Can You Bring Beer On A Plane?

Traversing the skies with a favorite beverage in tow may seem like a modern luxury, yet the concept of bringing one’s own alcohol on flights has roots reaching back to early commercial aviation when on-board amenities were sparse. Today, the topic of transporting beer on an airplane presents an interesting blend of aviation security measures, airline policies, and customs regulations. As air travel expanded in the 20th century, so did the layers of complexity regarding what passengers can and cannot bring on board. The growth of the craft beer movement, in particular, has seen travelers more interested than ever in transporting their preferred brews for personal enjoyment or as unique gifts.

The current significance of the question “Can you bring beer on a plane?” reflects heightened security protocols implemented in air travel since the early 2000s. The introduction of liquid restrictions by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in the United States, along with similar bodies worldwide, has set firm guidelines on how much liquid can be carried onto the cabin of a plane. These regulations directly affect whether and how passengers can carry beer on their person or in their luggage. Furthermore, the curiosity about flying with beer speaks to broader issues of global travel, such as respecting the laws of the destination country, navigating airline-specific policies, and managing logistics within the limitations of baggage allowances. Advances in packaging, including the advent of cans and robust bottle protectors, have also facilitated the safer transport of beer on planes, indicating a subtle evolution of travel habits and airline industry adaptations.

can you bring beer on a plane

Table of Contents

Can You Take Beer On A Plane?

When it comes to flying with beer, there are specific regulations you must follow. In your checked luggage, you’re generally allowed to take beer, but there are limits on the quantity due to weight restrictions and potential for breakage. For carry-on bags, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) allows liquids in containers of 3.4 ounces or less, and they must fit in a single quart-sized bag. This rule makes it impractical to carry on full-sized beer bottles or cans. Additionally, any alcohol content over 70% is prohibited. If you’re traveling internationally, be aware of the destination country’s customs rules regarding alcohol. For a more in-depth understanding of the nuances of traveling with beer on a plane, continue to the next section where we delve into the details and provide tips for a hassle-free journey.

Transporting Beer on USA Domestic Flights: Carry-On Restrictions

Traveling with beer on domestic flights in the United States is subject to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) regulations, especially when it comes to carry-on luggage. The TSA applies the 3-1-1 liquids rule, which affects how travelers can bring beer onboard in their carry-on bags.

  • 3-1-1 Rule: Travelers are allowed to carry liquids in containers that hold 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less per item.
  • Packaging: Each passenger is limited to one quart-sized bag of liquids, gels, and aerosols.
  • Screening: The containers must be placed in a clear, transparent, plastic, sealable bag and be presented separately during security screening.

Given these restrictions, typically, beer cannot be transported in carry-on luggage due to the size of standard beer cans and bottles which exceed the 3.4-ounce limit. However, miniature novelty beers that meet the size criteria may be permissible. [TSA Website Reference Needed]

Checking Beer in Luggage on Domestic Flights

For those looking to travel with beer in amounts greater than the carry-on limits allow, checking beer in luggage is the advisable option. The TSA does not limit the quantity of alcohol between 24% and 70% ABV (up to 140 proof) that can be checked, as long the amount is reasonable for personal consumption. Beer, being typically under 24% ABV, falls into a more lenient category.

  • Packaging Requirements: Beer must be packed in a secure, leak-proof manner to prevent damage and leakage.
  • Airline Policies: Airlines may have their own additional restrictions or fees for checked alcoholic beverages.
  • State Laws: Be aware of any specific state laws regulating the transport of alcohol into the destination state.

Responsibility and Legal Drinking Age Compliance

When transporting beer across US states, travelers must be aware of and comply with the legal drinking age which is 21 years old across the country. Airline personnel and security may ask for identification to verify age when bringing alcohol onto the aircraft.

Alcohol Content Regulations for Checked Beer

There are specific regulations for alcoholic beverages based on their alcohol content:

  • Beer with an alcohol by volume (ABV) of under 24% is not subject to hazardous material regulations.
  • For beer with an ABV above 24% and up to 70%, the TSA allows up to five liters per passenger for personal use.
  • Beer with an ABV higher than 70% is not permitted in checked baggage.

Impact of Altitude and Pressure Changes on Beer

Transporting beer on airplanes involves changes in altitude and air pressure which can affect the seals of beer containers:

  • Pressure can cause containers to expand or contract, possibly leading to leakage or breakage.
  • It is recommended to use sturdy containers and pack them in a manner that minimizes movement and protects them from impact.

Airline-Specific Rules and Amenities for Beer

While TSA provides the general guidelines for transporting alcohol, airlines may offer their own services and have specific rules:

  • Some airlines offer complimentary or purchasable beer during the flight, dependent on the class of service and the flight duration.
  • Airline lounges at airports may also provide a selection of beers for travelers.
  • It’s important to check with the specific airline about their policies regarding alcohol consumption and transport on their aircraft.

