You might be wondering if you can bring miniature bottles of alcohol (also commonly referred to as shooters or nips) with you on your next flight.
Yes, you can bring shooters on a plane in both your carry on and checked bags, but the rules vary depending if you are planning to bring them in your carry on or checked bags.
Note that some people also take shooters to mean mixed drink shots, which can also be taken on a plane in both your carry on and checked bags, but again the rules vary.
Can You Bring Shooters on a Plane?
To know if you can bring shooters on a plane in your checked bags, we first need to know what the TSA says about ABV and proof.
- If the alcohol is less than 24% ABV or 48 proof, there is no limit. This covers most beers and wine.
- If the alcohol is more than 24% but not more than 70% ABV (48 – 140 proof), you are limited to 5 liters (1.3 gallons)
- If the alcohol is over 70% ABV or over 140 proof, it isn’t allowed in either your carry on or checked bags
This means that regardless if you define shooters to mean miniature bottles of alcohol or mixed drink shots, you will have no problem bringing them on a plane as long as the above is followed.
One important thing to note is that the TSA requires alcohol between 24% – 70% ABV (48 – 140 proof) to be in unopened retail packaging if packed in your checked bags.
Carry on Bags
If you want to bring shooters on a plane in your carry on bags, the rules are simple.
The TSA’s 3-1-1 rule applies, which means that any single container of alcohol must be no larger than 3.4oz/100ml and comfortably fit into a single quart-sized bag.
However, alcohol over 70% ABV or over 140 proof is not allowed, regardless if we’re talking about shooters (nips or mini liquor bottles) or mixed drink shots.
Domestic vs. International Flights
When flying internationally to and from any country, you are limited to containers of alcohol that are no larger than 3.40z/100ml in your carry on bags.
The rules can vary by country when packing alcohol in your checked bags, though.
- Mexico: You are allowed to carry up to 5 liters of alcohol. The alcohol must not exceed 70%.
- Canada: If the alcohol is 24% or less, there are no limits; if the alcohol is between 24% and 70%, you are allowed 5 liters. Alcohol over 70% is not permitted.
- UK: If the alcohol is 24% or less, there are no limits; if the alcohol is between 24% and 70%, you are allowed 5 liters. Alcohol over 70% is not permitted.
- The EU: When travelling within the EU, you are limited to 10 liters of spirits, 20 liters of fortified wine, 90 liters of wine (including 60 liters of sparkling wine), or 110 liters of beer.
When entering the EU from a non-EU country, you are limited to 4 liters of non-sparkling wine, 16 liters of beer, 1 liter of spirits or 2 liters of fortified or sparkling wine.
In short, you can bring shooters on a plane in your checked bags without running into any issues when flying internationally.
All airlines follow TSA regulations when it comes to bringing shooters on a plane.
This includes Southwest, United, Delta, American Airlines, as well as all other major and regional air carriers.
Can You Drink Your Own Alcohol on a Plane?
According to federal regulations, you are not allowed to bring your own alcohol and then drink it on a plane:
“FAA regulations prohibit passengers from drinking alcohol on board the aircraft unless it is served by the air carrier.”
You can only drink alcohol that is served by a flight attendant.
How Many Shooters Can You Bring on a Plane?
A mini bottle of alcohol is 1.7 ounces, and you’re allowed to bring a maximum of 32 ounces in your carry on bags through airport security.
Considering the space that the bottles will take up in a bag, this means that you’ll probably be able to bring about 12 shooters in your carry on bags.
Can You Bring Shot Glasses on a Plane?
You can bring shot glasses on a plane in both your carry on and checked bags.
If packed in your checked bags, just make sure that the shot glasses are wrapped in bubble wrap, and then wrapped in soft layers of clothing like socks, underwear and T-shirts for maximum protection.