American Woman Fined 1,200 EUR After Insulting Immigration Officer At Munich Airport As “Piece Of Sh*t”

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A visiting female U.S. citizen who got into a dispute about wait times at Munich Airport (oh, the irony) has been fined 1,200 EUR by a German court after she insulted the Immigration Officer with profanity.

The 55 year old woman was upset about the wait times at passport control and that E.U. Citizens were processed faster through the dedicated lane and called the officer a ‘Piece of Shit’.

Insulting government officers is prohibited and punishable under German law, something that the individual (the term “lady” obviously doesn’t apply here) now got to feel when the court sentenced her in absentia to a fine of 1,200 EUR.

As per the collective German news outlet Presseportal (access here – in German) the incident took place in November 2016.

Translated in excerpts as follows:

A 55 year old female U.S. citizen who transited at Munich Airport en route to Hungary in early November 2016 just received a reminder of better being courteous even and especially when traveling abroad.

Even before the immigration officer was able to make any inquiries about the purpose of her trip and other basic questions that passengers are being routinely asked she already pushed the officer to “hurry up or she would miss her flight”.

She furthermore complained about the fact the the lane to her left (reserved for E.U. Citizens) was processed faster. The officer explained the procedure to the passenger which was not well received either.

After returning her passport the woman attempted to leave the passport control area with a goodbye message of “you piece of shit”. – Not a good idea under any circumstances, in any country as she should well know considering the authority and attitude of immigration officials at U.S. ports of entry. –

The officer immediately acted and initiated proper legal action in the matter. – As mentioned before, insulting government officers as well as any natural person is punishable under German law (§ 185 StGB). –

Now roughly four months after the fact, a German court has found the woman guilty and sent her the appropriate bill: 1,200 EUR fine for her behavior. If the fine isn’t paid the court order will be transformed into an arrest warrant which will undoubtedly create even more troubles for her next European transit.

Traveling tends to get people nervous, riled up and some to lose their manners. It just cries stupidity to think that I could call any police officer, immigration official or other individuals with certain authority such names without having to bear severe consequences.

I can imagine that doing such a thing when attempting to enter the U.S. would result in even more severe consequences as the officers would make it a point to make her life as difficult as possible. Even a U.S. citizen who would approach an officer that way would almost certainly been sent to secondary inspection and they would let her sit there for a couple hours of “inspection”. A foreigner… more than likely the same plus they might very well find a reason to deny the individual entry and have the person removed on the next flight out.

Conclusion

It’s especially ironic considering this coming from an American who probably has no idea about the average wait times and treatment that foreign visitors to the U.S. have to endure. Let’s hope she learned her lesson from this (I somehow doubt it).

In fact if European Airports and Governments wanted to fully reciprocate then the lines would be 2-3 times as long and an Electronic Visa/Travel Authorization similar to the U.S. ESTA mandatory. It’s actually more than overdue.

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  • Joseph Merrick

    “Insulting government officers is prohibited and punishable under German law”

    This is a common misconception. Insulting anybody is punishable under German law, it makes absolutely no difference if you’re an officer or not.

    • Guilherme Utz Horst

      Yes, he wrote that above: The officer immediately acted and initiated proper legal action in the matter. – As mentioned before, insulting government officers as well as any natural person is punishable under German law (§ 185 StGB). –

      • Joseph Merrick

        That sentence was adjusted after I added my comment 😉

    • Dave

      Anybody? Even non-citizens can bring charges if they’ve been insulted?

      • Es Pats

        what’s so strange about it?

  • Gaijinsan

    I certainly have no issue if the EU wants to impose an ESTA type authorization. In my experience in countries that use electronic travel authorizations or even many with e-Visas is that they add zero extra time in processing over a visa free country. The only reason that I can imagine that it might actually add some time in the EU is that half the time they never even scan my passport and just stamp it and hand it back. An ETA system would require that every passport at least be scanned.

    But in all seriousness, all the griping about US immigration, in most of the big airports now ESTA holders get to use the same automated kiosks that US and Canadian citizens do, very much speeding up the entry process.

