What Was This Traveler Thinking? Rat Meat Edition

Imagine this: you’re packing for a trip to the United States. You’re making a list so you don’t forget anything. You get out your suitcases and start to load things in them. What’s the one thing you can’t live without on your trip, that you can’t buy once you hit Chicago?

To one man from the Ivory Coast the answer to that question was 32 pounds of rat meat.

When his flight arrived at O’Hare airport on June 26, he approached immigration with his completed customs form. Dutifully he had listed out the rat meat. However,

  • You don’t just pay import duty and go on your merry way
  • The U.S. doesn’t allow the importation of African meat
  • And it’s rat meat of all things

His precious cargo was confiscated and destroyed, but the man was allowed to go about his business entering the U.S. just 32 pounds lighter. He hadn’t violated any laws — he declared the rat meat. It appears there’s no truth to the rumor that he had planned to meet Air India’s Chicago-based inflight catering manager.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. Since It appears there’s no truth to the rumor that the man traveling from the Ivory Coast had planned to meet Air India’s Chicago-based inflight catering manager, perhaps he planned to sell his rat meat to the American Airlines Flagship First Dining facilities or to in-flight catering so passengers can savor having a succulent dining experience.

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