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View Full Version : Air Travel with Bourbon, Pt II



Sijan
12-09-2007, 06:55
The old thread (http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showthread.php?t=6156&highlight=checked+luggage) on this subject has expired and I was just looking up this info for holiday travel purposes and figured it might be helpful to others as well. Please post below if you have any additions or corrections.

You cannot bring bourbon aboard as a carry-on unless you bring it packaged in 3 oz. (or smaller) containers in a clear quart-size plastic ziploc bag. My understanding (although this is not certain) is that you could fill the ziploc bag with multiple 3 oz. containers filled with the same liquid, so if things turn desparate, you could prob get as much as 18 oz. (532ml) of bourbon on with you via carry-on.

For checked luggage, you can carry up to 5 Liters of alcohol, which would be six 750ml bottles and a 500ml or smaller bottle. I'm not sure how literally they interpret those regs though, and it's possible they only allow five full-size bottles regardless of whether they are 750ml or 1L.

Any bourbon over 140 proof (some bottlings of Stagg) cannot be placed in checked luggage. Note, however, that the high-proof prohibition does NOT apply to carrying the same 140+ proof liquid in 3 oz. containers in your carry-on...

Any alcoholic beverage less than 24% alcohol (beer and wine) is not subject to the 5L limit, so you could check a full case of wine in a wine shipper (as I am planning to do in a few weeks).

Traveling with Special Items: Alcoholic Beverages
http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/assistant/editorial_1189.shtm (http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/assistant/editorial_1189.shtm)

Carrying Alcohol In Your Checked Baggage
Please note, you canít take alcoholic beverages with more than 70% alcohol content (140 proof), including 95% grain alcohol and 150 proof rum, in your checked luggage.

You may take up to five liters of alcohol with alcohol content between 24% and 70% per person as checked luggage if itís packaged in a sealable bottle or flask.

Alcoholic beverages with less than 24% alcohol content are not subject to hazardous materials regulations.


See also:

TSA Permitted & Prohibited Items: Food & Drinks
http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/prohibited/permitted-prohibited-items.shtm#9

Duty-Free Liquids:
http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/assistant/duty_free.shtm

barturtle
12-09-2007, 07:14
One thing I had a problem with last time I flew was the fact that the screeners didn't know the difference between proof and ABV, luckily they believed me when I informed them of the difference. They were about to not allow on some 80 proof liquor, believing it was above 70% ABV.

Dr. FranÁois
12-09-2007, 08:10
Great info! Thanks!

Barrel_Proof
12-09-2007, 09:40
Please note the corrections, below, to the statements highlighted in red.


Please post below if you have any additions or corrections.

You cannot bring bourbon aboard as a carry-on unless you bring it packaged in 3 oz. (or smaller) containers in a clear quart-size plastic ziploc bag. My understanding (although this is not certain) is that you could fill the ziploc bag with multiple 3 oz. containers filled with the same liquid, so if things turn desparate, you could prob get as much as 18 oz. (532ml) of bourbon on with you via carry-on.

Any bourbon over 140 proof (some bottlings of Stagg) cannot be placed in checked luggage. Note, however, that the high-proof prohibition does NOT apply to carrying the same 140+ proof liquid in 3 oz. containers in your carry-on...

You may take up to five liters of alcohol with alcohol content between 24% and 70% per person as checked luggage if it’s packaged in a sealable bottle or flask.


Once again, TSA's ineptitude and incompetence (I have no love for these *&$#@%^ after they stole three bottles of bourbon from me -- but that is another story available elsewhere on this board) is shown by the failure to clarify in their carry-on travel guidelines that the Federal Hazardous Material Exceptions codified at 49 CFR 175.10(a)(4) are still the law of the land.

Be advised:

Alcoholic beverages over 140 proof are not allowed on airplanes, regardless whether they are in checked luggage or attempted as carry-ons.

Alcoholic beverages over 48 proof, but not over 140 proof, can be carried on airplanes, but must be in "unopened retail packagings." If you attempted to carry 50 ml. alcoholic beverage minis inside a one quart zip-lock plastic bag in your carry-on luggage, you would still bump into TSA's policy (ok, maybe I'm being too hard on them) that the 3 oz. liquid/gel carry-on exception is for toiletries. Bourbon is, of course, a known complexion astringent, right?

Here is the best guide to the what you can and cannot take on board an aircraft in the U.S.: http://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/ash/ash_programs/hazmat/media/MaterialsCarriedByPassengersAndCrew.pdf (scroll to page 3 of 9).

Safe travels, all!

