Alcohol makes excellent souvenirs and gifts from your travels for yourself or your loved ones. Most duty-free sections at international airports carry loads of alcohol from all over the world. The fantastic selection and different varieties of liquor are meant to stop you in your tracks and pick up a bottle!
But before you chuck a bottle of Scotch in your backpack, you need to know about the basics of boarding with alcohol. Don’t worry because we’ve prepared for you all the do’s and don’ts of bringing alcohol on a flight.
Buying Alcohol in an Airport
International airports sell alcohol in their duty-free section. You can find all kinds of liquor and spirits spread out in a fantastic spectrum. So whether you’re looking for a vintage Moet & Chandon or the finest Tequila assortment, there’s a good chance you’ll find what you’re looking for at duty-free.
Also, you can get the best deals on alcohol at duty free. Duty-free liquor does not necessarily mean it’s cheap; it’s just void of country-specific taxes.
Let’s say you’re paying a 3% tax on liquor tax in any state; you won’t have to pay that when you’re purchasing from duty-free.
You can buy alcohol and tobacco products at an overall better deal than any other products. But, of course, this will depend on the country you’re traveling to and from.
The U.S. has a tax exemption of $200, $800, or $1200 called a duty-free exemption. This is the total value of the things (gifts, personal items) you can bring back to the States without paying the duty price.
But if traveling from the U.S Virgin Islands or Mexico, you can pay $1600 for goods without tax. Regarding alcohol, you can buy 5 liters of liquor duty free!
Airports with Best Deals on Duty-Free Alcohol
Now that you know how duty-free prices work, see this list below for the international airpors that have affordable deals on alcohol,
- Boryspil International Airport and Kyiv International Airport (Zhuliany), Kyiv, Ukraine.
- Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport, Madrid, Spain.
- Owen Roberts International Airport, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
Comparatively, the only affordable duty-free alcohol in the United States can be found in the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Is Alcohol Allowed on Airplanes?
It would be futile to have such incredible displays of the finest spirits for purchase and not let anyone board the plane with some, wouldn’t it? Well, good thing you can take alcohol with you on flights.
There are rules, however, regarding bringing alcohol on flights. Whether as a drink or packaged, you must know your way around liquor on an airplane. Because alcohol is a sensitive and influential drink, it often gives rise to unfortunate and disruptive situations on flights.
Several problems arise due to alcohol on flights; inebriated passengers do not control their actions. Drunk passengers often become sick, which can be unpleasant for other passengers. They can be uncooperative with the flight attendants and/or other passengers, creating a hostile environment. This is especially problematic during longer flights where people are confined in an aircraft for hours.
Alcohol-related rage on airplanes has seen an alarming increase in the past year. The Federal Aviation Administration revealed that incidents rose from 1099 in 2021 to a whopping 5981 in 2022. While most of these were related to wearing masks, the FAA said alcohol played a significant role.
Risks of Drinking While Flying
Sure a drink or two kicks you into gear when flying at 30,000 feet, especially if you’re surrounded by crying babies, snoring uncles, and tween besties who won’t quit their chattering about their Bali trip.
But drinking alcohol while you’re on a plane flying that high can seriously affect your body. Here are some things that can happen,
- Dehydrated: Dehydration is almost a given when flying, and drinking can worsen that.
- Diuretic: Drinking can turn up the dehydration notch and can make you urinate more. This may make you groggier and irritated.
- Insomnia: While you may be under the impression that a glass might knock you out faster, alcohol can totally mess up your sleep cycle.
- Nausea: Drinking won’t improve things if you’re already nauseous while flying. You might get frequent headaches, feelings of regurgitation, and dry mouth.
- Breathing difficulties: Alcohol can make you feel breathlessness due to the decreased oxygen levels at a high altitude.
If you can’t do without a drink on a plane, hydrate before and after you drink. Keep a water bottle to hydrate frequently and replenish your electrolytes.
