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Taking beer on a plane as a checked bag

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by KingHenry, May 22, 2012.

  1. We do this all the time as well. We always bring beer out to trade/give away as well. Socks and extra t-shirts are your friends. I have also found that Pliny's fit nicely into high top sneakers.
  2. I put a note on top of the inside of my bag politely explaining the contents and asking the TSA agents to be careful searching it, and thank them in advance. Even the times where my bag has been searched everything has been in perfectly good order and nothing has ever broken.

    Packing at the Seattle airport:


    Everything back safe and sound:

    jcb7472, Revenant and CurtFromHershey like this.
  3. CurtFromHershey

    CurtFromHershey Advocate (590) Minnesota Oct 4, 2012 Beer Trader

    12 bottle wine shipper ended up at around 45, my suitcase with my clothes for a week and all but 2 of the 12oz'ers (wife's bag) ended up at 49 lbs. Brought a luggage scale along for the occasion :)
  4. RockAZ

    RockAZ Savant (470) Arizona Jan 6, 2009 Beer Trader

    Every time packing bottles my bag was searched, and only a growler sprung a leak during one trip, so I don't try to carry full growlers anymore. FedEx is not a bad way to go if you have enough valuable beers to make it worth it.
  5. Douberd

    Douberd Savant (345) Netherlands Jan 27, 2012

    I travelled from Mexico to Europe with a stop to the US, having in my bag a couple of cans, a six pack of Bohemia Chocolate Stout and some other south american beers. When I finally got home, I found a TSA note saying my bag was searched. Everything was fine except for one broken bottle ( I don't remember what it was, but I didn't cry, so it was not something I didn't have already :rolleyes: ). If dirty clothes don't do their job as cushion, they work as sponge too.
    Also annoyed that my bag was searched without me present, and by the fact the note mentions that they have the right to even break any locks on the suitcase without even bother telling you.
    fmccormi likes this.
  6. kmello69

    kmello69 Advocate (655) Texas Nov 27, 2011 Beer Trader

    The other option is to check a box. I fly Southwest a lot, so this option comes in handy with them, since 2 bags are free. On my last trip to Portland, I picked up a 12 bottle styro shipper there, filled it up, and checked it in as luggage.

    Apparently TSA went through it, but they did a nice job taping it up (with their special TSA "Inspected" tape) and everyone made it home just fine.

  7. ESeab

    ESeab Advocate (515) New Jersey Jan 3, 2013

    How about carry on?
  8. Steimie

    Steimie Advocate (590) Michigan Jan 7, 2012

    Sure, if it's no more than 3oz and put into a ziplock bag.
  9. No because of the stupid 3-1-1 liquid rule. Unless, of course, there's a shop inside the secure zone that sells beer. Last time I was at the Eugene airport you could buy bombers of Deschutes Black Butte porter and carry them on, so I scooped a couple up.
    ColdOne likes this.
  10. ESeab

    ESeab Advocate (515) New Jersey Jan 3, 2013

    Thats pretty awesome.
  11. UnderJoath

    UnderJoath Savant (280) Illinois Jul 29, 2010 Beer Trader

    No carry on. 3 ounces or less for liquid.

    Also, just had an issue with southwest airlines. They pulled my bags and told me I needed to have the bottles bubble wrapped. I had 8 bottles needing bubble wrap that I didn't wrap myself and they charged me $20 for the lot and did it themselves.

    The bag that they didn't check had 2 bottles wrapped in towels. Unfortunately, my Victory at Sea popped its cap and 90% of it leaked into the one towel. My Palette Wrecker lost it's seal and was leaking CO2 so I just drank that as soon as I unpacked. This was the first time that bottles I wrapped in clothing myself didn't make the trip. J
  12. only if you wanna bring back bottles 3oz and below
  13. And still, that was cheaper than the $25-50 other airlines charge per bag.
  14. UnderJoath

    UnderJoath Savant (280) Illinois Jul 29, 2010 Beer Trader

    Not knocking SWA at all. I was happy to pay the $20 to ensure my bottles arrived safely and in a timely manner since this happened while the final flight to Chicago was boarding.
  15. of the 500 or so bottles i've checked in over the years, i've only had two bottles break...

    my packing isn't too vigorous either. i just use some bubble wrap and throw bottles between clothes or towels.
  16. Duffman929

    Duffman929 Savant (415) Illinois Nov 27, 2010 Beer Trader

    Two 6-shippers. Filled with 750's is roughly 37 lbs. Add in clothes to your several pound bag and prepare for awesomeness.
  17. Domingo

    Domingo Poobah (1,145) Colorado Apr 23, 2005 Subscriber Beer Trader

    If you find some unexpected 12oz bottles on a trip, I've found they fit nearly into shoes for some extra padding.
    BedetheVenerable and JonnyBeers like this.
  18. DaveLikesAle

    DaveLikesAle Savant (345) Ohio Jan 24, 2006

    Check airline policies. American requires that alcohol be packed in styrofoam containers. I almost had a really bad experience when my bag checked in at 49 pounds and I said something like "yeah, I get to take all the beer home". The gate agent told me it had to be in styrofoam. I assured her that it was well packed, but it would have sucked to not get to keep it.
  19. EvoJoe

    EvoJoe Savant (320) North Carolina Jan 19, 2013 Beer Trader

    The cabin is pressurized not the underbelly where cargo is stored. Just saying
  20. mecummins

    mecummins Savant (425) Illinois Nov 16, 2012

  21. I once checked a heavy-duty rubbermaid tote with nothing but 19 bombers from Midnight Sun and dirty clothes from Anchorage to Baltimore. Everything arrived safe and sound.
  22. DanGolfs86

    DanGolfs86 Savant (310) Illinois Dec 2, 2010

  23. OMsweetOM

    OMsweetOM Savant (365) California Feb 1, 2011

    Found that a soft cooler with gel packs kept my 2L growler (compression seal) protected and cold enough that it could be enjoyed immediately upon arrival back at home. I wouldn't try it with a screw cap growler.
  24. KenC

    KenC Savant (295) New Jersey Jan 21, 2011 Subscriber

    Never a problem with planes or TSA.

