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Taking beer on a plane as a checked bag

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

  1. I also have this and have filled it on multiple trips from Colorado & Cali to CT with no issue. No bubble wrap or anything, just toss the bottles in and zip it up. I also fill my other check bag(s) with smaller bottles wrapped up and had no issues.
     
  2. capnmike

    capnmike Savant (275) Illinois Dec 6, 2013

    I was in Colorado for work last week, and I brought my bubble wrap and zip-loc gallon bags on the way out - suitcase was 31 lbs.

    I packed and brought back one bomber, 3 750s, and 4 12 ozers and the weight on my return was 48.5 lbs (woo hoo!).

    I got a note that TSA opened my bag (probably check a lot of bags leaving CO these days), but all made it back intact.

    I saw a guy in the airport carying a case of some Firestone-Walker brew, all taped up and with his name/address on it - seemed pretty obvious he was going to use that as his checked bag.
     
  3. John_M

    John_M Moderator (1,100) Oregon Oct 25, 2003 Staff Member


    I've never seen a suitcase that would hold a 12 bottle shipper, but that doesn't mean they don't exist I suppose. It would have be a pretty large suitcase I think.

    The GF and I both use cardboard wine sleeves that fit perfectly in a couple of medium size, roll away suitcases we own. We've never had a problem packing bottles (or breakage) in either one. The samsonite suitcase I recently bought is pretty deep, and at times I've been able to fit 9 bottles in it. We typically use the suitcases for 750 ml. wine bottles, but the times I've packed beer, it seemed to work equally well (just pack some bubble wrap if you have it around the individual bottles to take up some of the extra space if you're bringing bombers or 12 ounce bottles).
     
  4. John_M

    John_M Moderator (1,100) Oregon Oct 25, 2003 Staff Member

    The only time I've ever had a problem with breakage is when TSA opened up the suitcase for inspection. The person who opened my suitcase, didn't put the bottles back into the sleeves correctly, resulting in one broken bottle. Not sure what you one can do about that, though I would add that this was an isolated incident, and usually it's not a problem. For a while I would include a note to TSA, letting them know I had packed wine in my clothing suitcase. That seemed to help, as when I used that note, I never had a single problem.
     
  5. kscaldef

    kscaldef Advocate (690) Oregon Jun 11, 2010

    Yeah, that's why I get nervous transporting bottles in a suitcase vs the wine check. Either way, TSA always opens it up, but they can't really screw anything up with the shipper, whereas suitcase with clothes as padding doesn't always get repacked as well as I'd like.
     
  6. right. so it seems like the best way to

    1) have a rolling suitcase
    2) be able to bring back 12-14 bombers

    is to use a standard sized suitcase and use my own packing materials?
     
  7. I used to do it too ... years and years ago. I must admit I don't travel at all in my current job, but nowadays the airlines are so paranoid about everything, I just assumed there was no chance. I'm surprised (and happy) that some people do this successfully.

    It kind of reminds me of when I used to do white water kayaking. I had some friends who would fly to South America to kayak and would take their boats with them. I asked them one time if checking them through an airline was ever a problem. They advised me "Don't ever call the airline and ask them if it's okay. Just show up at the airport with your boat, ticket in hand, like you didn't know any better, and they'll find a way to get your kayak on that plane." Perhaps beer can be handled in the same way. :D
     
  8. amano_h

    amano_h Savant (490) New Jersey Mar 18, 2014

    I recently came back from California with three cases of beer; one of which was packed into a roller, two of which were packed into regular cardboard boxes (I got lazy with one and just wrapped the original case with bubble wrap and filled the sucker with packing peanuts into an even bigger box)

    All of them made the trip from SFO -> PHL without incident without a single casualty. I did notice, when I opened my two boxes, that TSA had gone through them and left their little courtesy "we searched through your crap for the sake of national security" notice. Seeing as how I haven't been arrested or charged for anything yet, I'm assuming TSA doesn't care if you take copious amounts of beer with you as checked-in luggage on a plane.
     
  9. Seanem44

    Seanem44 Aficionado (215) Virginia Mar 18, 2014

    There are no issues at all. I did two weeks reserve training in Italy. Shipped all my clothes home and devoted my luggage solely to wine. No problems at all.
     
  10. montman

    montman Savant (250) Virginia Mar 10, 2009

    Just had my first trip to where I brought back home multiple bottles, I had to bring back some Alpine and a few others to VA from San Diego. Just put the bottles in ziplock bags and wrapped each one individually very carefully in clothes. Luckily no problems at all, all were intact.
     
  11. mjshearer1

    mjshearer1 Savant (445) Michigan Dec 16, 2011

    You gotta wonder who the first unlucky person who lets "I'm checking in this bag of bombers" slip out is going to be.
     
    heatwaves and teraflx like this.
  12. I brought back a few glass bottles and some cans from Florida recently in my checked bag. All I did was put them in gallon ziploc bags and surrounded them by clothes. No TSA note and no breakages. To top it all off, my bag still weighed less than my wife's haha
     
  13. stingley

    stingley Savant (250) Pennsylvania Sep 21, 2013

    [​IMG]
    These just came back from Boston on a checked bag. Did not partake tonight but will probably get into one them tomorrow. Both are new to me so I'll be reporting in on Sunday!
     
  14. I bought my mother a bottle of pumpkin porter from Alaskan brewing during my trip up there , without thinking left it in my carry on , at check in was pulled to the side and asked to open my bag. They told me I could put it in my checked bag, but then I would have to recheck the bag which would have been 25$ and waiting in line, so I just left it on the line and got on the plane. Hope someone got to enjoy the bottle.
     
  15. stillalivetui

    stillalivetui Disciple (50) Indiana May 30, 2014

    I flew various FFF brews back out West yesterday. All the bottles made it okay, however, one of the Zombie Dusts leaked out a wee bit. It was nothing substantial and the bottle is still in good shape. I am vexed as to how that happened because there was no crack on the bottle or anything. Has anyone had anything like this happen before?
     
  16. Cyclone8

    Cyclone8 Savant (425) Minnesota Oct 19, 2011

    Yup. The pressure (high altitude) can make that happen, it's happened a couple times to me. Which isn't too bad, 2 leaky bottles out of 100 or so.
     
  17. BoardwalkBock

    BoardwalkBock Savant (295) New York Aug 18, 2012

    I put a ton of beers (wrapped in bubble wrap) in my surfboard bag on my way back from Cali and didn't have to pay anything extra, most likely because they had no idea.
     
  18. stillalivetui

    stillalivetui Disciple (50) Indiana May 30, 2014

    I know I'm being paranoid, but does this leakage mess up the carbonation? I only ask because it's gonna be a gift for a friend, and I don't want to give him botched ZD.
     
  19. brought back all this in suitcases from Austin no losses at all but we did use a lot of bubble wrap, we flew Southwest and were both allowed 2 bags of 50 lbs we were basically at max the baggage handlers did not like us.
     
  20. I always like to make sure I wrap the bottle in something, then put it in the ziplock, then put padding around it.

    Reason being is should the bottle break, it's liable to puncture the ziplock. Nothing like getting to where you're going and not having anything to wear because it was all soaked in beer.

    TSA has checked my bag and all beer still has arrived safely. Never had a problem <knock on wood>
     

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