An Australian woman flying back to her country from Singapore forgot to declare a Subway sandwich at customs after landing. That said, the mistake cost him 2,664 Australian dollars, he said, the equivalent of $1,840.
Jessica Lee, a 19-year-old model from Perth, detailed her sandwich snafu in a TikTok video that, as of Wednesday, garnered more than 1.5 million views. Lee said she had gone to Singapore for a vacation but was hungry on her way home from the airport. He said he bought a Subway sandwich, ate half of it, then put the rest in his bad during the flight.
Lee acknowledged that she probably could have announced a Subway sandwich when she arrived in Australia, but said she never thought about it.
“My mind was ‘I want to go home,'” Lee said. “I want to go home. I want to go to bed. I’ve been traveling for 24 hours, so maybe there were signs, but I didn’t see one.”
Lee was fined for violating Australia’s strict customs and biosafety regulations. The rules state that anyone entering the country must declare “goods purchased abroad including meat, poultry, fish, seafood, eggs, dairy, fruits, vegetables”. Failure to report such items to customs authorities may result in fines or even imprisonment.
Lee admitted that it was her fault for not claiming the sandwich, but pointed out that she did not fully understand customs guidelines.
“I thought the little announcement you made is for your carry-on and your stuff, so I didn’t think chicken and I didn’t think lettuce,” Lee said in his video.
Australian airport officials sent Lee a postal notice for the $1,840 fine, saying he had 28 days to pay it. Lee said in his video that it would be difficult to pay because he had quit his job a few days before moving to Singapore.
Lee’s story garnered attention not only on social media but also from Subway. In a separate video, Lee opened a care package from the sandwich chain that contained a gift card and special message.
“To say thank you for eating fresh, we just uploaded a sub card for you with $2,664 dollars in hand,” the card read. “We hope this serves all your chicken and lettuce needs.”
Lee said getting the gift card from Subway made the airport “worth every penny.”