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Bringing wine on airplanes

  • m

I am going to be returning to the USA from Paris next month and am wondering if I can bring a few bottles of wine and maybe some olive oil on board? I haven't flown internationally since the 3 ounce liquid/gell limitation was put in place and am wondering how this works now. Thanks!

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  1. You'll have to check the wine/olive oil bag.

    1. Wine is considered a liquid. Can be checked but not carried on. (Learned the hard way when I had to throw some out)

      4 Replies
      1. re: jes

        what a shame...

        I've been successful packing wine in my checked luggage. pack a coupla of plastic newspaper sleeves, slip the bottle in, and squeeze it into as many layers of socks as you can and wrap whatever remaining t-shirts around it being careful to place it as close to the center of the suitcase as possible (in all directions).

        EXPECT the bag will be thrown around and at the bottom of the pile and proceed accordingly. I used to ship fragile architects' models around the world using these expectations with great success.

        1. re: hill food

          You can also buy a shipping box at your local wine store (with the foam insert to protect the wine), check it empty on your way there, and check it full on the way back. Make sure that you also bring some extra packing tape.

          1. re: hill food

            I confess I'm surprised to see such questions these days-- I fear these idiotic rules will not leave us, especially as it has been such a boon for bottled water companies. However, as mjpd mentions flying 'internationally' I feel compelled to ask: is flying within the states not subject to this liquid rule? How lovely!

            OK, all that said: I pack my wine/raki in my suitcase, in much the style hill food does, but then place the bundle in a plastic bag so that in the even of breakage, the damage is kept to a minimum. Bubble wrap and boxes is also a way to go (with more laundry as buffer).

            Although I am now calling upon bad juju with this: to date, I have not had breakage. I've been more unlucky with delayed baggage at Heathrow (typical) and exploding shampoo.

            You may also wish to consider packing an extra bag for all the goodies on the way back. A hardcase suitcase can hold some of the fragile stuff while the soft bag can hold clothes that no longer fit.

            1. re: Lizard

              In the states we do have the liquid rule as well.

        2. I brought 5 bottles of wine and 3 bottles of Limoncello on my last trip from Rome. The best advice I can give you is to buy a hard sided suitcase and wrap them in bubble wrap. I bought a small cheap suitcase at the local second hand store for $4 it worked great, and I did not have to worry about a thing.

          1. You must check it in. I've had to give up lotions, etc because they were 4 or 5 oz instead of the 3.

            Not sure how much wine you're bringing, but I remember once bringing about 12 or 13 bottles of wine over international lines and I had to pay taxes on it.

            1. We brought I think about 12 bottles of wine/cava home from Barcelona and we put them in a separate bag so if the red wine broke it wouldn't damage all our clothing. We had brought beach towels for the beach and for packing our wine on the way home, they also had packed them in cases for us that we padded even more, they all made it home safely, if you can get them in wooden boxes and especially tins (preferrably the round ones) that was really good for the cava and helped keep the outside of the bag sturdy for throwing around.

              1. Pack everything in a hard sided suitcase or box for check-in. I have found bubble wrap and zip or slide lock bags can prevent damage if you chose to use the same bag as your clothing!

                1. Here is a previous post on the "Wine" board that might be of interest to you:

                  1. Depends on what you call "a few".
                    Less than a month ago I had to shlepp a dozen btls of wine from Paris back to LA.
                    I thought to myself : "Piece'a cake, I'll buy someplace a styrofoam container and check it in". Right? WRONG!!! Nowhere in the city of Paris you'll find a styrofoam wine container. Sounds silly, but that's the way it is. And I'm talking high end wine retailers, packaging material stores , you name it. I end up having a friend order one for me from some place over the internet, took a week to arrive, didn't even have a decent corrugated external carton to match it.
                    Going back to your original question: if a few means 2 or 3, just wrap with your clothes in your check in baggage. If more than that, you'll have to plan in advance.

                    1. I've travelled with bottles of wine super-wrapped and centered in my suitcase as much as possible. X-Large Ziploc type bags are great for helping to seal, and if you blow some air in, you get a bit of extra cushion. I wrap them in newspapers or dark clothes etc, i've even put them down the legs of boots as well to stabalize them.

                      I respect any decision to try and keep the air a safe and friendly place to be. The only drawback since this started however, is that i used to be able to tote several bottles of wine on board in bags that were extra to the carry on. Either way it wasn't weighed, and now that i've been putting food items in my packed baggage, i seem to have one helluva hard time keeping under the baggage weight restrictions, and lots of times have had to pay extra.

                      1. I pack a roll of packing tape, ziploc bags and rubberbands. I wrap the bottles in newspapers or magazines secured with the rubberbands. Put them into the ziplock bags and tape the top shut. I will temp the importing gods and say I have had a bottle of wine break this way. A friend uses tube socks instead of the rubber bands.

                        I don`t know if I would tempt fate with olive oil because any seepage would be awful.

                        1. http://winecellarsonline.com/12bowitr...

                          this suitcase is made for 12 bottles of wine, I do add t shirts for added cushion, but never a problem, I have used this exact suitcase for WA state and Italy, never a problem. The one hitch now, you may have to pay extra for checking two bags, but it is well worth it to get your wine home. cheaper than shipping.

