Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by KingHenry, May 22, 2012.
Thanks for the info guys!
The hubby and I did it in 2002, not too long after 9/11, on the way back from GABF. I called TSA and told them what I wanted to bring back. They said no prob. We then took the 4 cases of beer to a UPS store and they packed them for flight into 2 boxes. We counted them as our second checked bag. Told everybody that asked what it was and had no problem.
I flew back from Chicago not too long ago with a bottle of DL in my checked bag...got home and opened my suitcase and saw that TSA left me a little note saying that they had to search my bag. The flyer attached also said that there was a limit on the amount of "liquids" that you can have in a checked bag.
I've had great success checking bottle shippers as an extra bag, though apparently an EMPTY box was too confusing for TSA on my last trip to the bay area. The box was in pristine condition before I checked it. Apparently stacking one sleeve on top of another sleeve in a box is over the TSA's pay grade.
Having said that, I've traveled domestically and internationally with copious amounts of beer and never had any real issues. On the Customs side though, always tell them you are carrying beer and pay the small customs fee. Most of the time though, the Customs people don't even bother. (One of the pluses to beer being relegated to where it is in the booze hierarchy.)
I've said it in this thread before, and I'll say it again. an 8gal ActionPacker and bubble wrap is your friend. I've used this method exclusively for a couple of years, every time I fly somewhere. the 8gal will fit 14 bombers, and be under weight.
Wasn't sure what you were referring to. Looked it up. Question. Do you check it in? How do you keep it from popping open?
Yup. I just check it. I usually just put some tape over the handles, maybe one wrap around the middle, and haven't had an issue yet. A friend who's adopted the same method uses a couple of those quick release luggage belts as added security.
Just got back from Pittsburgh flying home to New Mexico. Brought back 2 cases of Head Hunter IPA via Southwest Airlines. No problems at all. Bubble wrap is your friend. Cheers!
It has been my experience that the best possible suitcases for air travel are Halliburtons. And I'm not talking about the Darklord's company. These are the guys that make those cool aluminum briefcases that you always see in movies carrying the millions in drug money. The thing is they have been around for at least 60 years and older models turn up on ebay. Good ones can be picked up for $60-100 which is cheap as shit compared to what the run new.
Basically the only substantial thing to change over the years are the latches. The rest stayed the same: Aircraft aluminum, combination locks, and an o-ring which makes them water tight. Their pretty much indestructible and can carry a lot of wieght.
I recently came home from Portland with at least a dozen 750s, 5 bombers, assorted 12 oz-ers, and a growler. The case weighed 77 lbs! No problems. The other case, which I had to borrow was another story entirely. It was one of those Semi hard-sided plastic jobs with handles on 2 sides and roller wheels. It only weighed 47 lbs. but the first handle snapped off as I loaded it in my rental car; the second handle snapped off as I unloaded it from the rental car. Joy! Lost 2 bottles on the flight.
Just checked ebay, here's what I'm talking about: This thing is 26 x 18 x 8 and is currently bid to $36
This looks promising.
Shipping is astronomical though, especially with the styrofoam insert included. The website says to visit your local total wine and inquire about getting one on your own. I live in PA... no Total Wine. I stopped by my local state store, and the guy behind the counter looked at me like I was from Mars.
Anybody have any thoughts/suggestions on how to get a styrofoam insert for less than $28 in PA?
Look for a wine storage place. They often have them for sale.
How about the local uhaul Tell them you are moving , inquire about a shipper.
A recent update on checking booze internationally:
I just flew back from Europe with a haul. Wrapped it in socks, bags, and then wrapped in dirty clothes. Wrote a nice note to the TSA. No issues, nothing broken. Declared everything. Brought back just under a gallon.
Not a single issue. Flew in from Madrid to Chicago.
I'm not quite sure why you would say it is wine when it is beer? Did the airline have a policy for beer that does not apply to wine? If so, which airline?
I wouldn't be surprised if provisions were made for wine but not beer.
Near wine country, it's pretty common for them to hassle you about adequately packing if it wasn't "professionally" packed by a winery employee.
This is helpful as I am visiting Alameda County, CA next week and plan on bringing back a metric ton of delicious beer back to the midwest. I read this entire thread and am probably going to settle on a combination of bubble wrap, tape and Styrofoam inserts in a bag with a disclaimer to the TSA agent about personal consumption. Flying southwest so we get two free checked bags as long as they are under 50lbs.
As a former TSA employee, I can tell you that the only REAL (read: legal) restrictions are on booze, greater than 24% ABV, and those are FAA hazmat restrictions.
Directly from the FAA:
Quantity limits: 5 L (1.3 gallons) per packaging and 5 L total per passenger.*
Must be in unopened retail packagings.
Beverages containing more than 70% alcohol (more than 140 proof) are forbidden in carry-on and checked baggage.