    • cscasi

      Interesring. We travel to Europe every year and I have to say that both my wife and I have our U.S.A. passports “scanned” each time we go through passport control, be it Frankfurt, Zurich, Madrid, Budapest, Prague, Munich, Amsterdam or Paris. It’s quick and it takes the immigration officer a couple of moments to ask a question or two by which time the information from the scanned passports is back on his/her screen to be seen if there is any issue(s).

    • Exactly and that’s just one of the things which is going the wrong way with border protection in Germany. To let foreign nationals (even EU ones) into the country without running the passport is insane to say the least.

    • They actually made a change and now all EU passport are supposed to be scanned at going in/out of Schengen. Previously, sometimes they were scanned, sometimes only glanced and other times waived through at some airports.

  • kuldeep singh

    she probably deserves that. I just think that no one deserves to be intimidated or talked at improperly or abused- be it a person at a supermarket till or at the airport or in a govt office. Period. This should send a good message to all those people who think they are above the law

  • Jamo

    I can’t help but chuckle a bit about this. The irony of a US citizen complaining about the queues into a European country. I like the point about how it would work were it the other way round given quite how bad queues for non residents into the US are. (Accepting that they are improving with the electronic machines currently being rolled out).

    She should be glad the exchange rate is the way it is at the moment. Otherwise that fine would hurt even more!

  • Attention All Passengers

    Though I am not condoning this woman’s behavior and I know there is a difference between an immigration officer and a TSA person, it is totally best to keep one’s mouth shut like a subservient prisoner. With “TSA-Precheck” I recently went through a checkpoint at Newark. The TSA “agent” had me still take off my shoes with no explanation, put me back on the line instead of letting me go through the x-ray and then called me a liar when I told him I was TSA-precheck. Just by my objecting, he alerted the x-ray guy who then made we wait to go through behind yet more people. They are jack-booted nazis as far as I’m concerned. Yes, next time I will just play dumb, not object and be an obedient little nothing.

    • Es Pats

      you went through x-ray at TSA checkpoint? wow 😀

      • Attention All Passengers

        Oh excuse me, I went through the metal detector or whatever piece of cr@p it is called. Sorry you’re so sensitive to use of the wrong word – the stupid thing is still “x-raying” us, is it not ?

    • I had very nasty experience at Manchester int to int security check late last year.

  • Gary

    Another high-brow post by little Sebastian.

    • Go to hell Gary

      Gary, you must be American to think that this kind of behaviour is appropriate outside of your country or to anyone who is not also American?

      • Gary

        I see little Sebastian has signed up for another alias. Too funny.

  • John Galt

    So her parents never taught her that a smile works wonders. I once asked for directions in Japan with nothing but a city map and a smile – and got a smile and a ride in trade. Yeah, my mom taught me well.

    • BatSheva

      Actually her parents never taught her to be polite. If she had listened carefully to the officer and answered him concisely without being a smart-ass, she would surely have got through a lot faster. One one details missing; did she miss her connecting flight?

    • John Smith

      Japan is special. Even if you are a disgruntled visitor, Japanese people will be polite.

  • Bill___A

    I agree with the fine. There is no excuse to be like that. I actually went through customs in Munich during that month. It is well run. When there are lineups, it is actually more work for them. We need to appreciate the jobs people do in allowing us to travel.

  • simplyfantabulous

    Bad manners at the border is always bad news. Self-destructive impulse control classes would have been a better sentence, maybe.

  • Malcolm

    Last Friday I went through immigration at JFK. At the time there were three flights
    that arrived from the EU, so 600 plus passengers about 40% would seem to be US/Cdn returning citizens. There were a total of two immigration officers to handle this volume, which took me 45 minutes to clear. Also, there are no washroom facilities between deplaning and clearing immigration. The mother and two kids behind me was getting desperate! Not good USA. But then you just couldn’t care less.

  • Max Mustermann

    She clearly has no idea how many HOURS (not minutes) foreign citizens need to proceed through CBP and enter US.

  • disqust101

    Ha, “lady” indeed. I think she aptly describes the expletive she hurled at the Immigration Officer.

  • McCaron

    This narrow-minded and impolite lady should be blacklisted and banned from entering in the EU. Considering her attitude, getting outside her country is a threat to others.

  • The Certifiable Foodie

    The US should revoke her passport for 10 years. She’s an embarrassment to our global community.

  • Xavier

    Well the advantage here is that the officer doesn’t even need to ask her to identify herself.