A partially eaten Subway sandwich ended up costing a young woman nearly $2,000 when she forgot to declare it when she landed in Australia.
Jessica Lee told The Washington Post that she was traveling from Greece to Australia when she had a layover in Singapore and decided to get a footlong chicken sandwich.
“I got a footlong from Subway, and we waited so long in line for it,” Lee said of getting food at the Singapore airport on the way to Australia. “Then I asked [the airline representatives] before I got into my connecting flight if I could take it on the plane, and they said it was fine.”
Lee said she ate half the sandwich and put the other half in her purse.
She said she forgot the sandwich was in her purse as she landed in Perth and began to go through customs.
Agents checking her purse found the sandwich and checked to see if Lee had marked it on her declaration form. She had not.
“I thought the little declaration thing you do is for your carry-ons and your luggage, so I didn’t tick chicken and I didn’t tick lettuce. Chicken and lettuce!”
Customs agents told her she was in violation of the country’s Biosecurity Act, a law that is designed to prevent pests from entering the country.
Lee was fined AU$2,664, or around $1,844.
“When the officer looked at us and said, ‘Yeah, this is going to be close to three grand,’ I just started crying and crying,” Lee said.
Lee told her story on TikTok, which got the attention of Domino’s Pizza TikTok account, which then tagged Subway in the video, telling the company to “help her.” Subway representatives reached out to Lee minutes later. Subway representatives later told her that “although they couldn’t pay the fine, they’d love to help,” she said.
Subway sent Lee a voucher for $1,844 worth of sandwiches, and a package of branded Subway items, which Lee unboxed on TikTok.
Subway representatives told Food & Wine that “if there’s a lesson to be learnt from all of this, it’s to always finish a Footlong in one sitting.”
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