See the regulation: 49 CFR 175.10(a)(4)
Tip: Alcoholic beverages containing 24% or less alcohol by volume are not restricted as hazardous materials. This includes beers and most wines.
flew back from sfo to pit a few months ago with a 12 of pliny and an array of other RR split between 3 or 4 checked bags. southwest airlines. no issues.
I sacrificed a bottle to Delta today. The one bottle (of 6) that broke was DESTROYED, tons of mini-shards of glass inside the plastic bag and enough jaggy's to cut a hole and drench my suitcase with liquid. I can only imagine what happened to that spot to cause that kind of damage to the bottle.
Flew from Vegas to Atlanta a few months back with 2 Parabolas, Sucaba, Velvet Merkin, and DFH 120. If you get those neoprene sleeves normally used to carry wine, most bottles will make it. Didn't lose an ounce!
I've been using "Wine Diaper" bottle bags to bring back beer when flying, with so far great results. They have kind of a weird name, but the point is that even if a bottle leaks, the padding/absorbent material in the bag will soak up the spill and prevent it from getting all over your clothes. Good stuff.
I recently took a 12 bottle styrofoam shipper in a cardboard box, filled with beer and some other brews on top of the box in a bigger box. As long as it meets the dimensions and weight requirements, they don't care. TSA opened the box once, but everything was fine. However hauling a 49.8lb box across two airports without wheels was a pain in the arse.
I have to tell you I have done this many times. Trading beers in Amsterdam with a GREAT BA trader. Using towels as packing material and filler my bottles constantly arrive safely even after a 9 hour flight. And the flight back is just as much fun knowing I am bring back amazing brews from across the pond. Some airlines even add fragile stickers to your bag (not that it makes a difference in some cases).
I do this all the time in a basic roller. Just do a good job packing and expect TSA to open it up and inspect it. I usually throw a small layer of bubble wrap around each bottle to be safe
I am hoping to bring home some Russian River from my trip in February. Am I better off trying to pack it in my checked luggage or shipping it home via UPS/FedEx?
Check a styro shipper
Checked luggage, IMO. Especially if yuou have hard-sided suitcases.
IN any cases, get king-size ziplock bags, seal the beers in there, and wrap in your clothes. A t-shirt is a perfect wrap, and a rubber band or 2 will keep things together.
Make sure there's stuff between the bottles, and watch the weight of the case.
I just flew with eight BCBS bottles. First duct-taped around the caps, then wrapped each bottle copiously with Saran wrap. Then wrapped each bottle in a shirt and arranged in the middle of the suitcase (with clothes all around, below, and on top of). Also used my daughter's diapers for additional padding and stability. I think, even more important than padding, is eliminating any ability for the bottles to shift around. If they can't move and they have some padding, they are going to be just fine.
Wrap it in swaddling clothes.
I brought out a 2011 BCBCS and a parabola from GA to Utah this christmas and i just wrapped each one in a sweater and then put placed clothes on all 6 sides of it and checked my luggage. Ask the person checking your luggage to put a fragile sticker on it and you'll be fine.
All of the above suggestions are great. Depending on how many bottles you have, you can also go to a liquor store and get an empty bottle box with dividers. I wad up a piece of newspaper in the bottom of each section, wrap each bottle in two sheets of newspaper so it won't rattle, wad a piece of newspaper at the top of each section and then seal the box. Works fine and cheaper than a styro shipper. I just did this with 15 bottles in an old Korbel case. Worked great.
Anytime I travel, I always leave extra room and under pack, so I can bring back beer/rum. I've been doing this for about 12 years now, and have never had a casualty. Typically, I line the luggage with thicker clothes/shoes, then bag each bottle in a gallon ziploc bag with a little bit of air for cushion. Then, I wrap the bottles with shirts/shorts, and stack them accordingly. With that said, I usually bring back between 5-8 bottles. Hope that helps.
Stomach if all else fails
I'm a fan of the styro shipper as well. checking it or FedEx back to myself. when I'm on vacation, wrapping-taping- rubber banding bottles, then making sure they are packed not to break in my suitcase is a big pain in the ass. it's 20-30 minutes I'd rather spend enjoying my vacation.
If you put it in suitcase, bring some bubble wrap and wrap it just as if you were packing it to trade.
This is what I do, and will be doing tomorrow.
and ALWAYS pack a little extra in your belly before take off!
Did the same thing. Both of my suitcases were 49 lbs and my friend checked one that was like 37 (with what I couldn't fit in mine). Just bubble wrap, clothing, garbage bags. I did have a 6 bottle shipper that fit in a large suitcase (stackable 3 on bottom, 3 on top) All came back safe and sound.
On a side note, I did take 4 small sample bottles of liquor through security with me (2 Beam's, a vodka and a gin) Just put them in my plastic baggie with my shampoo and small liquids.
When I travel I bring a hard shell case with only packing materials. I can stack 4 FedEx 14X10 boxes perfectly in the case, with a touch of filler on the sides to make it snug. Typically I can plan on getting 12-15 bombers back home safely.
Empty hard shell case, bubble wrap, boxes, tape, ziplocks.
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