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Thursday, October 5, 2023

Can you bring alcohol on Airplane?-Helpful tips to avoid issues and fines

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Imtiaz Ullah
Imtiaz Ullahhttps://nomadlawyer.org/about/
Imtiaz Ullah is the founder of travel website - NomadLawyer. A Corporate Lawyer, Senior Travel Correspondent, The Traveller Trails magazine and also acts as an Advisory Member, NGO - Sarvahitey. His travel philosophy is exploring new places, meeting new people, knowing the culture, eating like a local. He always believes in the idea-“ Don't just be a traveller but a Responsible one”.


Can you bring alcohol on Airplane: Many travelers like to relax with a glass of wine, a cold beer or just a strong mixed drink during the flight.

Most airlines are happy to sell you an alcoholic beverage during the flight, and they may even be free on certain routes or at certain locations.

However, if you’re one of those travelers who isn’t privy to the complimentary alcoholic beverage, you might be wondering if you can bring your own alcohol on board.

It’s a common question and the short answer is yes, but it’s not that simple.

In this post, we’ll give you a straight answer on whether or not you can bring alcohol on a plane and go over all the guidelines and restrictions related to flying with alcohol.

Is Alcohol allowed on a flight?

In general, you can take alcohol in the plane, but there are some restrictions you need to know. But the most important part of the equation is that you can’t drink this alcohol on a plane.

FAA regulations prohibit passengers from consuming alcohol on an aircraft that is not operated by the airline. In short, this means you can take alcohol on the plane, but you can’t drink it on the plane.

While you might think this means you can ask your flight attendants to serve you the alcohol you provide, that’s not the case.

Although this practice occurred in years past, today flight attendants do not serve you the alcohol you brought on the plane.

JetBlue, for example, used to allow flight attendants to serve alcohol they brought on board to passengers, but has since updated its policy online to clearly state, “No personal alcohol is permitted on board.” Southwest Airlines also takes this policy seriously; he even added a mention to the announcements made at the start of each flight.

Alcohol in a carry bag

Alcohol is allowed in carry-on luggage, but you’ll still need to follow TSA’s rules for carrying liquids on planes.

That means the alcohol must be in containers of 3.4 ounces or less and packaged in a clear, quart-sized plastic bag. Each passenger is only allowed 1 plastic bag. 

Any alcohol with an ABV proof above 70% or 140 is prohibited on planes in both checked and hand luggage.

Duty free purchase of alcohol

You may be asking about duty free alcohol purchases, since those end up being carried on board and are over 3.4 ounces. You can buy alcohol in the duty free shop at the airport with some restrictions.

There is a limit of 5 litres of 24% to 70% ABV (48 to 140 proof) alcohol per person

The bottles must be packed by the seller in a clear and secure transparent plastic bag

You must have a receipt to hand as you may need to prove that duty free alcohol was purchased in the previous 48 hours.


You can take alcohol (with an ABV of 70% or less) onto the plane in your carry-on bag if it’s in containers of 3.4 ounces or less or in secure, sealed bags purchased in a duty-free shop.

However, you cannot consume any alcohol on the plane that you have on you.

Can you pack Alcohol in checked luggage?

The rules for packing alcohol in checked baggage are slightly different than the rules for bringing alcohol in hand luggage.

The amount of alcohol you can pack in your carry-on is determined by ABV, or alcohol by volume, which is a number that shows the percentage of a drink that is alcohol.

Beverages that are less than 24% ABV (under 48 proof), which includes most beers and wines, are allowed in unlimited quantities in your checked baggage.

Of course, the more you pack, the higher your baggage fees can be, so keep that in mind before you start packing boxes of wine in your luggage!

For beverages with an ABV of 24% to 70% (48 to 140 proof), there is a limit of 5 litres (1.3 gallons) per passenger in checked baggage. Alcohol must be in unopened retail packaging.

Alcohol over 70% ABV or over 140 proof is not permitted in your checked baggage.

How should alcohol be packed in a checked luggage?

When packing alcohol in checked baggage, you should make sure it is well wrapped to protect it. A hard side case is important in this case as it will help protect your alcohol bottles from being crushed.

Next, you’ll want to wrap the bottles in a protective layer – this could be just your clothing or a specially designed case.

You can buy cheap bubble bags for wine bottles online. While these bags are designed for wine, they can also be used for spirits and even things like olive oil.

If you find yourself packing alcohol in your checked baggage and don’t have a special bag or bubble wrap handy, remember to wrap each bottle in clothing.

You can tuck the bottles into your sleeves or legs, then wrap the wrapped bottles in the middle of your trunk between multiple layers of clothing to keep them as insulated as possible.

If you pack small bottles of alcohol, you can put them in your shoes to give them some protection. If you’re traveling with beer bottles or anything similarly large, tuck each into a sock for protection.

Don’t forget that the alcohol you pack in your checked baggage should be unopened and still in its original packaging.


Many passengers wonder if they can bring their own alcohol on the plane. In general, you can take alcohol onto the plane in your carry-on or checked baggage, but you may not consume this alcohol on the plane.

The FAA has made it clear that any alcohol consumed on an airplane must be served by the air carrier and its flight attendants.

Contributed by Ankit Raj Sharma

Edited by Imtiaz Ullah

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