There are so many fantastic wines from all around the world that you might be wondering if you can bring a bottle or two, or even a case, back with you.
In short, yes, you can bring wine on a plane.
But there are many rules and regulations that you need to be aware of, so your wine won’t get confiscated at the airport, and it will make it home in one piece.
Can You Bring Wine on a Plane?
Carry on Bags
If you want to bring wine on a plane in your carry on bags, the wine must be in a bottle that is no larger than 3.4oz/100ml.
This is because the TSA’s 3-1-1 rule applies that states that liquids must be in containers that are no larger than 3.4oz/100ml and comfortably fit into a single quart-sized bag.
If you want to bring wine on a plane in your checked bags, you can do so – and there is technically no limit to how much you can bring.
This is because the TSA have the following rules when it comes to bringing alcohol on a plane:
- 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
All alcohol must also be in unopened retail packaging.
International vs. Domestic Flights
Again, when flying domestically or internationally, if you want to bring wine on a plane in your carry on bags, the wine must be in a container that is no larger than 3.4oz/100ml.
For packing wine in your checked bags, each country have their own rules.
- 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.
It doesn’t matter if you are flying with United, Southwest, Delta, American Airlines, JetBlue, or any other major or regional air carrier.
All airlines follow TSA regulations when it comes to bringing wine on a plane.
How Many Bottles of Wine Can You Bring on a Plane?
Carry on Bags
In total, you can take 32 ounces (or 1 quart of liquids on a plane) of liquids in your carry on bags.
This is because part of the 3-1-1 Rule states that each passenger can travel with liquids, gels and aerosols in travel-size containers that are no larger than 3.4 ounces or 100 milliliters in a 1 quart-sized, resealable bag.
In all likelihood, you won’t be able to take a full 32 ounces on a plane because any liquids will be in a bottle or other container.
In reality, you will probably be able to bring 25 ounces in total, in 7 or 8 100ml/3.4oz travel-sized wine bottle containers onto a plane.
See Also: Can You Bring Shooters on a Plane?
Most airlines have a maximum weight limit of 50 pounds per checked bag, as well as a size restriction.
If either are exceeded, you will have to pay oversize or overweight baggage fees.
On average, as a bottle of wine weighs 2.65 lbs., this means that you can technically travel with 22 bottles of wine.
However, 22 bottles of wine are unlikely to fit in your suitcase, not to mention the wine will need to be properly packed for protection.
In reality, you will be able to take 12 bottles of wine on a plane in a specially designed wine travel suitcase.
Additionally, if you bring more than 1 liter of alcohol, you must declare it and then pay any duty and federal excise taxes that are required.
Will a Wine Bottle Explode on a Plane?
Due to the change in air pressure, you might be wondering if your bottle of wine will explode on a plane.
Thankfully, glass will not explode on a plane.
The worst that can happen is finding your bottle of wine broken if not packed properly due to the fragility of glass.
See Also: Can You Bring Glass on a Plane?
Will Wine Freeze on a Plane?
Wine does not freeze until it is about 15 or 20 degrees Fahrenheit.
When you also take into account the alcohol content, and how any bottle of wine will be insulated by your clothes when packed in your checked bags, you do not have to worry about wine freezing on a plane.
While when travelling to exceptionally cold climates, it is more likely that wine will freeze, it should still be okay.
What Are the Rules When Buying Duty-Free Wine?
Wine bought at a duty-free shop in an airport is packed in security tamper-evident bags (STEBs).
This means that the wine is not allowed to be opened once purchased until after your flight.
You are also usually only allowed to bring one liter of duty-free alcohol into the USA, though this can vary depending on where you are flying from and the state you are flying into.
Can You Take Duty Free Wine on Connecting Flights?
As long as you have a connecting flight in the United States, wine is allowed in your carry-on bag as long as:
- The bottles are packed in a transparent, secure, tamper-evident bag by the retailer.
- You have the receipt to show that the alcohol was purchased within the last 48 hours.
If this does not apply, you should pack the wine in your checked luggage if you don’t want it to be confiscated.
Can You Drink Your Own Wine 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, including wine, that is served by a flight attendant.
Can You Bring Wine in Your Checked Bag If You’re Under 21?
In the USA, you are not allowed to possess or drink alcohol if you are under 21.
This includes wine.
So this means that you are not allowed to bring wine in your checked bag if you are under 21.
While it’s very unlikely that you will be caught, keep in mind that it is still illegal, so is not recommended.
What is the Best Way of Packing Wine?
If you want to bring wine on a plane in your checked bags, you should:
- Place the bottle in a plastic bag
- Wrap the bag in soft layers of clothing to provide cushioning
- Position the bottle in the center of your suitcase
If you want to be absolutely sure that your wine will make it home in one piece, the Jet Bag is your best option if you want to bring back just a couple of bottles.
A wine travel suitcase, such as the VinGardeValise Wine Travel Suitcase, is best if you plan to bring back more.