How to Bring Wine on an Airplane…Legally

A great deal of misunderstanding and incorrect information exists regarding the carrying of wine on an airplane. This is also true for other alcoholic beverages, especially foreign flights. This article’s goal is to clarify this by outlining the laws and restrictions that pertain to flying with wine or alcoholic beverages as checked luggage. However, wine transportation has its own set of rules, which can impose far more restrictions. Many countries have their set of rules and guidelines when it comes to bringing wine on a plane. Read on for all the deets.

Yes, it is possible to bring a wine bottle on a plane. Not only that, it’s totally allowed and legal! When traveling with alcoholic beverages, make sure you’re over the legal drinking age. As well, the alcohol must be less than 70% ABV or 140 proof and needs to fit into a quart-sized bag.

Packing wine in checked luggage

You may confidently pack wine bottles for your flight in a checked bag as long as you follow the guidelines below. TSA will allow you to check in a bottle of wine, however, the rules are determined by the strength of the alcohol present in the wine.

  • Alcoholic beverages with a proof percentage of more than 70% are not permitted on domestic flights within the United States.
  • There is no limit on the amount of alcohol you can check as long as it’s in its original retail packaging and is between 24 and 70% ABV. Any wine or alcoholic beverage less than 24 percent ABV may be taken as a carry-on.
  • The majority of wine comprises between 11 and 14 percent ABV and is classified as light wine.
  • Again, you must be at least 21 years old to take any alcoholic beverage on a flight whether it’s carry-on or checked.
  • Check with your airline first, since they may have additional requirements not covered by TSA.

Carrying wine in Carry-on luggage

Travelers with carry-on bags are required to keep all liquids in the luggage to a minimum and to submit to random testing at security checkpoints. Wine, like all liquids, is subject to the 3-1-1 policy. Liquids up to 3.4 oz (100ml) by volume are allowed. You’ll need a quart-sized bag to hold all of these travel-size bottles. There is a quart-sized luggage limit per passenger.

Despite its common name, the toiletry bag can contain alcohol with an ABV of less than 70% without violating airline regulations. As a result, you are permitted to transport wine in containers no larger than 3.4 oz in your carry-on luggage. However, because of FAA regulations, it is illegal to serve your wine on an airplane, and the resulting fines can be rather high.

Duty-free wine in Carry-on luggage

If, after clearing airport security, you find a duty-free shop selling wine, you should absolutely buy some. In this city, you can purchase wine bottles and bring them on the plane with you. Liquids bought after the checkpoints are exempted from the 3.4 oz restriction.

Can wine freeze during travel?

No, unless you’re going to an area where it’s extremely cold. Even around 15- or 20-degrees F, the wine will take some time to freeze due to the alcohol content.

Packing wine on an airplane

The most challenging part about flying with wine isn’t smuggling it onboard. It is ensuring that the bottle will be safe and make it to your destination damage-free. There are no in-flight concerns for the wine itself. The glass bottle, however, doesn’t make for a smooth trip in the cargo hold.

Consider the following:

  • Use bubble wrap to protect the wine bottle.
  • Put it in a zip-top bag.
  • Another piece of bubble wrap should be placed over the zip-lock bag.

We hope we were able to clear up a few misconceptions concerning flying with wine. If you have any other questions or concerns, it is best to consult with your airline. They are sure to have the most accurate and up-to-date information. Cheers!

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