Poll: bringing wine home in an age of baggage charges

wine shippingLast February, after some time in Napa and Sonoma, I checked my bag and a case of wine at Oakland airport. The nice guy who helped me at JetBlue asked me if I wanted a “fragile” sticker on my box o’ wine. I asked, “Does it really make a difference?”

“Nah,” he replied. I appreciated the honesty!

It turns out that trip was the last of a golden era, the era of “free” checked luggage. Now almost all airlines charge $25 for a second bag and American Airlines continues the Ryanairification of American air travel by imposing a $15 fee on the first bag. (Southwest, of all airlines, still allows two checked bags at no additional charge!)

As travel season kicks off with $4-a-gallon gas this Memorial Day, many wine enthusiasts might be giving thought to how we’ll bring wine home from our travels. UPS certainly looks better with these new airline surcharges (no schlepping!). But then there’s the heat of summer to contend with and it’s withering effect on wine–at least the short airline trip would minimize that.

If your travel takes you to a domestic winery this summer, how will you bring the loot home?

Poll now closed

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7 Responses to “Poll: bringing wine home in an age of baggage charges”

  1. Big Brown is the way to go, but not until well into the Fall!

  2. I’ll ask the winery to ship it and only when the weather permits safe shipping. I’ve found they are always happy to do this (subject to some shipping charge, which is often UPS).

  3. Drink it all. It costs nothing extra (yet) to carry memories home with you on a plane.

    Really, it’s hit or miss with both checked luggage and UPS. Packages are tossed and jostled, often lost, and subject to extreme temperatures (what’s the temperature differential in a cargo hold between heat reflected from the tarmac, and air temps at 30,000 feet?) And both will cost close to the same.

  4. Check your wine as baggage. Ship home your dirty clothes. Shipping clothing is legal in all 50 states.

  5. You can still check baggage easily. Get to be elite on the airline (ie fly enough to be “gold” or “platinum” which isn’t hard) and they waive all the baggage fees anyways.

    Even if they don’t the cost for excess baggage is almost always cheaper than UPS. And if you check a box with styrofoam, unless you’re flying very, very far the reality is that the cargo isn’t in the air long enough to change the temperature all that much. Like SFO-JFK isn’t enough hours to change by more than a few degrees if it’s in styro. Which it should be since that’s the cheapest/easiest way to ship non-breakable.

    Moving wine around costs money. So does storing it. You can’t get too riled up about it – that’s just the way things are.

  6. I’m with el jefe, or better yet, ditch the cloths in a box at a friends house and just bring back the max 50 lbs of wine. that way, if you visit relatively frequently, you’ll just have to bring an empty bag/box with you and come back with wine. it’s a win win if you ask me.

  7. […] “Puzzle of the day: where can you fly with wine in the USA?” “Poll: bringing wine home in an age of baggage charges“ Permalink | SHARETHIS.addEntry({ title: “HOWTO: successfully check wine on a plane”, url: […]


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