International Air Transport Association (IATA) Guidelines

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) provides regulations for the safe transport of dangerous goods by air, which includes alcoholic beverages like beer. According to IATA, passengers are allowed to carry alcohol in their checked luggage under certain conditions:

  • Alcoholic beverages with less than 24% alcohol content are not subject to restrictions in checked baggage.
  • Alcoholic beverages with alcohol content between 24% and 70% (up to 140 proof) are allowed in checked baggage, up to 5 liters per person.
  • For beverages with more than 70% alcohol content (over 140 proof), these are not permitted in checked or carry-on baggage.
  • Packaging must be retail packed and well-secured against breakage.

For more detailed information, refer to the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations or visit the IATA website.

Country Specific Regulations

When flying internationally with beer, it’s crucial to be aware of the specific regulations that apply to the country you are traveling to or from. Each country has its own rules regarding the importation of alcohol which can include limits on quantity, taxes, and age restrictions.

United Kingdom

Refer to the UK government guidelines on alcohol importation here.


For European Union countries, information can be found on the official EU website here.


The Canada Border Services Agency provides guidelines for bringing alcohol into Canada here.


Details on importing alcohol into Australia can be found on the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs page here.

New Zealand

For New Zealand’s regulations, check the New Zealand Customs Service website here.


Each country in Asia has its own set of rules. For example, Japan’s guidelines can be found on the Japan Customs website here.


Singapore’s regulations are detailed on the Singapore Customs page here.

10 Airline-Specific Regulations for Flying with Beer

Each airline may have its own policies regarding the transport of alcoholic beverages like beer. It’s important to check with your airline before flying to understand their specific regulations. Below are the regulations for 10 different airlines:

American Airlines

  • Alcohol must not exceed 70% alcohol by volume and must be in unopened retail packaging.
  • Up to 5 liters of alcohol per person is allowed in checked bags if the alcohol content is between 24% and 70%.

Delta Air Lines

  • Delta permits alcohol in checked baggage within IATA guidelines.
  • Refer to Delta’s baggage policy on their website for more details.

United Airlines

  • United follows IATA regulations for alcohol in checked luggage.
  • Specific details can be found on United’s website.

Southwest Airlines

  • Southwest allows alcohol in checked luggage as per federal law and FAA regulations.
  • More information is available on Southwest’s website.

British Airways

  • British Airways permits alcohol in checked baggage in line with IATA guidelines.
  • Guidance can be found on the British Airways website.


  • Lufthansa allows the transport of alcohol according to IATA regulations.
  • Check Lufthansa’s website for more information.

Air Canada

  • Air Canada’s policy aligns with IATA’s guidelines for alcohol transportation.
  • Visit Air Canada’s website for details.


  • Qantas follows IATA’s dangerous goods regulations for carrying alcohol.
  • For more information, refer to the Qantas website.


  • Emirates allows the carriage of alcohol as per the standard IATA guidelines.
  • Details can be found on the Emirates website.

Singapore Airlines

  • Singapore Airlines permits transportation of alcohol in line with IATA’s regulations.
  • For specific guidelines, visit Singapore Airlines’ website.

Packing Beer in Carry-On Luggage

Transporting beer in carry-on luggage is generally not recommended due to liquid restrictions imposed by airport security. Most airlines allow travelers to bring a small quantity of alcohol (containers of 3.4 ounces or 100 milliliters or less) in a clear, quart-sized bag. However, this is not practical for beer since standard beer containers exceed these limits. If you still wish to bring beer within your carry-on, ensure it’s a special travel-sized container and stays within the defined liquid restrictions.

  • Confirm with the airline about specific liquid restrictions.
  • Use travel-size containers if beer is under 3.4 ounces.
  • Store beer containers in a clear, quart-sized, zip-top bag.
  • Keep the bag accessible for screening at airport security checkpoints.

taking beer through airport security

Packing Beer in Hold Luggage

When checked luggage, or hold luggage, is the safer option for transporting beer. The following steps should guide you in packing beer to minimize the risk of breakage and leakage.

Choosing the Right Beer Containers

  • Select cans or plastic bottles over glass to reduce breakage.
  • For glass bottles, consider reinforced or padded beer shippers designed for travel.

Packing Materials

  • Use bubble wrap or specialized beer sleeves for each container.
  • Gather additional packing materials such as packing peanuts or clothes.

Securing the Beer

  • Wrap each beer container individually with bubble wrap and tape.
  • Place the wrapped beer in the center of your luggage, surrounded by soft items.
  • Use a hard-sided suitcase for added protection.
  • Ensure that the beer does not move by filling empty spaces with packing materials.

