Flying can be stressful, especially when you’re traveling with alcohol. You don’t want to pay extra fees or miss your flight because of your drink of choice. To make sure you get through security and on the plane without incident, follow these tips for how to fly with alcohol:
Check your airline’s baggage policy.
Once you know what type of alcohol you’re bringing, it’s time to check your airline’s baggage policy.
Because each airline has its own rules about carry-on and checked baggage, it’s important to familiarize yourself with them before booking a flight. While some airlines will allow you to bring an entire bottle of liquor on board, others require that all liquids be in 3 ounce containers or less. If there are any questions about whether or not your particular brand/size of alcohol meets these requirements, call their customer service hotline before making your flight reservations.
If you’re traveling internationally and plan on bringing more than three ounces of liquid in either your carry-on or checked luggage (or both), check the country’s laws regarding foreign liquors as well as customs rules for entering its borders with spirits in tow.
Put bottles in hard-sided luggage.
To protect your bottles and make sure they arrive safely, use a hard-sided luggage with a lock, zipper, wheels and handle. I recommend this Bacchetta rolling suitcase because it has all of the above and more—it’s practically indestructible!
Put bottles in a clear, plastic, zip-top bag.
You’ll be asked to remove your bag from your carry-on and place it in a separate bin for X-ray screening. Before you do that, you should put any plastic bottles or containers of liquid in a clear, plastic, zip-top bag. Why?
- Plastic bags are more durable than paper. They’re less likely to tear or break through the rigors of travel.
- You can see through them better than you can see through paper bags when looking for prohibited items (like liquids).
- Zip top seals are faster and easier to use than twist ties on plastic bags; they also provide better protection against spills and leaks around airport security lines.
- Plastic bags can be reused after they’ve been emptied at security checkpoints while paper shopping bags cannot be reused once they’ve been emptied of their contents at airport security checkpoints due to health concerns about recycled paper products not being clean enough for reuse by consumers in retail settings such as supermarkets, grocery stores and pharmacies where food products may also be sold alongside non-food items like clothing apparel footwear accessories jewelry watches handbags wallets belts etcetera.*
Wrap bottles in a towel or bubble wrap to protect them.
If you’re traveling with a bottle of alcohol, you’ll want to wrap your bottle in a towel or bubble wrap. This is particularly important if you are traveling with a glass bottle as they can easily break if they are knocked over or subjected to rough handling. Placing the bottles in plastic bags may also not be sufficient protection for them as some airlines will require that all liquids and gels be removed from containers before being stored on the plane.
Wrapping bottles in towels or bubble wrap will help protect them from breakage during check-in or during travel; however, this method is not foolproof and will not guarantee that there won’t be any damage done when moving the items around within their luggage. If your luggage gets dropped by baggage handlers at one point during your trip, there’s no way for us to know whether something inside has been damaged until after it happens (and let’s face it: baggage handlers aren’t always so careful). So we recommend wrapping up fragile items like wine glasses but still taking precautions like making sure nothing heavy sits directly on top of them—just in case!
Declare bottles at security and check-in.
You’re on your way to a much-anticipated vacation, but things get off on the wrong foot when you arrive at the airport and are told you can’t bring the bottle with you through security.
This is because it is against TSA rules to carry liquids in containers larger than 3.4 ounces (100ml) in size. While this may seem like a small amount of alcohol, it adds up quickly: A standard 750ml bottle of wine contains around 5 servings of wine at 5 ounces each, which means that if it isn’t properly checked with your luggage, it will be confiscated at security screening points.
To avoid this scenario and ensure that your vacation goes smoothly from start to finish, there are some key things that need to happen before boarding begins:
Don’t pack glass bottles in checked baggage.
- You can’t pack glass bottles in checked baggage.
- If you’re going to have wine with dinner or a few drinks on the plane, check it in your carry-on bag instead. If you need something stronger and don’t want to sip from a plastic water bottle all night (we get it), consider buying alcohol at destination wineries and distilleries. You can also grab booze from duty-free stores during layovers or arrival airports, where drinks are often cheaper than they would be at home anyway! To avoid any damage, wrap the bottles in towels or bubble wrap before packing them into your luggage so they won’t break when tossed around by airport staff members.
Get alcohol from duty-free stores during layovers or arrival airports.
There are a few options when it comes to purchasing alcohol at airports. The first is to buy your alcohol at the airport itself, either during your layover or upon arrival. This can be tricky, since not every airport has duty-free stores and even those that do may not have any in their departure areas. In these instances you’ll want to look for a place where you can purchase both your flight ticket and your alcohol before entering security or boarding your plane.
Another option is buying from an airport with a duty-free shop after making it through security but before boarding the plane (if possible). Duty-free shops sometimes open as early as 5 AM so if there’s one near where you need to go—even if it’s not right next door—it might be worth checking out before heading down into the depths of an underground tunnel or monorail system.
Buy wine at destination wineries and distilleries.
Want to save money on alcohol during your trip? Buy wine at destination wineries and/or distilleries. In most cases, you can’t buy it at an airport because they are not allowed by law to sell alcohol there. The only exception is if you arrive after security, but before boarding your flight. In that case, you may be able to purchase wine or hard liquor from an airport shop whether or not the airline has sold out of its stock on board their aircrafts.
If this isn’t possible and/or you want to avoid the higher prices found in airports anyway, look into buying from a local vineyard as soon as possible upon arrival at your hotel or home base so that any purchases made while traveling can be enjoyed in their original packaging rather than opened and poured into bottles once back home where they have been stored properly since purchase date (unless there’s a reason why they wouldn’t).
Leave full bottles of alcohol behind when you leave.
If you’re traveling with alcohol, leave full bottles of it behind when you leave. Alcohol isn’t allowed in carry-on bags or on international flights, so if you try to bring any type of drink with you through security, TSA will confiscate it and dump it out.
Not only that—if your destination country has a customs policy prohibiting alcohol, they may not let you into the country.
Luckily for us Americans who like to travel internationally (me), there are plenty of countries where we can buy alcohol from a store after going through airport security!
You can make your trip easier if you follow these steps
Following these steps will help you make flying with alcohol as easy as possible. Don’t be sneaky; follow the rules and don’t try to sneak anything through security. Be prepared, know what to expect from your flight and plan accordingly so that if something goes wrong, you’re ready for it.
Avoid delays by being prepared for them and having a backup plan. Don’t forget your bags or get caught up in the moment and forget about them! If you have too much stuff, think about leaving some behind or shipping it ahead of time; this will free up space so you can bring more items on board.
You can make your trip easier if you follow these steps. You should always ask about the airline’s alcohol policy before traveling, so you know what to expect when you get there. It also helps to know how much alcohol is allowed in checked-in baggage and whether or not glass bottles are permitted. This will make traveling with wine much easier than just carrying it with you from destination to destination!