Want to take a few bottles of alcohol from your home country to a foreign land to celebrate your arrival? Or want to bring some foreign liquor back home from one of your international holidays? Many flyers are often bound by the question- Whether or not they can carry their favourite alcohol on a plane? Well, the answer is yes, you can carry liquor on a plane. Surprisingly, alcohol is not one of the prohibited items in flight. However, it is not that straight. According to the regulations, there are differences between the regulations for checked luggage and carry-ons, international flight policies and rules for carrying alcohol in different countries.
Here is a comprehensive guide to approaches, regulations and essential tips for passengers wanting to bring alcohol on a plane.
Carrying Alcohol in Checked Luggage
There are certain checked baggage rules, if you want to carry alcohol on a flight. In general, airport regulations allow you to carry alcohol proof can be anywhere between 24% to 70% (140 proof). According to TSA, “Alcoholic beverages with 24% alcohol or less are not subject to limitations in checked bags. Alcoholic beverages above 70% alcohol (higher than 140 proof) are not allowed in carry-on or checked bags.” Airlines generally allow a maximum net volume of 5 to 10 litres per person. Many airlines also have specific policies regarding the alcohol’s packaging. Also, on your own behalf, you must secure your bottles of wine, beer or other liquor to avoid spilling or breaking.
- Bubble wrap each bottle before putting them inside your luggage.
- Put the bottles inside socks or sweater arms for a soft exterior. Also, surround it with other clothes to create extra cushioning.
- Make extra provisions like lock and seal bags or leak-proof caps for added protection.
Carrying Alcohol in Carry-on Bags
If you are travelling with alcohol in your carry-on bags you will need to consider some specific guidelines. Firstly, according to a TSA travel tip, only unopened alcohol bottles are allowed in carry-ons. Additionally, there are no proof limits for alcohol, unlike checked luggage. However, the regulations regarding airplane liquid rules are applicable. Each bottle can be 100 ml or less and this way you can easily fit 8-10 mini bottles in one quart-size (one litre) zip-top bag. Make sure your bottles are in unopened retail packaging and don’t run the risk of spillage.
Apart from these rules, severe airlines have their own rules regarding restrictions and policies. So before you plan on flying with alcohol, make sure to check with the specific airline regarding their policies. Not only the airline, but also check the rules of the arrival country’s airport regarding their alcohol policies. For example, according to the FAA regulations- The consumption of alcohol onboard a flight is prohibited unless it is served by an airline employee. This means you are not allowed to consume your bought alcohol on flights.
Carrying Duty-Free Alcohol on a Plane
Purchased some last-minute alcohol from a duty-free store in the airport? Here is how you can bring duty-free alcohol on your international flights:
- The alcohol must be purchased from an international airport duty-free shop rather than a domestic one.
- Ask the retailer to seal the duty-free liquids in a tamper-evident bag.
- Keep the receipt showing that the alcohol was purchased in the last 48 hours.
- The alcohol bag must show no sign of tampering when screened by TSA. While security screening make sure the duty-free alcohol is presented separately and is easily accessible.
Some Do’s and Don’ts of Carrying Alcohol on a Plane
- Do not carry sparkling or carbonated drinks in checked-in baggage
Fizzy drinks in the luggage are at a high risk of exploding due to pressure changes in the cargo hold. If they spill or explode inside your suitcase it can be problematic. So it’s best to carry fizzy drinks with you into the cabin.
- Do wrap bottles in protective materials
Ditch flimsy plastic wraps and opt for study, thick and more protective options to wrap your alcohol on flights. Your best bet could be using bubble wrap or wine-shipping packaging. Also, use socks or sweater sleeves to provide additional cushioning.
- Do not put partially consumed bottles in your checked luggage
Partially consumed bottles are completely prohibited from being carried on flights. The alcohol bottles you will be carrying on the flight must be either unopened or completely empty.
- Do not get drunk on a flight
While there is no legal limit to the amount of drinks that are served on a flight, excessive drinking can lead to disruptive behaviour. Airlines are liable to impose strict legal charges on unruly drunk passengers.
While travelling with alcohol on a plane can be a little tricky it is completely possible. You don’t have to worry much with the right strategies and understanding of rules regarding carry-on, checked bags, duty-free, drinking ages, and other regulations. Simply drink responsibly and enjoy your vacation by booking your cheap flights in advance, making hotel reservations online and getting your visa online for 180 countries.
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