                          another solution, go to a shipping place and buy some styrofoam shippers, they make them to hold different numbers- bulky,but good for a few bottles.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: waitress

                            Talk about disingenuous language! The web site describe the 12-bottle wine trolley with the words "fits into most airline overhead compartments." No mention of the fact, it will fly in the overhead compartments empty of its contents after the TSA officials have confiscated all the wine bottles that had been packed in the interior. Why not just market the thing as constructed to withstand the abuse of checked luggage -- unless it isn't!?!

                            1. Well, you have to first make sure that customs will allow you to bring in as much as you want; there are rules about what you can bring into the country. If you plan on breaking the rules, I can only suggest bringing your own supply of bubble wrap and 2 gallon ziplock bags. Bubble wrap each bottle and then put it into its own ziplock bag. Then wrap each package in your clothes or whatever. I brought 16 bottles into my country on my way home from my last trip abroad with no breakage.

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: lulubelle

                                I think the US will normally let you bring in as much as you want, you may have to pay a duty, but the duty is really minimal. And you have to pass your alloted amount first.

                                1. re: ktmoomau

                                  I've brought in a case of wine, declared it, and not been charged duty, fwiw.

                                  1. re: MMRuth

                                    Yes me too, because I wasn't above the overall limit of goods you can bring in free of charge. I forget the dollar amount for the overall limit though.

                                    1. re: ktmoomau

                                      That's a good point - I was probably under the dollar amount as well.

                              2. This may be considered off topic by the mods but I hope they will leave it as a public service message.

                                For the non-Europeans (since I suspect this was an EU rule):

                                My fiance and I were surprised a couple of weeks ago when connecting at Schipol. We got off our KLM flight and went through passport control. We did not go through security. This led us to the main concourse with the shops, restaurants, etc. Since we were flying NWA home (9 hrs), we picked up some food and drinks. In the US, beverages that are purchased after security are OK. I wasn't sure if I'd have to pass security again but it didn't seem likely since I didn't see the cordoned off area.

                                Well, apparently Schipol lets the sterile and non-sterile crowds mix. We had to pass through security before getting on the plane (just a little area with a metal detector and x-ray machine right before you board.. Security confiscated our still unopened beverages. We were told that we had to have requested a bag that would be sealed by the cashier. That would have been permitted to bring aboard.

                                A word to the wise.

                                1. Yesterday I flew Managua-Panama-Cali (Colombia). I had a bottle of good Flor de Cana rum bought in Matagalpa. The guy on the security machine asked to see my boarding passes and then let me go on. I think the bottle might have been confiscated if my final destination had been the US. For travel throughout Latin America, one can purchase any amount of wine and liquor in the duty free shops (after passing security) and haul them as hand held luggage.

                                  1. This link from the TSA might be of help: http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtrave...

                                    As an aside, I brought 6 bottles of wine from Argentina into the US in December. I had wrapped each bottle in a corrugated cardboard wrapper + bubble wrap and they all survived. I declared them. I am *thinking* the cut-off limit is $500, but I would verify by calling the TSA. Their main # is 1-866-289-9673

                                    On another note, I believe you can bring up to 15 3-oz. or less containers with you in your carry-on luggage. That includes 3-oz. or less of alcohol products (eg, airplane bottles of liquor)

                                    1. You can bring some (?) in your carry on luggage from the duty free shop....but if you do not arrive straightaway at your airport destination and have to go thru a US connection airport first ( say, Philly, then Columbus)...you have to take the wine out at Philly airport and put it into your checked luggage, that you have just picked up at Customs. Then your luggage goes back into the plane, with the wine in it.. to be picked up by you at final destination. This happened to me last summer with last minute purchase in Rome, where we were assured it was ok to carry on all the way home. I would follow other posters' suggestions. And pack bubble wrap..it is very hard to come by in Europe. Another current website to check is www.slowtravel.com

                                      1. Just out of curiosity.....what kind of security checks to food/alcohol vendors go through in the post-security area of airports that make them above reproach? Aka the Duty-free shops, Starbucks, newstands selling water and pop etc?

                                        I am not being sarcastic, but i've often wondered why these areas would be perceived as inpenetrable to corruption, as opposed to persons travelling or vendors pre-security? The stuff all comes from the same factories, it's just a matter of where it ends up.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: im_nomad

                                          My guess is that "you" as the traveler, having already passed through security and presumably free of dangerous items/chemicals, have less opportunity to alter the liquid/contents of the container when it's purchased new and sealed so close to the flight time.

                                          1. re: im_nomad

                                            Welcome to the world of Security Theatre. We just flew back from Beijing, didn't pack any restricted items, but did buy two bottles of water in the secure area. At boarding everyone's bags were searched again on the jetway and the water confiscated. I'm guessing this is a subtle message about the trustworthiness of airport vendors. The same thing happened out of Buenos Aires last year. Very annoying in that the availability of non-suspect water on board an aircraft is limited.

                                            As to the OP, I brought back two bottles of wine and four bottles of olive oil on my last french trip. Wrapped in newspaper, plastic bags and clothes. Not a leak in the bunch. Checked in the one hard sided suitcase brought for the purpose.

                                          2. Great news! A new inexpensive bag is now available that meets airline requirements for liquids. Feel safe with wine, spirits, even olive oil. You still can not carry on more than 3oz. But now the bottles you put in your luggage will be safe. Heaven forbid your bottle should leak or break, this envelope will contain the glass and liquids from ruining your other contents. Plus the embarrassment collecting your luggage at the end of your trip. I always carry a few in my luggage just in case. I found them at www.sweetpeasami.com on Anna Maria Island, Florida.