Can You Bring Alcohol On A Plane? – A Comprehensive Guide

Can You Bring Alcohol On A Plane

Last Updated on Nov 22nd, 2023 by Renu Dahiya, Leave a Comment

Numerous travelers find relaxation in enjoying a glass of wine, a cold beer, or a robust mixed drink during their flights. Many airlines offer alcoholic beverages for purchase on certain itineraries or in specific seats, they may even be complimentary. However, if you happen to be among those not eligible for a free drink, you might be thinking about the possibility of bringing your own alcohol on an airplane. The answer to ‘Can you bring alcohol on a plane?’ is yes, but the matter is not quite so straightforward.

Here, we’ll provide a definitive answer regarding the permissibility of bringing alcohol on an airplane, knowing all the relevant guidelines and restrictions associated with transporting alcohol during air travel from USA to India.

Can You Bring Alcohol On An Airplane From USA To India?

Yes, bringing alcohol onto a plane is permitted, but there are important limitations to be aware of. However, the crucial detail to note is that you can’t consume that alcohol during the flight.

FAA regulations specifically prohibit passengers from drinking alcohol on an airplane if it isn’t served by the airline. Essentially, this means you can bring alcohol aboard, but drinking it on the plane is not allowed. Even if you’re considering asking flight attendants to serve the alcohol you’ve brought, current regulations don’t permit this. Though this practice might have been allowed in the past, nowadays, flight attendants won’t serve alcohol brought onto the plane by passengers.

Can You Bring Alcohol On A Plane In Your Carry-On Baggage? 

Yes, you can bring alcohol in your carry-on bags, but it must comply with TSA regulations for carrying liquids on planes. This requires alcohol to be in containers of 3.4 ounces or less and placed in a quart-sized clear plastic bag. Each passenger is limited to one plastic bag. Alcohol with an ABV exceeding 70% or 140 proof is prohibited on airplanes, whether in checked or carry-on baggage.

Note – Passengers traveling on flights from USA to India (such as New York to Delhi flights) can carry up to 2 liters of alcoholic liquors, wines, or beer without incurring any customs duty.

Can You Bring Alcohol On A Plane In Checked Luggage?

The regulations concerning packing alcohol in your checked luggage differ from those for carrying it in your carry-on. The quantity of alcohol permitted in your luggage depends on its ABV, which indicates the percentage of alcohol in the drink.

  • Drinks with an ABV lower than 24% (under 48 proof), such as most beers and wines, have no quantity limit for checked luggage. However, remember that more alcohol might increase your baggage fees, so consider this before loading cases of wine into your luggage. 
  • For beverages with an ABV between 24% and 70% (48 to 140 proof), there’s a cap of 5 liters (1.3 gallons) per passenger in checked baggage. These beverages must be in unopened retail packaging.

Tip – If you want to know about the prohibited items under checked baggage, you can explore our guide. 

Duty-Free Purchases Of Alcohol 

You may have questions about duty-free alcohol purchases, especially as they exceed 3.4 ounces and are carried on board. Buying alcohol at an airport duty-free shop is allowed with certain restrictions:

  • There’s a maximum of 5 liters of alcohol per person, ranging from 24% to 70% ABV (48 to 140 proof).
  • The retailer must pack the bottles in a clear, secure, and see-through plastic bag.
  • It’s advisable to keep your receipt accessible as proof of purchasing duty-free alcohol within the last 48 hours.

Tips For Packing Alcohol in Your Checked Baggage

  • Opt for a hard-sided suitcase to shield your alcohol bottles from potential damage.
  • Wrap your bottles in protective layers, which can simply be your clothing or specially designed cases available for purchase, like bubble wrap bags tailored for wine bottles.
  • You can also use your clothes to wrap each bottle. Utilize sleeves or pant legs to encase the bottles and position them amidst layers of clothing within your suitcase for added insulation.
  • For mini alcohol bottles, consider placing them inside shoes to offer extra protection. Similarly, slide beer bottles or items of similar size into socks for added cushioning.

Remember – The alcohol packed in your checked luggage must remain unopened and in its original packaging.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How much alcohol can you bring on a plane to India from USA?

A: International passengers traveling from USA to India are allowed to take up to 2 liters of Alcoholic Liquors, Wines, or Beer without paying any Customs duty.

Q: Can you bring alcohol on a plane under 21 in checked luggage?

A: No, individuals under the age of 21 are prohibited from packing alcohol in their checked luggage.

Q: Can you bring mini bottles of alcohol on a plane?

A: Yes, you can bring mini alcohol bottles on a plane by adhering to the TSA’s regulations for carrying liquids during air travel. These bottles must be 3.4 ounces or smaller and packed in a quart-sized clear plastic bag. Yet, it’s important to note that consuming the alcohol you’ve brought is not permitted while onboard the airplane.

Q: Can you bring rubbing alcohol on a plane?

A: Yes, you can bring rubbing alcohol aboard an airplane. If it’s in your carry-on, ensure it’s in quantities of 3.4 ounces or less and packed in a clear, quart-sized plastic bag. When packed in your checked luggage, it should be in containers of 18 ounces or smaller, with a total combined amount not exceeding 70 ounces.

Q: Can you bring alcohol wipes on a plane?

A: Yes, you can bring alcohol wipes on an airplane in any quantity, whether in your carry-on or checked luggage.

Q: What happens if you’re found drinking your own alcohol on a plane?

A: If passengers are caught consuming their own alcohol on a flight, they’ll likely be requested to stop. However, the FAA has the power to issue fines, particularly if alcohol consumption is linked to disruptive behavior.

We hope you get all the information you need regarding bringing alcohol on a plane. You can treat your awaiting friends and loved ones with delightful wine, provided you adhere to the proper procedures.

Need more travel-related information? Feel free to share your queries in the comments or reach out to our team. We’re committed to offering you the best possible solutions.


At MyTicketsToIndia, a leading ticket-booking platform, we specialize in securing the most cost-effective flights for you. Whether you’re opting for last-minute travel or planning well in advance for affordable flights from USA to India (and vice versa), we always have numerous options available!

About Renu Dahiya | View Posts

Renu Dahiya is a passionate writer who worships her profession. Her love for writing has encouraged her to pursue her career as a writer. Her friends call her a “travel worm” and always come to her to know some interesting traveling tips and destinations. Renu is a repository of knowledge about traveling who knows which place should be visited in which season. Oh yes, she is insanely in love with dancing too. Writer, traveler and dancer, a perfect combination! Without a doubt, she is a complete package.

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