Traveling with wine puzzle revealed! Mark Ashley of Upgrade: Travel Better

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Last week I posted a wine travel puzzle: despite the FAA liquid ban, how could you actually bring a bottle of wine onto a commercial flight in the US?

With the ins and outs, please welcome friend of the blog, Mark Ashley, proprietor of the excellent travel blog Upgrade: Travel Better.

In the US, the rules are pretty clear. The rule requiring 3-ounce bottles (or 100ml, which is more than 3oz., but TSA rounds up for convenience) prevents you from bringing 750ml bottles through security in carry-on luggage, indeed. But as some have noted, stores like Vino Volo — after security — will sell bottles in the terminal.

But internationally, the rules seem to vary on the whim of the local airports authority. Pattie’s comment on the original posting is a case in point. My own experience in Munich last year (detailed here) was very much the same. Flights to the US had an additional checkpoint — after the initial security scan — where airport personnel removed otherwise “legal” items.

I wrote to the Munich Airport, and posted their answer, but alas, they just played pass-the-buck and incorrectly blamed TSA.

Best bet remains the cargo hold. Styrofoam, despite its environmental impact, is your best bet for transporting wine on planes.

Finally, if you’re able to get your booze onboard, from an in-terminal shop or the creative solution that Bob suggested, you’re still not necessarily allowed to drink it. American carriers will glibly cite “FAA rules” prohibiting the pouring of self-catered alcohol. I’ve never seen that regulation in print. Bottom line: You might be lucky if you ask a flight attendant if it’s alright to open a bottle of your own wine. International carriers are likely to be more lenient than American ones. But even then, don’t count on it.

Related: “Wine: you CAN take it with you when you go (home)

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2 Responses to “Traveling with wine puzzle revealed! Mark Ashley of Upgrade: Travel Better”


  1. If you don’t want to deal with the bulk or the environmental issues of a styrofoam container, a new company called BottleWise has developed a soft-sided bag designed specifically to keep wine bottles safe during air travel. The messenger-style bag comes with two removable, padded bottle pouches that pack neatly inside checked luggage. Each padded pouch protects a standard 750 ml wine bottle and features a puncture-resistant, re-sealable liquid-tight liner bag that will safeguard luggage contents if a bottle ever breaks.


  2. [...] Downgraded: Traveler’s IQ, and traveler’s brain cells If you packed a one-liter bottle of vodka in your carry-on, and airport security says you can’t take it onboard, what would you do? If you said, “Open the bottle and chug the entire contents before going through the metal detector,” then you might be the now-hospitalized 64-year old resident of Dresden, Germany who proved he couldn’t hold his liquor at the Nuremberg airport. He should have just checked the booze. [...]


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