Do’s and Don’ts of Bringing Alcohol on a Flight
Passengers often have questions about carrying alcohol, such as, “Can I bring a bottle of Smirnoff in my carry-on?” or, “How many mini bottles can you bring on a plane?”
Well, we’ll answer! While alcohol can be problematic on flights, with good sense and responsibility, and by following these rules, you can carry your liquor to and from without any hassle.
- Do only drink responsibly from the in-flight catering. Flight attendants reserve the right to refuse drinks if you’ve exceeded the limit.
- For carry-on bags, only bring bottles or containers that are 3.4 ounces or lower inside a 7” x 8” or one clear quart-sized bag.
- For checking bags, DO bring beverages with 24% and 70% alcohol.
- DO keep the receipt of purchase if you bought alcohol from duty-free.
- Purchase short-necked bottles that are easier to store and carry.
- If you carry alcohol in checked luggage, wrap it securely with your clothes, newspaper, or bubble wrap.
- In airports where you can roam the premises with a drink, DO finish the drink before boarding the plane.
- DO consider the safety of yourself and other passengers, be respectful and maintain civility while drinking in flight.
- DO respect your flight attendants’ requests and limitations regarding your drinking alcohol.
- DON’T bring your own alcohol on the plane to drink from, not in its original packaging or disposable bottles.
- DON’T open a bottle of alcohol you bought from duty-free; wait until you land in your destination to enjoy that.
- DON’T bring beverages exceeding 70% alcohol content in your carry-on or luggage.
- DON’T carry a large bottle in your carry-on as this can break and damage your possessions.
- DON’T purchase liquor bottles that are long and intricately designed (unless it’s a gift).
- DON’T buy alcohol that you can purchase at home. While the duty-free price tag may tempt you, avoiding potential hassle(s) is wiser.
- DON’T drink too much when you’re flying, as it may worsen your health and exacerbate any slightest unpleasant interaction.
- DON’T get into any argument or any altercation while you’re on an airplane.
Some Useful Tips While Packing Alcohol
- Pack larger bottles with your clothes, plastic wrap, bubble wrap, or newspaper.
- Pack mini bottles inside your shoes or socks to be nice and secure.
- You can find some bags specialized for carrying alcohol through planes online. You can use these bags to carry other glass bottles too.
- Remember to pack only intact or unopened bottles in your luggage. If you pack otherwise, it will spill and ruin everything in your bags.
- Don’t carry liquor in your carry-on or the luggage in plastic bottles.
Remember to follow TSA guidelines regarding alcoholic beverages and save yourself from hassles and large fines.
There are a lot of questions regarding drinking and carrying alcohol on flights. While clear instructions are written throughout the airport and always conveyed by flight attendants when you board, there’s still confusion. So we hope you found this article informative and useful. Save it for your next trip and share it with your friends and family so they know the rules and regulations regarding alcohol in airplanes. Be mindful and drink responsibly!
Which International Flights prohibit bringing alcohol?
Ans: While many international airports allow alcohol on flights and on board, some ban carrying liquor due to cultural or religious purposes. It is important to know which airlines restrict drinking or bringing alcoholic beverages so you can avoid hassles and fines. The airlines are Saudia, Egyptair, Royal Brunei, Kuwait Airways, Pakistan International Airlines, Air Arabia, Jazeera Airways, Bangladesh Biman, and Iraqi Airways.
While Turkish Airlines does ban alcohol on domestic flights, it serves alcoholic beverages on its international flights.
What Ages are Allowed to Drink on Board?
Ans: If you’re flying first-class or business class on international flights, you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy a fantastic in-flight bar. Before you order, hold your horses because in the U.S, you need to be at least 21 years old to enjoy alcohol in the air. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is strict on age 21. You might be thinking that drinking is legal in many states from 18 years old; why is the limit set at 21?
Well, this is decided based on the legal drinking age in most of the United States and most parts of the world where alcohol is legalized. So if you’re under age 21, you might want to set the Jack Daniels at home.