Flying Beer Home

Discussion in 'Beer Trading Talk & Help' started by dujayhawk, Dec 26, 2012.

  1. dujayhawk

    dujayhawk Aficionado (165) Kansas Aug 8, 2011 Verified

    I am flying Southwest which allows two checked bags. Can I simply just fill a second suitcase with beer or do I need a corrugated box that is sealed? Appreciate anyone who has had an experience with this airline!
  2. miikezombie

    miikezombie Savant (380) Texas Aug 13, 2010

    I normally put each bottle in a separate trash bag and then wrap them up in clothes.
  3. lurpy1

    lurpy1 Advocate (515) Minnesota Jan 15, 2010

    An all-beer suitcase if that's what you're talking about, is legal. However, if the suitcase is not jam packed the beer will have room to shift and is apt to break, but if the suitcase is jam packed with beer it will possibly be too heavy to ship for free. A bag packed tight with bottles deep within and clothing on the exterior is the way to go.
    AlexFields likes this.
  4. I'm a FF on southwest and usually am travelling with beer in the checked bag. Never had a problem. Seal it so a leak will be contained, pad it, and pack it tightly to minimize jostling, and you should be OK. I'm reluctant to check a cardboard box out of the fear that one bottle leaking through might cause them to trash the whole box. I doubt they'd trash a suitcase if it was leaking though. I'm too lazy to check, but see if there are specific rules on the website. I've been asked once or twice whats in my bag (kitchen supplies).
  5. doogie71628

    doogie71628 Aficionado (240) Illinois May 9, 2012 Verified

    I usually don't put the bottles in a bag, though this is probably wise. Most definitely pad the bottles with clothes and build a shell of the clothes so that no bare part of the bottle is touching the inner lining of the bag. I can usually fit between 5-7 bottles(mixture of 12oz and 22oz) in a carry on size bag.

    Also, your Rafi avatar is awesome. Gattica!
  6. kmello69

    kmello69 Advocate (635) Texas Nov 27, 2011 Verified

    I just flew back from Portland, OR to Texas with 17 bombers of beer. I found a wine storage place and bought a 12 bottle shipper in Portland for $8, packed 12 bottles in it, and checked it as baggage. I told them what it was, because transporting beer this way is not against their rules. TSA did open the box, but taped it back up nicely and everything made it home.

    The other 5 bottles were wrapped in clothes and packed in my suitcase - also no problems. Personally, I'm a bit anal retentive about this stuff, so I bag each bottle in a ziploc bag, then wrap it in bubble wrap, and then in clothing (jeans and sweatshirts work well) and try to spread 'em around the bag so they don't touch. I do the same to the bottles in the shipper as well (minus the clothing)

    Never had a problem, and never had breakage (knock on wood)
  7. kscaldef

    kscaldef Champion (845) Oregon Jun 11, 2010 Verified

    Amateur. We brought 42 bottles back from Belgium. :cool:
  8. kmello69

    kmello69 Advocate (635) Texas Nov 27, 2011 Verified

    Had just come back from San Diego, and going to Tampa and DC in the next 2 weeks - I have to pace myself! :p
  9. miikezombie

    miikezombie Savant (380) Texas Aug 13, 2010


    OP this is a better explanation than I gave.
  10. sommersb

    sommersb Advocate (580) Tennessee May 25, 2010

    Just watch your weight -- SW allows up to 50 lbs. per bag -- if you go over you get charged extra.

    I weigh my bag before traveling and then add these for what I take home:
    12 oz. = 1.2 lbs.
    22 oz. = 2.2 lbs.
    750 ml = 3.0 lbs.

    Has worked out well so far.
    csano likes this.
  11. blackcloud

    blackcloud Advocate (550) Alaska Apr 28, 2012 Verified Subscriber

    I've got a pretty sweet beer-travel system that transports 14 bombers. I use it every time I travel, and I've yet to have an issue with it: I use an 8-gal Rubbermaid ActionPacker, with a 1/4 inch layer of closed-cell foam on the bottom, each bottle is individually bubble wrapped. Fits 14 bombers this way, and is pretty rugged. easy to pack/unpack, and all the bubble wrap just lives in it for my next trip out of town.
  12. sommersb

    sommersb Advocate (580) Tennessee May 25, 2010

    That sounds like a great idea! So do you treat this as its own checked-in bag, or do you put this inside of a suitcase?
  13. blackcloud

    blackcloud Advocate (550) Alaska Apr 28, 2012 Verified Subscriber

    I just use it as it's own checked bag. 14 bombers ends up being around 42 lbs or something close, so it's under the weight limit. I basically fly everywhere on Alaska Airlines these days, and get two free checked bags to/from AK, so it just goes as one of my free checked bags just about every time I fly anywhere.
  14. I crammed 31 bottles/cans in my extra suitcase on my last trip. It was a mix of 12/16oz cans and 12oz and 750mL bottles. I put every can/bottle in a ziplock bag, bubble wrapped them all and layered them with a few towels wrapped around as well. It was avid about 10 hours of flying and one transfer and everything arrived fine.