Preventing Leaks

  • Seal the tops of beer cans or bottles with plastic wrap and rubber bands to contain any potential leaks.
  • Place the beer containers inside a waterproof bag or container as an additional precaution.

Final Considerations

  • Check the weight limit for checked luggage to avoid additional fees.
  • Inform yourself about the alcohol content and quantity restrictions of your destination country.
  • Always adhere to the airline’s policy regarding the transport of alcohol in checked luggage.

Similar Items to Pack for a Flight

When preparing for a flight, alongside beer, you might consider packing other beverages such as mini bottles of wine or spirits, which are typically allowed as long as they are under 3.4 ounces and fit within a quart-sized bag. Non-alcoholic options like small juice boxes or soft drinks can also be brought on board. For those who prefer snacks, travel-sized packs of nuts, pretzels, or trail mix are convenient. Compact and non-perishable food items like granola bars, jerky, or chocolate can satisfy hunger during your journey. Travelers might also want to bring tea bags or single-serve coffee packets to enjoy with hot water provided by the flight attendants. Don’t forget to pack any necessary utensils or a reusable water bottle to stay hydrated without having to purchase beverages after security.

FAQ’s About Can You Bring Beer On A Plane?

Travelers often inquire about the rules and regulations regarding the transportation of alcohol, particularly beer, on airplanes. The following FAQs provide insights into what is permissible by airlines and security agencies when it comes to flying with beer. The answers are based on general guidelines observed by most airlines, but it is always recommended to check with your specific carrier or the regulatory body of the country you are flying from and to for the most accurate information.

Is it allowed to bring beer in your carry-on luggage?

Yes, you may bring beer in your carry-on luggage, but it must be in containers of 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less and fit within a single quart-sized, clear plastic, zip-top bag, in compliance with TSA’s liquids rule.

Can you pack beer in your checked baggage?

Yes, you can pack beer in your checked baggage. There are generally no federal limits on the amount of alcohol you can include in your checked luggage, as long as the alcohol content does not exceed 70% ABV (140 proof), and the total quantity does not violate airline policies or local laws at your destination.

Are there any restrictions on the amount of beer you can bring on a flight?

For carry-on, the restrictions are tied to the TSA liquids rule for all liquids. For checked luggage, while there is no federal limit, airlines may impose their own limits and any local laws at your destination might apply. It’s best to check these before you travel.

Do different airlines have different policies regarding carrying beer on a plane?

Yes, airline policies can vary, and each carrier may have its own rules regarding the transport of alcohol. It’s important to check with your airline before flying.

Do international flights have different rules for bringing beer on board?

International flights may be subject to different rules, both from the airline and the countries involved in the flight. Always verify with your airline and look into the customs regulations of your destination country.

Is it necessary to declare beer when going through customs?

When traveling internationally, you may need to declare beer and other alcoholic beverages at customs. Failure to do so could lead to fines or confiscation of the alcohol.

Can bringing beer on a plane affect duty-free allowances?

Beer brought onto a plane will count towards your duty-free allowance for alcohol. If you exceed this allowance, you may have to pay taxes or duties upon arrival at your destination.

Are there any considerations for bringing craft or homebrewed beer on a plane?

Transporting craft or homebrewed beer is allowed, but it’s subject to the same regulations as commercial beer. Ensure it is packaged properly to avoid breakage and leakage.

Can beer be consumed on the plane if brought aboard in carry-on luggage?

No, you are not allowed to consume your own alcohol, including beer, on the plane. All alcohol consumed in the cabin must be served by the airline’s cabin staff.

What is the best way to pack beer in luggage to prevent breakage?

The best way to pack beer is in a sturdy suitcase with ample cushioning. Consider bubble wrap, padded sleeves, or specially designed travel cases for alcohol. Ensure caps and closures are secure to prevent leaking.

Packing It All Up

Travelers can indeed bring beer on a plane, but they must adhere strictly to the regulations laid out by relevant aviation authorities, such as the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in the United States. For carry-on luggage, the liquid rule applies where beer must be in containers no larger than 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) and all bottles should fit comfortably within a single quart-sized, clear plastic, zip-top bag. This limitation makes carrying full-sized beer cans or bottles impractical in carry-on bags.

When it comes to checked luggage, there’s considerably more leeway, as passengers are usually permitted to pack more substantial quantities of beer. However, they should be mindful of the airline’s weight restrictions to avoid additional fees and ensure their beer is securely packed to avoid breakage. It’s also vital to consider the destination’s local laws surrounding alcohol imports to prevent any legal issues upon arrival, alongside planning for potential duty charges when bringing larger amounts. Following these guidelines will help ensure that your travels with beer are hassle-free and enjoyable.