Virus_Of_Life
12-09-2007, 11:00
If you attempted to carry 50 ml. alcoholic beverage minis inside a one quart zip-lock plastic bag in your carry-on luggage, you would still bump into TSA's policy (ok, maybe I'm being too hard on them) that the 3 oz. liquid/gel carry-on exception is for toiletries. Bourbon is, of course, a known complexion astringent, right?


FWIW I have been travelling quite a bit lately and always have at least one mini, sometimes two, of WTRB that I keep in a zip lock baggie and lately have also had a mini Smirnoff Vodka - just in case ya know :cool:. I have never had any problem with getting those through security, they look at it in with some toiletries, often thank me for following the proper procedure, sometimes show it to other travellers who didn't and carry on.

Then again, I also carried for the longest time a smallish hunting style pocket knife until it FINALLY got noticed on a flight from Seattle to Portland. I figure now if I have to take out a terrorist on a flight I'll just beat him to death with my boat anchor of a huge 17" laptop computer! :lol: I also recently heard from the boyfriend of my best friend's sister, who just went to work for Horizon Air as a pilot, that some pilots are starting to carry handguns on planes.

Sijan
12-09-2007, 13:28
The contents of the ziploc bag aren't limited to toiletries - food and drink are permitted as well.

See the Food & Drink chart at this TSA website:
http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/prohibited/permitted-prohibited-items.shtm#9 (http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/prohibited/permitted-prohibited-items.shtm#9)

Among the permitted items for carry-on:

Beverages brought from home or purchased before reaching the security checkpoint in a 3 oz. or smaller container and in your quart-size, zip-top plastic bag.


Note that there is nothing limiting carry-on beverages to non-alcoholic beverages. Note also, however, that does not mean you're allowed to consume them while on board the plane...

I also don't see any regulations stating that the bottles have to be labeled. I would think that many bottles in people's ziploc bags would not be labeled as many people are buying generic 3 oz/100ml containers and filling them with liquid toiletries from larger packages in order to comply with the TSA regs.

Cliff is probably right about not being able to take 140+ proof whiskey aboard in carry-on, as it does appear to be barred by 49 CFR 175.10(a)(4), although I have no idea how they would know unless you carried it on in minis with a proof label.

For reference, here is the text of 49 CFR 175.10(a):

(a) This subchapter does not apply to the following hazardous
materials when carried by aircraft passengers or crewmembers provided
the requirements of this section are met:
(4) Alcoholic beverages containing:
(i) Not more than 24% alcohol by volume; or
(ii) More than 24% and not more than 70% alcohol by volume when in
unopened retail packagings not exceeding 5 liters (1.3 gallons) carried
in carry-on or checked baggage, with a total net quantity per person of
5 liters (1.3) gallons for such beverages.

Barrel_Proof
12-09-2007, 13:42
Well gang, we are getting some real clarity on this. If your booze is 140 proof or less and in "unopened retail packagings," it would fall within the CFR exception and, thus, TSA may permit you to take it onboard. TSA may issue additional regulations, but not ones that are inconsistent with those set forth in 49 CFR 175.10(a).

Barrel_Proof
12-09-2007, 13:55
The contents of the ziploc bag aren't limited to toiletries - food and drink are permitted as well.

See the Food & Drink chart at this TSA website:
http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/prohibited/permitted-prohibited-items.shtm#9 (http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/prohibited/permitted-prohibited-items.shtm#9)



One of my beefs with TSA is their lack of precision.

On this site, TSA states: "Travelers may now carry through security checkpoints travel-size toiletries (3 ounces or less) that fit comfortably in ONE, QUART-SIZE, clear plastic, zip-top bag." http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/assistant/editorial_1189.shtm

But, as Dan points out, this TSA statement is misleading, because TSA does allow more than toiletries in the plastic bag.

ILLfarmboy
12-09-2007, 14:38
....I also recently heard from the boyfriend of my best friend's sister, who just went to work for Horizon Air as a pilot, that some pilots are starting to carry handguns on planes.

Horizon Air must have at least a few thoughtful, intelligent and pragmatic people working for them. I wonder how long that will last.

Sijan
12-09-2007, 15:29
One of my beefs with TSA is their lack of precision.

Then something else you'll love is the fact that the allowed size of liquid container is actually 3.4 oz (100ml), NOT 3 oz. Apparently "3-1-1" is just too catchy of a slogan to mess with and TSA just hasn't bothered updating their website...

plaidford
12-12-2007, 16:03
OR, if all else fails, you could try what this guy in Germany did when he was told he couldn't carry his liter of Vodka onto a plane....

"BERLIN - A man nearly died from alcohol poisoning after quaffing a liter (two pints) of vodka at an airport security check instead of handing it over to comply with new carry-on rules, police said Wednesday.

