Food & Drink

Here’s the Legal Way to Bring Booze on a Flight

Frequent fliers know that drinking during a flight is more difficult (and more expensive) than it should be. Airlines bump up the prices for minis of liquor, and you grudgingly accept the sky high price because an in-flight Bloody Mary just sounds so good. But it doesn’t have to be like this.

Gilbert Ott, the closely followed traveller behind the blog God Save the Points, recently wrote a post detailing how you can legally bring and drink your own alcohol on your next flight. It’s a total game changer—even for those among us who didn’t realize that consuming your smuggled minis is forbidden in the first place.

For legal BYOB drinks on a plane, you just have follow a few simple rules. The first relates to liquid restrictions imposed by the TSA. Any liquid has to be in a container that’s 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less, and must fit in a quart-sized bag. Ditch your mini bottle of shampoo and replace it with a mini bottle of alcohol or two instead. If you’re on a direct international flight you can also stop by the duty-free store.

Once you’re in the air with the goods, take them out of your bag and resist the urge to crack a bottle open yourself. Repeat: Do not open a bottle yourself.

“You CANNOT serve yourself on the plane,” Ott writes. “Any plane. No. You can’t. You CAN however politely ask a member of the cabin crew if they would not mind serving you the liquor you brought on board.”

This might sound familiar if you’ve been to a BYOB restaurant. Just imagine that your plane is a restaurant. A very cramped, weird smelling restaurant that you physically can’t leave for a set amount of time.

Of course, not all airlines allow you to supply your own alcohol. The guidelines differ from airline to airline, but we do know that at least one airline is BYO-friendly: In 2017, Travel & Leisure pointed out that JetBlue is BYOB (as long as the alcohol is 24% or below). Whatever you do, be sure to check with your airline or a flight attendant before cracking into your cruising altitude beverage of choice. 

Cheers and happy flying.