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How Much Liquor Can I Carry In An International Flight (2023)

How Much Liquor Can I Carry In International Flight

Last Updated on November 5, 2023 by Lydia Martin

It’s always super exciting to discover new flavors of liquors from around the world. However, we’re sure you’ve asked yourself, “How much liquor can I carry on an international flight?” at some point during these travels.

Well, fret not! We’re here to share the inside scoop on traveling with liquor so you never have to leave an expensive bottle of wine behind.

Here’s your guide on the dos and don’ts of bringing your own alcohol on a flight.

How Much Liquor Is Allowed On International Flights?

man holding bottle of Johnnie Walker Black Label

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) restricts how much alcohol you can bring in carry-on baggage to containers of 3.4 ounces (100 ml) or less. [1] Regarding bringing alcohol on the plane, the allowances can vary depending on several applicable rules.

Duty-free alcohol purchased beyond security checkpoints can be carried in larger quantities, provided they are inside secure, tamper-evident bags.

“Sip the world’s flavors, carry memories in spirits.” – Liquor Laboratory

When traveling, you can generally bring alcohol in your checked bags but with restrictions.

Read: How To Sneak In Liquor On A Cruise

Alcohol Restrictions

Liquor As A Carry-On

The TSA’s liquids rule limits regarding carrying alcohol to mini bottles with no more than 100ml in a clear zip-top bag.

However, there is an exception: you can carry larger quantities of liquor in your carry-on bag if purchased from a Duty-Free shop.

Liquor In Your Checked Bag

woman holding a luggage

When bringing alcohol to your checked bags, you can pack as much wine and beer as you like if their alcohol content is less than 24%.

For spirits with 24% to 70% ABV, you can pack up to 5 liters (1.3 gallons) as long as the bottles are sealed.

You are not allowed to carry alcohol with more than 70% ABV.

But do you know how much alcohol an average American drinks?

Duty-Free Alcohol Purchases

You can purchase alcohol from a duty-free shop and bring it on the plane. However, if you have a connecting flight with a security checkpoint, liquor exceeding the limit must go inside your checked baggage.

Here’s a tip: buy alcohol at the last airport before your final destination to avoid going through another security checkpoint.

What Is The Liquid Limit On On International Flights?

Liquor less than 24% ABV

  • Carry-on: Must be 3.4oz or smaller and fit in a quart-sized bag
  • Checked luggage: No limit

Liquor between 24% – 70% ABV

Man Holding a Bottle of Alcohol

  • Carry-on: Same 3.4oz limit in a quart-sized plastic bag
  • Checked luggage: Up to 5 liters per passenger in unopened retail packaging

Liquor over 70% ABV

  • Prohibited

Do You Have To Declare Alcohol At Customs?

Yes, you must let Customs know if you’re carrying alcohol on a flight from abroad.

Customs and Border Protection regulations require anyone “importing” alcohol to be of legal drinking age (21 years old). [2]

“To travel is to find delicious local beers.” – Christian DeBenedetti

Generally, you can bring up to 1 liter, but some destinations may allow more, depending on their own laws. If you exceed this limit, you must declare it and pay the necessary taxes.

Read: How Much in a Pitcher of Beer?

How Do You Pack Alcohol In A Checked Suitcase?

Packing Liquor on a Suitcase

It can be challenging to pack alcohol in a checked suitcase, but here are a few great tips:

  • Packing alcohol in a sealable plastic bag is a great idea to prevent accidental spills.
  • Wrap the bottle in towels or clothing for extra protection.
  • Pack alcohol bottles in the center of your suitcase and surround them with clothes so they won’t move around.

FAQs

How many bottles of alcohol can you carry internationally?

The number of bottles of liquor you can carry internationally depends on several factors, including the alcohol content, the destination country’s regulations, and airline policies. Generally, if the ABV is less than 24%, there are no restrictions on the quantity.

For liquors between 24% and 70% ABV, you are often allowed up to 5 liters per person inside checked suitcases.

How many bottles of liquor can you bring through customs?

The number of liquor bottles you can bring through customs depends on the customs regulations of the destination country, as they have their own rules.

In the United States, you can typically bring up to 1 liter (0.26 gallons) of liquor. However, travelers importing alcohol from certain countries might be entitled to more.

How much alcohol can I bring back to the US?

Travelers returning to the US from an international destination can generally bring back up to 1 liter (0.26 gallons) of liquor for personal use. This can include liquor, wine, or beer.

On A Final Note

Awareness of the regulations and limits of liquor carrying on an international/domestic flight is important. The TSA limits each liquid item to 3.4 ounces (100 ml) of alcohol in your carry-on luggage to any destination country.

You can bring larger quantities of alcohol on a flight, provided they are purchased from Duty-Free shops and kept sealed.

Travelers can generally bring liquor in checked baggage if it has less than 24% ABV. For those between 24% and 70% ABV, up to 5 liters per person is allowed in unopened retail packaging.

Those with over 70% ABV are not permitted under all circumstances.

We highly suggest declaring liquors brought into the United States and complying with TSA rules to avoid any customs issues.

However, if you’re planning to drink alcohol on a flight, it’s important to know that only flight attendants can serve alcohol. You are not allowed to drink your own alcohol.

References:

  1. https://www.britannica.com/topic/Transportation-Security-Administration
  2. https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/before-you-go/customs-and-import.html
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