A TRAVEL influencer was fined nearly £1,000 for a simple mistake on a recent trip to Australia.
The woman insists it wasn’t her fault, but said she had to get out anyway.
Lays Laraya, who publishes travel content online as skywards freak She was flying from Qatar to Perth when she got into trouble over a gift she received from airline staff.
After writing notes to show her appreciation to the airline staff and pilots on her flight, she received a single rose as a token of gratitude.
However, the friendly gesture would later land her in trouble as it breached Australia’s strict rules on importing plants.
Lays told insider that she had filled out her landing card and explained that she had no plants with her.
She assumed the rose didn’t count because it had been presented to her by airline staff.
She said, “It didn’t occur to me that the rose was in the category of plants they would be looking for.”
“So my fault, I ticked ‘no’ and that ended up being her accusation.”
Despite explaining the situation to border staff, she still had to pay AUD$1,878 (£955.36) for the trouble.
She continued, “If I had known I was doing something wrong on purpose, I would have thrown it out before I had the chance.”
It turns out that the fine was due to Lays saying she didn’t have any plants with her.
Had she indicated it on her landing card, the penalty would have been much less.
A spokesman for the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry told Insider, “If an individual fails to declare commodities known to pose a high biosecurity risk” and provides false information, the criminal charge increases for infraction a few hundred dollars to the penalty of A$1,878.
“All travelers coming to Australia must be aware of Australia’s strict biosecurity requirements and the penalties for failing to meet these requirements,” the ministry spokesman added.
The rules are part of the country’s biosecurity law, which aims to prevent the introduction of non-native plant and wildlife species into their ecosystem. where catastrophic circumstances could occur.
There are strict rules The law involves bringing wildlife, certain foods, and even camping gear into the country.
Lays said the experience made her concerned about returning to Australia in the future, saying it “shakes my confidence in the soundness of the country’s approaches”.
These additional airport fees are now added to holiday bills.
And this is how low-cost airlines sometimes try to charge passengers extra fees at the airport.