    ALWAYS put each bottle and the associated packing material in an individual plastic bag!!

    Also, ski boots hold 22oz.'ers perfectly.
    Zimm and fmccormi like this.
  25. n2185

    n2185 Advocate (715) North Carolina Apr 14, 2008 Beer Trader

    I flew back from WA to NC through Southwest, which allows you to check two things for free. I used the second free checked bag to send a 12 bottle wine shipper full of beer and brought my tulips in my carry-on since they're more fragile.
  26. Ahhhh the old 12 bottle wine shipper. You checked it? Is it reusable? And did the airlinecharge you to check it?
  27. My record is 54 bottles on one trip so far.

    I always grab free newspaper publications for wrapping, in whatever city I am in. Then I put them in old socks I bring along. I also have used non-square bags (travelers backpacks and the like) as I figure they wouldn't be able to put my bag of beer under other bags since it's an odd shape; which hopefully reduces the risk of a crush or something.

    Just wrap them good and you'll be fine.
  28. Ziplock bags are your friend. I do wrap a bottle in newspaper and then in bubble wrap, and place bottle in a ziplock bag, wrap in clothes. The bag is more insurance, so it won't leak on yours or others bags.
    fmccormi and richardflyr like this.
  29. No, that is not correct. A Jetliner is fully pressurized, the belly would collapse otherwise. Planes expand and contract from takeoff to airborne and landing. Trying to pressurize half the plane isn't practical.

    If you brought your pet with it goes in the cargo hold. Fido dies when crusing at 35,000 feet...and not pressurized.
    ericj551, GFG, AdamP and 1 other person like this.
  30. Petcha

    Petcha Savant (400) Minnesota Jul 30, 2012 Beer Trader

    Brought back a growler of Pliny to MN in my suitcase. No problems. Nice RR souvenir too :)
  31. crusian

    crusian Advocate (700) Oregon May 14, 2010 Beer Trader

    I win. 5 cases plus another 10 bottles in a bag. so... 70 750s.

    pyite, badb_rad and richardflyr like this.
  32. crusian

    crusian Advocate (700) Oregon May 14, 2010 Beer Trader

    I fly AA every week. never packed in styrofoam before. the 70 bottles above, no styrofoam. She asked what was in them, and I told her.
  33. evilcatfish

    evilcatfish Advocate (690) Missouri May 11, 2012 Beer Trader

    That thing is pretty sweet but a little expensive at $24.95 a pop. Especially when you would want to bring home several bottles...
  34. Not even stuff from HoTD.
  35. luisfrancisco

    luisfrancisco Savant (370) Mexico Dec 1, 2009 Subscriber Beer Trader

    On my last trip I packed 4 different bombers. One of them broke and it was snuggly wrapped inside a cushy jacket (which absorbed most of the liquid). My bag still smells like BORIS the Crusher and has a huge ass black stain. I think it's pretty cool. My wife doesn't.
    dtm426 and Zimm like this.
  36. Must be Itallian. Birra del Borgo?
    RblWthACoz likes this.
  37. PHKrames

    PHKrames Savant (260) Illinois Sep 14, 2011 Beer Trader

    I travel to Philly once a month from Chicago for the pas 2 years. Socks and ziplock bags are your friends. I find that if you put your stuff in the middle of the suitcase between your dirty clothes, you're good to go. Ive never lost anything and I usually bring back a few bombers and a couple of six packs each tims.
  38. Walden97

    Walden97 Aficionado (170) Texas Mar 31, 2011 Beer Trader

    I use a Wine Check, a reusable rolling luggage piece that holds a 12 bottle Styrofoam shipper (and the shippers last multiple times). On designated beer trips, I use 2 wine checks and a carryon backpack for my clothes.



  39. nogidrew86

    nogidrew86 Savant (260) Nevada Aug 16, 2010

    I checked a box with about 15 750ml of hill farmstead. The lady at Logan just asked if they are secure and wouldn't leak. She was even nice enough to tape the box up better and put a few fragile stickers on the box!
  40. fmccormi

    fmccormi Champion (890) Florida Oct 24, 2010 Beer Trader

    See, I've actually had a different experience with TSA. I've never had beer break in my luggage, but I have had two bottles of cachaça and a coffee mug (all on different flights, too) break in my luggage because of the way TSA repacked my bag. EDIT: actually, three bottles of cachaça, now that I think about it, all on different flights (and all purchased in Brazil, because it's almost impossible to get decent cachaça in the U.S.)

    It sucks when you land in England, after having very carefully and very deliberately packed your bag with lots of padding and sealing up liquids and doing everything to be careful with breakable items, to find that it was all jumbled up and breakable items were just thrown wherever, next to vulnerable areas of your luggage, resulting in all of your clothes reeking of liquor and with tiny shards of broken glass everywhere.