Can I bring beer in checked baggage?
Yes, beer is allowed in checked baggage. However, when travelling internationally (to third countries), the quantity of beer (and other alcohol) that you can bring in your bag (tax-free) depends on the import regulations (customs allowances) of the destination country. The amount of beer that you can bring in this case without having to pay taxes can vary quite a lot from country to country.
If you are travelling within EU borders, you can bring as much beer as you want (well, as much beer you can actually fit in your checked bag).
If you are travelling within the US, there is no restriction either on the amount of beer that you can bring in your checked baggage.
Beer when travelling within the EU
If you are moving within the EU, you may bring 110 litres of beer with you. However, you will certainly not be able to take that much beer with you, because there is of course not enough space in your luggage and there is of course also a weight limit per piece on the part of the airlines for checked luggage (often 23 or 32 kilograms respectively).
In principle, however, the amount of liquid in checked baggage is not limited.
Import of beer in checked baggage
If you wish to import beer to third countries (or vice versa, i.e. take beer from third countries into the EU), you must comply with the import regulations (customs allowances) of the destination country/area (e.g. EU).
The allowances for beer and spirits that can be imported (duty-free), can vary greatly depending on the country of destination (travel zone).
Imports from third countries to the UK
If you are bringing goods into the UK from outside the EU, the beer allowance is as follows:
- 16 litres of beer
- you need to transport the beer yourself
- the beer needs to be for your you or be meant as a gift
Imports from third countries to Germany
If you enter the EU from a third country, then you may bring:
- 16 litres of beer can be imported duty-free
Imports from third countries to Austria
The same rules apply here as for imports to Germany, as Austria is also an EU country:
- 16 litres of beer can be imported duty-free (minimum age 17 years)
Imports from third countries into Switzerland
If you want to take beer with you to Switzerland, the following applies:
- Up to 5 litres per day can be imported into Switzerland tax-free.
- Please note the corresponding traveller’s allowances
As you can see, the amount of beer that you can import into the EU (duty-free!), is generally set at 16 litres. For countries that are not in the EU, such as Switzerland, the amount of beer that you can import can vary drastically (you can just import 5 litres into Switzerland tax-free).
How many litres of beer can I take with me?
The quantity of beer that you can bring in checked baggage is limited by the import regulations of the destination country (customs allowances), but not by a limit on the quantity of beer that may be carried in checked baggage.
This means that from the point of view of flight safety there are generally no quantity restrictions for beer in checked baggage. When it comes to beer in your checked bag, the restrictions are, therefore, solely based on the provisions of the customs authority in the destination country.
Beer in checked baggage in the US
Beer is also permitted in checked baggage in the US. As always, you can find information about this at the American Transportation Security Administration (TSA) if you have any questions about baggage in the US.
If you are travelling within the US, there is no restriction on beer in checked baggage. So you
If you are bringing alcohol from overseas to the US, the following applies:
- You can only bring one litre of alcohol per person (so, for instance, one litre of beer) duty-free
- You need to be 21 years old to do so
- It is illegal for travellers under the age of 21 to import alcohol into the US – even as a gift!
You can find more information on the topic on the official website of the U. S. Customs and Border Protection (for travels from a foreign country to the US)
If you are interested in the exact rules for bringing alcohol within the US, you can find that info at the Federal Aviation Administration.
What is the best way to transport beer in checked baggage?
In principle, the air pressure and the temperature in the cargo hold of the aircraft are no problem for your beer. As a rule, your beer will not “explode”.Nevertheless, you should take care to protect your beer from external influences during transport in checked baggage. Some people claim that ground staff does not always handle checked baggage in a very adequate manner…that might be true.
As far as the transport of beer in checked baggage is concerned, we recommend that you do the following:
- protect the beer additionally with a sturdy beer box
- make sure that you stow your beer between clothes so that the beer has as little room as possible for movement.
- the beer should at least be protected by an outer protective cover (e.g. a resealable plastic container) so that your suitcase remains dry even if the beer leaks out.
Is beer only allowed in checked baggage when in (unopened) original packaging?
In the EU, self bottled beer is allowed in checked baggage. Your beer does therefore not need to be in its original container
In the US, according to the TSA, alcoholic beverages with more than 24% but not more than 70% alcohol are limited in checked bags to 5 litres (1.3 gallons) per passenger and must be in unopened retail packaging.
However, alcoholic beverages with 24% alcohol or less (such as beer!) are not subject to limitations in checked bags. So bottled beer is allowed in the US as well.
Nevertheless, it is always preferable to carry all items in their original packaging whenever possible, be it batteries, protein powder or important medication because if not that might lead to extended security screenings and delays at the airport security.
Is it permitted to transport canned beer in checked baggage?
Yes, the transport of canned beer is permitted in checked baggage.
Is it permitted to transport beer in glass bottles in checked baggage?
Yes, beer in glass bottles is permitted in checked baggage.
Can you pack beer in checked baggage when flying American Airlines?
Yes. Beer is fine in checked luggage when flying American Airlines. There are no restrictions regarding alcoholic beverages under 24 per cent by volume. The regulations that apply in this context can be found at the American Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
Can I drink my own booze while flying?
No, you can’t. It is strictly prohibited to drink your own booze on board the airplane. If you want to consume alcohol, you will either need to pay for it or if you are lucky your airline might serve free alcohol to their passengers (might be depending on the flight tariff. In other words, you can only consume alcohol on board the aircraft if it served by the air carrier.