The incident occurred at the Nuremberg airport on Tuesday, where the 64-year-old man was switching planes on his way home to Dresden from a holiday in Egypt.

New airport rules prohibit passengers from carrying larger quantities of liquid onto planes, and he was told at a security check he would have to either throw out the bottle of vodka or pay a fee to have his carry-on bag checked as cargo.

Instead, he chugged the bottle down ó and was quickly unable to stand or otherwise function, police said.

A doctor called to the scene determined he had possibly life-threatening alcohol poisoning, and he was sent to a Nuremberg clinic for treatment.

The man, whose name was not released, is expected to be able to complete his journey home in a few days."

whiskydude
12-12-2007, 19:48
As a side note, if you're travelling internationally you may need to package any liquid(duty free or otherwise) gel or cream/paste over 3.4 oz/100ml into your checked baggage which you will claim right after you clear immigrations. I work in the airline industry and many people return from overseas only to find that they must be processed thru TSA screening before they can catch their next flight or even leave the airport. Local passengers arriving from international cities into Cincinnati (CVG) where I work, must be rescreened just as those who are connecting to other flights, before leaving the airport. This is due to the initial design of the airport, pre-9/11, where there is not a direct route from the International Arrivals area out to the main exit without also having access to the secure and sterile concourse area. For Delta arrivals this is true of JFK and ATL also. Depending on the airline and airport this may not always be the case. If you were to accidentally forget, you are usually allowed to opt to check one of your carry on bags with your stash in it and hope for the best. Don't lose the booze!!

fussychicken
01-05-2008, 10:54
So after having packed 13 dusty/rare finds (10 in one box and 3 in my roller bag) in my checked luggage heading back home from the holidays, I pop open my laptop while waiting for my flight. While I knew about the 140 proof rule, I decided to check this thread just to see if there was anything else I hadn't picked up on before. Surely I was OK right?!?!

AAAAAHHHH! I had no idea about the 5 liter rule! Panic sets in. What will the TSA do?!?! Will they confiscate it all? Will they really enjoy the bottle of WT Tribute that I found?!? Or will they hold it for me? Yeah right, fat chance huh! Or even worse, maybe they would just throw it away! Oh the horror!!

Or, maybe, just maybe, could I get lucky?!?! Maybe they don't know the rule book that well and might let it through! Hell, out of the thousands of new employees the TSA has hired, not all of them can know the rule book backwards and forwards, right? Could I really be that lucky? Or maybe they will think it is wine, and let it through! Who knows, maybe they are still in the forgiving Christmas spirit! Maybe they would feel pity on me and let it though! But come on, who am I kidding, this is the TSA!!! The "I don't give a crap" TSA! What would happen?!? Argh! I am such an idiot!

One tight connection and many hours later I am sitting at the baggage carousel sweating it out. And just then, HALLELUJAH!!! Both of them pop out with all contents in tact. And get this, they even opened the box for inspection and taped it back up.

Needless to say, I have learned my lesson. You can press your luck if you wish, but I won't be anymore!

thanson
02-15-2008, 14:30
Does anyone know if I can check opened bottles of bourbon? If so, is there a good way to seal them like packing tape over the cork?

The reason I ask is that I'm going to Chicago to visit Binny's, er, my inlaws. I'd like to try some of things I buy while I'm still there. I just want to make sure that I can still bring it back safely.

fogfrog
02-15-2008, 14:38
I used to like to have a half pint on me to be able to pour my own drinks..... i'd order a ginger ale..... and add...

Tracy Hightower
02-15-2008, 19:17
One thing to keep in mind regarding the "rules".

Each airport and each employee will possibly have a different understanding or interpretation of the rules.

I have spent many years traveling and have always carried a handgun and ammo in my checked baggage wherever I go except Europe.

I know the rules and follow them religiously but have gotten in the habit of carrying a printed copy of both the TSA regs and the particular airline regs that I am using. I have had on too numerous occasions had to seek the help of a supervisor and show them their own rules and the law in order to get them to comply with their own rules.

Keep in mind that some airlines have policies that conflict with TSA rules so be sure and check with the airline you are using before assuming that because it is allowed by TSA that it will be allowed by the airline.

I would suggest that you carry a copy of the airline rules and TSA rules regarding alcohol in order to keep from losing something that is valuable to you because someone does not know their own rules and regulations.

mrt
02-17-2008, 06:12
What I understand from here is, if I come to the US one day, I can return home with up to 5 unopened 75 cl. or 1 lt. bottles of bourbon, right? And this will be enough for me for one trip.