Can You Bring Alcohol on a Plane?

Did you need to just kick back and enjoy a plane flight with some drinks but unsure if you can even bring alcohol on a plane?

Relaxing with some alcohol can be a great way to enjoy the long hours of commute and reduce some stress. However, the idea of alcohol on a plane can sometimes get complicated with all their rules and regulations.

Can you bring alcohol on a plane?

You can bring alcohol aboard a plane as long as you understand the conditions set by TSA. But, what exactly does the TSA have to say about bringing alcohol on flights?

Alcohol on a plane

TSA Alcohol Regulations

Prohibited Alcohol (Exceeding 140 proof)

The TSA indicates that alcohol exceeding 140 proof in either carry-on bags or checked luggage is not allowed. 140 proof is the equivalent of 70% alcohol by volume (ABV). This means that any strong liquor over 70% ABV is prohibited on flights regardless of where they are stored. Read more about ABV.

Alcohol that exceeds 70% is considerably strong and too flammable for flight on planes.

Alcohol without labels

Additionally, the TSA officials should be able to identify the level of intensity of the liquor through its label. Therefore, alcohol without labels are automatically prohibited since alcohol intensity and strength simply cannot be identified.

Alcohol between 24%-70%

Carry-on

Can you bring alcohol on a plane as a carry-on? Smaller bottles or travel-sized containers of alcohol in carry-on bags should be able to fit in a quart-sized bag.

These regulations are applied to many liquors, which include rum, vodka, gin, and whiskey. Liquors are categorized as liquids. This means that any alcohol packed as carry-on must be in bottle containers with a limit of or under 3.4 ounces (100ml).

The mini bottles must be stored in a single quart-sized bag that is about 946ml. Travelers can pack it along with other products like shaving cream and shampoo.

Items stored in the quart-sized bag must all fit comfortably to ensure against any accidental spills or damage to any of the content.

Checked Luggage

Can you bring alcohol on a plane through checked luggage?

Passangers can carry, as checked luggage, alcoholic drinks that exceed 24% but fall under 70% alcohol ABV. However, passengers are limited to 5 liters or 1.3 gallons per passenger. The beverage must be unopened with retail packaging intact of any tampering.

Passangers can carry alcohol that is under 24% ABV or lower in checked luggage.

whiskey and tequila on a plane

Alcohol Under 24%

Carry-on

The same packing regulations and 3-1-1 rule apply to alcohol that is 24% ABV or lower. Most wines like beer and cider must follow these rules. This means you can bring a small amount of beer or wine. But the bottle should not exceed a capacity of 3.4 ounces (100ml) and must fit comfortably in a single quart-sized bag.

Only one quart-sized bag is allowed per passenger. The bag should be cleared and sealed to prevent any accidental discharge.

Checked Luggage

For the checked baggage, you can pack as much liquor as long as the alcohol level falls below 24% ABV.

Take note of check-in baggage weight limits. Packing a lot of beer in a check-in bag will likely exceed the typical 50lb weight limit for checked luggage.

alcoholic drinks on a plane

Can you drink alcohol on a plane?

Can you bring alcohol on a plane and drink it? FAA Regulations indicate passangers cannot drink alcohol on a plane during flight unless an airline employee served it. Non-compliance is a federal offense and is punishable by law.

The flight attendants also have the right to deny any alcohol to anyone they consider to have had too many drinks. Flight attendants hold the responsibility of ensuring that passengers do not get drunk with too much alcohol consumption during a flight. It is best to go with whatever amount of alcohol that flight attendants offer.

How to properly pack alcohol in checked luggage?

It is never a good experience for anyone to find their suitcase stuffed with clothes and other belongings soaked in alcohol or littered with glass shards of bottles that broke during flight.

Taking the proper precautions in packing alcohol can guarantee the bottles and their contents will remain intact throughout a flight.

how to pack alcohol for a flight

Properly packing alcohol in checked luggage is important in ensuring against any damage to the bottles. Considering how some luggage handlers can be a bit rough in handling baggage, it is worth taking the time to plan the best ways of traveling with fragile items.

It is generally best to never even open any bottles to greatly reduce any leaking or accidental spills. Wrapping or packing bottles in a plastic bag or casing will prevent any spills or leaks from spreading to your other things.

With the bottles contained in a bag, wrap the bottles with additional cushioning for extra protection during the flight. A few examples of soft cushioning are towels, shirts, sweaters, and blankets.

Lastly, aim to position the bottle comfortably in or towards the center of the suitcase. Then. reinforce its surroundings along the edges with more cushioning and clothes. The added cushioning will not only protect against any rough movement during the flight but will also serve as a layer that can soak up any alcohol that accidentally leaks through the plastic bag or wrapping.

This will ensure that the alcohol bottle is protected against any accidental falls or bumps. Packing bottles through appropriate cushioning will generally reduce the likeliness of any breaking.

Can I bring alcohol on a plane if I’m under 21?

Passangers below 21 years old are not allowed to have or bring any alcohol. This applies to sneaking alcohol into checked luggage. With the current technology, it is easier to see check if a person violated this rule.

duty-free alchohol

Alcohol Bought from a Duty-Free Store

Duty-free Alcohol in Checked Luggage

You can bring alcohol as checked luggage with a limit of 5 liters of liquor (1.3 gallons). The allowed 5 liters of alcohol must be intact in original retail packaging. An overweight bag that exceeds the set limit may lead to additional charging fees by the airline.

Any imported liquor going into the US will allow the carrier to bring only a single liter duty-free. Authorities will charge you duty for the remaining 4 liters.

alcohol checked in luggage

Duty-free Alcohol in Carry-on Luggage

As for carry-ons, passengers can bring alcohol exceeding the limit of 3.4 ounces as hand-carry if it was purchased after the airport security process.

Conventionally, alcohol in this category is bought at a duty-free shop at an international airport. Alcohol from duty-free shops are exceptions to the general rules since the packaging is tamper-evident and secure. These tamper-evident containers will reveal any damage to the packaging if opened.

Additionally, the packaging is made of clear material so that the contents are visible and identifiable. A connecting flight in the US will require you to pass through airport security again to ensure added precautions. Authorities will also check if the packaging of the products is still intact and unopened.

You can continue carrying alcohol bought from duty-free shops as a carry-on as long as you keep the receipt. It is important to keep the receipt to indicate proof of you having purchased the alcohol within the last 48 hours.

Conclusion

Whether you are bringing alcohol as a gift or for your own personal use, you definitely can bring alcohol as long as it follows the regulations.

Can you bring alcohol on a plane and drink it? No, you cannot unless it is served by any flight attendants.

If you decide on taking any large amounts of alcohol on a plane flight, you will have to purchase it at a duty-free shop or pack it along with checked luggage.

Take note of these guidelines and use it as reference. Don’t forget that different countries may have different regulations. Consult with your destination’s restrictions.

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