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.

Bringing Shooters in Your Checked Bags

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.

Related: Can You Bring Beer on a Plane?

Bringing Shooters in Your 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: According to CATSA, 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: According to, you can bring up to 42 liters of beer or 18 liters of (still) wine. When it comes to spirits and other liquors over 22% alcohol, you can bring up to 4 liters. Sparkling wine, fortified wine and other alcoholic drinks up to 22% alcohol are limited to 9 liters.
    • The EU: According to EU regulations, 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.

Airline Regulations

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.

Avoid Drinking 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.

You Can Bring Many Shooters 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.

Bring the Shot Glasses Too

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.

Ella Dunham, a Freelance Travel Journalist and Marketing Manager, boasts an impressive career spanning eight years in the travel and tourism sectors.

Honored as one of "30 Under 30" by TTG Media (the world’s very first weekly travel trade newspaper), a "Tour Operator Travel Guru" and "Legend Award" winner, Ella is also a Fellow of the Institute of Travel, a Member of the Association of Women Travel Executives, has completed over 250 travel modules, and hosts travel-focused segments on national radio shows where she provides insights on travel regulations and destinations.

Ella has visited over 40 countries (with 10 more planned this year).