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Can I Bring a Bottle of Wine on a Plane?

Your wine tasting tour overseas has come to an end. You had the best experience exploring different wineries and trying out exotic wines. In fact, you enjoyed your trip so much that you decided to bring a bottle or two when flying back home. 

Whether it’s to stock up your wine collection with something unique or keep as a souvenir, there’s just one question lingering in your mind. Can you bring a bottle of wine on a plane?

Here are the guidelines provided in the TSA website:

“Alcoholic beverages with more than 24% but not more than 70% alcohol are limited in checked bags to 5 liters (1.3 gallons) per passenger and must be in unopened retail packaging. Alcoholic beverages with 24% alcohol or less are not subject to limitations in checked bags. 

Mini bottles of alcohol in carry-on must be able to comfortably fit into a single quart-sized bag.”

So the short answer is yes, you’re allowed to carry a bottle of wine when flying. But, this largely depends on the alcohol content.

If the wine’s alcohol content ranges between 24% and 70%, the maximum amount that a single individual can carry in their checked luggage is 5 liters (1.3 gallons). 

If it’s 24% or less, then you’re allowed to carry more than five liters. But, there’s a high chance that it will be taxed by Customs. 

Any wine with an alcohol content exceeding 70% is forbidden as it’s regarded as a hazardous item. 

Further, the FAA requires passengers to store their alcoholic beverages in 100 ml (3.4 oz) containers, if using their carry-on bags. More importantly, the wine bottles should always be sealed. 

In the following post, we’ll explain how you can carry a bottle of wine on a plane. 

How to Pack a Bottle of Wine for a Flight?

Packing a bottle of wine is fairly similar to how you’d pack glass when flying. As such, the ultimate goal is to prevent breakage. 

There are a couple of storage options you can use to keep your wine bottle intact, namely:

Clothes

Whether you’ll be carrying the wine bottle in your suitcase or carry-on, consider wrapping it in thick layers of clothes. Once it’s well-wrapped, position it inside your bag away from the sides and other hard objects. 

The good thing about this approach is that it’s simple and inexpensive. This makes it ideal for those who may be traveling on a budget

A wine bottle protector sleeve

If you’re hesitant to use clothes as a padding, then consider buying a wine protector sleeve. This sleeve is designed specifically to protect wine bottles from breaking during travel. 

And, in the unfortunate event that the bottle breaks, it keeps your packed items from being stained by the spilled drink.

A wine tote bag

This works in a fairly similar manner to the protector sleeve. What sets the tote bag apart is that it can fit more than one wine bottle. 

Most wine tote bags also have a layer of thermal insulation, which helps to keep your wine well-chilled. 

Can I Buy Wine at the Airport?

Unfortunately, there’s no straightforward answer to this question. There are no hard-and-fast rules relating to drinking at airports. Each airport seems to have its own opinion of whether one can drink at the airport or not. 

Based on research carried out by The Thrillist these are some of the airports that allow people to drink:

  • Las Vegas McCarran International
  • Chicago’s Midway and O’Hare
  • Nashville International
  • Miami International 
  • William P Hobby
  • George Bush Intercontinental
  • Tampa International

If you’re catching a flight from any of these stations, you can buy booze and enjoy it from anywhere within the airport. 

The catch is that you can’t consume it once you board the plane, not unless it’s been served by the aircraft. Here’s what the FAA stipulates,

“No person may drink any alcoholic beverage aboard an aircraft unless the certificate holder operating the aircraft has served that beverage to him.”

Can I Take Wine on a Plane Bound for the UK?

Yes, you can. 

But as is the case with other countries, there’s a limit of just how much wine you’re allowed to bring. Here’s a detailed breakdown of the alcoholic beverages allowed and their respective quantities:

  • Still wine – up to 18 liters
  • Beer – up to 42 liters

You also have the freedom to bring either 

  • Sparkling or fortified wine with a maximum alcohol content of 22% – 9 liters
  • Spirits and other types of liquors with over 22% alcohol – 4 liters
Related Post: Can you Bring Canned Food on a Plane?

Final Thoughts

It’s completely legal to carry a bottle of wine on a plane. However, there are a few conditions you have to comply with. 

For starters, be mindful of the wine’s alcohol content. Beverages with an alcohol content above 70% aren’t allowed. If the alcohol content falls between 24 and 70%, then the maximum amount you can carry in your checked bag is 5 liters.

Secondly, the wine bottle should be properly sealed and packaged. This is to mean that you can’t drink it once you board the plane. The only time you’re allowed to drink is if it’s served to you by the airline. 

Hayden Wall

Hayden is the founder of Travel Gear Discounts and tries to vacation as much as possible. He loves finding the latest travel accessories that will make getting out easier and planning the perfect weekend getaway.