Can You Take Alcohol on a Plane?

A boozy guide to drinking on your flight

Travelers often wonder if they can bring alcohol on an airplane, and the answer is yes, but with certain restrictions.

a glass and bottle of wine on an airplane seat back tray

Alcohol can be carried both in carry-on and checked baggage as long as the traveler is of legal drinking age and follows any applicable rules and regulations.

In carry-on bags, passengers are limited to bringing alcohol in small quantities, typically in containers up to 3.4 ounces (100 ml) as part of their liquids allowance (Drinktinto).

On the other hand, packing alcohol in checked baggage has different rules, which mainly depend on the specific airline’s policies and the destination’s customs regulations.

Carry-On Alcohol Rules

When planning to bring alcohol on a plane, it’s essential to be aware of the different carry-on rules and regulations that apply.

TSA Liquids Policy

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has strict policies for liquids in carry-on bags.

Any liquids, gels, or aerosols must be in containers of 3.4 ounces (100 ml) or less and fit into a single one-quart-sized, clear plastic, zip-top bag. This includes alcohol.

According to the TSA guidelines, you can bring mini alcohol bottles on a plane as long as they fit into the one-quart bag and adhere to the 3.4-ounce limit.

However, you must not try to consume your own alcohol while aboard the flight.

Alcohol Volume Limits

When it comes to alcohol volume limits, the strength of the alcohol you carry on board is also regulated. The alcohol content of your beverages should not exceed 70% (140 proof).

If you intend to bring alcohol in your checked baggage, the limits are more lenient. You could pack up to 5 liters of alcohol per passenger, as long as the alcohol content is between 24% and 70%. Beverages with an alcohol content of 24% or less are unrestricted in checked bags.

To sum up, you can bring alcohol on a plane, but you need to follow the TSA Liquids Policy and be aware of the alcohol volume limits. Remember to adhere to these regulations to avoid any issues during your travels.

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Packing Alcohol in Checked Baggage

Your travel destination also has an impact on how much and what kind of alcohol you can pack in a checked bag.

attendant putting a tag on the checked luggage

The regulations differ between domestic and international flights.

Domestic Flights

When packing alcohol in checked baggage for domestic flights, it’s essential to know the restrictions and limits.

If the alcohol by volume (ABV) is less than 24%, there are no limits on the amount you can pack, which generally applies to beer and wine (Cheapflights).

However, for alcohol with an ABV between 24% and 70%, passengers are limited to 5 liters per person, provided it’s in unopened retail packaging (TSA Travel Tip). Keep in mind that alcohol over 70% ABV or over 140 proof is not allowed in checked luggage.

International Flights

For international flights, some of the same restrictions apply as domestic flights, with a few additional considerations.

Passengers can still pack up to 5 liters of alcohol per person with an ABV between 48 and 140 proof in their checked luggage, following the same rules as mentioned (Delta Air Lines). When traveling internationally, it’s also essential to remember that customs and duty regulations may vary by destination, which might affect the amount of alcohol you can bring into a specific country.

Always check with your destination’s customs regulations before packing alcohol in your checked baggage.

Buying Alcohol at Duty-Free Stores

When traveling internationally, many passengers take advantage of the opportunity to purchase alcohol at duty-free stores, since these shops offer lower prices compared to regular retail stores.

It is typically found within airports, beyond security checkpoints. Travelers can buy alcohol, spirits, wine, and beer at these locations without having to worry about paying additional taxes and duties on their purchases.

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However, there are certain regulations and restrictions to keep in mind when buying alcohol in duty-free shops. For instance, the alcohol you purchase must remain in your carry-on baggage once you’ve boarded the airplane, under certain conditions listed by the TSA.

Additionally, passengers who are boarding flights to the United States and Australia must leave their duty-free alcohol purchases behind for collection upon arrival.

This is to ensure compliance with specific customs requirements in these countries (source).

As a buyer, you need to be aware of the limitations and restrictions in place for carrying alcohol on board the flight. Make sure you check the specific requirements of your destination country, as well as the airline’s policies on alcohol transportation.

Section 5: Consuming Alcohol on the Plane

If you have alcohol on a flight, there are a few rules and policies that must be followed.

Airline Regulations

When it comes to consuming alcohol on a plane, passengers must follow the airline regulations.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) allows alcoholic beverages to be carried on in limited amounts, and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) prohibits passengers from drinking their own alcohol.

Airlines only permit passengers to consume alcohol served by their flight attendants. This rule is in place to prevent any issues that may arise from drunk passengers in a confined space.

Personal Responsibility

When deciding to consume alcohol on a plane, passengers should take personal responsibility for their actions.

Firstly, it is essential to be of legal drinking age and follow any applicable rules. Alcohol must be transported in its original, unopened container, as mentioned by Cheapflights.

Maintaining steady blood sugar and energy levels is crucial when consuming alcohol, so passengers should eat a meal beforehand and bring snacks for the flight. HuffPost recommends staying hydrated, as this helps the body process alcohol more efficiently.

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By taking these precautions, passengers can avoid any negative effects of drinking alcohol while flying.

Tips for Packing Alcohol Safely

If you are going to pack alcohol in your travel bags, there are ways to ensure it is safe and secure.

Choosing the Right Container

When packing alcohol for a flight, selecting the right container is essential.

Stick to bottles with secure, tight-fitting lids to avoid spillage. For beverages with 24% alcohol or less, there are no specific limitations, but it’s wise to stay within a reasonable amount (TSA).

For drinks containing 24% to 70% of alcohol, you are limited to 5 liters (1.3 gallons) per passenger, and the bottles must be unopened in retail packaging (TSA Travel Tip).

Padding and Protecting Your Bottles

Prioritize protecting the bottles from impact during transportation.

First, wrap each bottle individually in materials like newspaper, bubble wrap, or clothing pieces such as pants or sweaters (wikiHow). This will help absorb shock and prevent breakage.

For added protection, take the following steps:

  • Place bottles in separate plastic bags to contain potential leaks.
  • Use sturdy and well-padded dividers inside your luggage to separate each bottle.
  • Position the bottles in the center of your suitcase, surrounded by clothes or other soft items.

By following these tips, you can ensure your precious alcoholic beverages arrive at your destination safe and sound.


It is possible to take alcohol on a plane, but there are several rules and regulations that must be followed. It is important to check with the airline beforehand and adhere to their policies.

Additionally, it is important to remember that excessive drinking on a plane can be dangerous and disruptive to other passengers.

It is recommended to drink responsibly and in moderation while flying. By following these guidelines, passengers can enjoy a safe and enjoyable flight experience.

Please drink responsibly, be fully accountable with your alcohol consumption, and show others respect.

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