If you want to travel to different brewers across the U.S and abroad, chances are you will want to bring some beer back with you or take some samples to potential clients if you are a brewer yourself. Most beer enthusiasts ask, can you bring beer on a plane?
FAA regulations say that you can bring beer in your checked bag, but you are limited to 5 liters per passenger if it’s over 48 proof. The requirements state containers must be in their unopened retail packaging. You are permitted to take beer in your carry-on bag but are limited to 3.4 oz containers or less in a quart-size bag.
Can You Bring Beer On A Plane?
For beer enthusiasts, taking beer home when you have visited different brewers is a must, but are you allowed to take beer on a plane? The TSA and FAA are two of the regulators responsible for the airport’s safety and security.
They have many prohibited and unlawful items you can’t take on the plane when you fly, but fortunately, beer is in the fly zone if you follow their rules.
Can You Take Beer On A Plane In Your Checked Bag?
According to the FAA, whether you can take any alcoholic beverage on a plane depends on its alcohol content. For beer less than 24% alcohol by volume (ABV) or 48 proof, you can take unlimited quantities in your checked bags (be sure to leave room for clothes and other essentials).
While you can take beer in your checked baggage, the beer must be unopened and still in its retail packaging. No alcoholic beverages, including beer, are allowed in checked or carry-on bags if they are opened.
For beer between 24% – 70% alcohol by volume or 48-140 proof, you can take beer in your checked bag, but you are limited to 5 liters or 1.3 gallons per person. The beer needs to be properly packed in its unopened retail packaging.
Can You Take Beer On A Plane In Your Carry-On Bag?
The TSA has a liquids rule that states any liquid must be in containers no bigger than 3.4oz (100 milliliters). You can take as much as will fit comfortably in a quart-size bag. When they say comfortably, the bag must open and close easily, not burst at the seams.
There is a drawback, so put your huge carry-on bags away as each passenger is only allowed one quart-size bag. That’s why most people prefer to take their prized beer in their checked bags on the plane.
For beer or any other alcoholic beverage over 70% or 140 proof, you are bum out of luck. The FAA doesn’t allow alcohol above 140 proof on their checked or carry-on luggage, so it’s best to leave your home-brewed strong stuff at home.
Can You Open Or Drink The Beer In Your Carry-On Bag?
For your safety and the flight crew’s sanity, you are not allowed to open or drink any of the beer in your carry-on bag. So you will need to wait until you have disembarked and have arrived safely at your destination.
According to the Federal Regulations Code 121.575, No person can drink an alcoholic beverage that is not served to them by the flight attendants/certificate holder operating the aircraft.
How Should You Pack The Beer So It Arrives Safely?
When taking beer on a plane in your checked bags, you must remember that as many beers are in glass bottles, they should be safely secured. Here are a few hacks to help your beer reach its destination safely.
- Store bottles individually (purchased separately) and put them in a zip-lock bag; that way, if one bottle breaks, it will be contained in the bag and not affect any other luggage.
- If you have purchased a case or six-pack, you can do the same by putting the entire thing in a plastic bag. Remember you can’t open the packaging.
- Keep your proof of purchase on you at all times so if there are inquiries, you can prove how, where and when you purchased your beer.
- If you frequently travel to visit breweries and only take a few select beers home, you can use a travel case with padding to protect the glass bottles.
- You can use bubble wrap or old towels and sweaters to wrap your beer bottles should you not have a carry case.
- If you are traveling locally and have forgotten to pack your beer properly, you can ask if the airline you are using offers packing for alcoholic beverages. One airline that does is Southwest Airlines.
Can You Take Beer On An International Flight?
Most countries have rules you must adhere to if you are taking your beer from the U.S to another country. Here are a few examples;
In Australia, their Aviation security state that if you are 18 years or older, you can take up to 2.25 liters of any alcoholic beverage duty-free into the country.
There are no restrictions on where they were purchased or how, but the Aviation security regulations may restrict the amount of alcohol you carry in hand luggage (carry-on bags).
Canada follows TSA’s regulations regarding taking alcoholic beverages on a plane. If you are taking a flight from the US to Canada, then the rules stay the same. The only time the alcoholic beverages rule changes are when you drive across the border from Canada to America and back to buy alcohol.
When traveling to the UK, you can take up to 42 liters of beer in your checked bags. You may need to pay an import VAT, customs duty, and excise duty on all the alcohol you declare, but you will have the beer you love on your vacation.
What Is The Drinking Age On International Flights?
If you are just out of high school, you know that the legal drinking age in many countries is not 21, but what about international flights? The legal drinking age on most airlines aligns with the legal drinking age of the country it is registered in.
In quite a few countries, the legal drinking age is 18, but in the US, the legal drinking age remains 21. Some countries like Iceland have a legal drinking age of 20. So choose your international airline carefully.