declare potential high biosecurity risk items and issuing a false and misleading travel declaration form."

What Was the Problem?

Ngurah Rai Airport Bali, Indonesia

Australian authorities recently introduced new biosecurity rules after an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in Indonesia spread to Bali.

"This will be the most expensive Maccas meal this passenger ever has—this fine is twice the cost of an airfare to Bali—but I have no sympathy for people who choose to disobey Australia's strict biosecurity measures, and recent detections show you will be caught," said Murray Watt, Australia's minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, in a statement.

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"Biosecurity Is No Joke"

A Customs at airport doing security check of hand baggage

"Biosecurity is no joke—it helps protect jobs, our farms, food, and supports the economy," added Watts in the statement. "Passengers who choose to travel need to make sure they are fulfilling the conditions to enter Australia by following all biosecurity measures."

What Is Foot-and-Mouth Disease?

Dairy cows
Rob Bouwman/Shutterstock

Foot-and-mouth disease doesn't affect people, but it poses a risk to livestock. CNN reported that a foot-and-mouth disease outbreak in Australia could cost its economy $80 billion. The virus can be carried on people's clothing and in foods, so on July 22, the nation instituted a penalty for travelers who don't declare dairy and meat products.

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Bringing Fast Food Aboard Planes Can Be Costly

Subway sandwiches.

This incident isn't unique. Today points out that last month, a woman traveling from Singapore was fined nearly $2,000 after forgetting to declare half of a Subway foot-long sandwich once she landed in Australia. Jessica Lee said jet lag caused her to forget she was toting the chicken sandwich.

"I just paid $2,600 for my Subway just from Singapore," she said. "I bought a footlong Subway at Singapore Airport because I was a hungry girl after my 11-hour flight. I ate six inches before my second flight and then saved the other six inches for the flight, which (airline agents) were more than happy with."

But the security agents weren't—a good reminder to familiarize yourself with what's legal to bring aboard and what's not when you travel.

Michael Martin
Michael Martin is a New York City-based writer and editor whose health and lifestyle content has also been published on Beachbody and Openfit. A contributing writer for Eat This, Not That!, he has also been published in New York, Architectural Digest, Interview, and many others. Read more
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