Can You Bring A Bottle Of Wine On A Plane? (TSA Dos and Don’ts)

When traveling, many tourists love to grab a bottle (or two) of local wine to bring home and enjoy later.  

Whether keeping the wine for yourself or giving it as a gift, knowing the right way to pack it crosses one thing off your travel to-do list.

Air travelers over the age of 21 can bring a bottle of wine onboard their flight in their carry-on and checked luggage. Passengers can’t carry bottles of wine through security – but can purchase full-sized bottles at the airport after clearing the checkpoint. Wine can also be packed in checked bags with no size restrictions, though travelers should be aware of customs regulations and luggage weight limits.

This article discusses the rules around bringing wine on a plane and how to properly pack a bottle.

Can You Fly With a Bottle of Wine?

A bottle of wine on a white surface.

Passengers over 21 years old can fly with bottles of wine in their carry-on and checked luggage; however, the TSA restricts the amounts allowed.

Passengers can pack up to 5 liters (1.3 gallons) of alcohol ​​with 24% to 70% ABV (48 to 140 proof) in their checked bags; however, there is no restriction for wine or spirits with a lower alcohol content.

The same quantity is also permitted in carry-on bags if the bottles are purchased after passing through security. 

In both cases, the bottles cannot be opened in the airport or onboard the plane and must remain in their original retail packaging.

While the TSA permits passengers to bring wine on planes, some airlines or other countries might have additional rules about traveling with alcohol.

Before packing or purchasing wine, double-check what your airline allows as well as the customs regulations at your final destination.

Can You Bring Wine in Carry-On Luggage?

Passengers of legal drinking age are allowed to pack wine in their carry-on bags under special circumstances. 

Alcohol is subject to the same 3-1-1 rule as liquids, aerosols, gels, creams, and pastes. 

The 3-1-1 rule limits liquids, aerosols, gels, creams, and pastes to 3.4 oz (100 ml) containers or less – and everything must fit into one TSA-approved clear, plastic, quart-sized (1L) bag.

Unfortunately, wine doesn’t usually come in bottles that meet these guidelines; however, travelers can buy bottles in retail stores after passing through security checkpoints and bring them as carry-on items.

Can You Buy Bottles of Wine at the Airport?

Alcohol and wine are typically available at shops inside the airport terminal (after the security checkpoint). 

When travelers are headed abroad or have a connecting flight on their return, bottles will be packed in secure, transparent, tamper-proof bags. 

Typically, these special bags are only used for wine purchased in duty-free shops, allowing passengers to bring their items through security (if needed).

If you buy duty-free alcohol or wine before your international flight, always keep your receipts.

Security must see that you bought your bottles at the airport within 48 hours of departure, and customs agents at your destination may require proof of purchase.

It’s also important to note that some airlines may consider alcohol purchased at the airport as additional carry-on items if the bottles don’t fit in your hand luggage. 

Additionally, when traveling domestically, you can’t purchase wine duty-free, and any bottles bought in the terminal won’t be packed in sealed, security-approved bags. 

You can still bring the wine as carry-on – just know that if you have a connecting flight and leave the terminal for any reason, it won’t be allowed back through security.

Before buying wine at the airport, ensure you can bring it on all legs of your flight. 

Can You Bring Wine in Checked Luggage?

A bottle of wine on a wooden surface.

Per TSA regulations and most airline policies, packing wine in checked luggage is completely okay. 

Wine typically contains 11-14% alcohol, so there shouldn’t be restrictions on how many bottles you can pack. 

That said, some airlines may limit how much wine you can transport in checked bags, and most have weight restrictions for all luggage. 

The average bottle of wine weighs 2.65 lbs (1.2 kg), so too many bottles can lead to unexpected oversize bag charges.

What’s the Best Way to Pack Wine in Checked Luggage?

Checked luggage sometimes has a rough journey, so pack wine securely to ensure it arrives safely at its destination. 

Luckily, wrapping up a bottle of wine is quick and easy.

Travelers can use packing materials, like bubble wrap or newspaper, or wrap the bottle in clothing before placing it in the center of the suitcase for safekeeping. 

Anyone who wants an extra layer of protection can put the wine in a plastic bag before wrapping it securely.

Hard-shelled suitcases provide more protection than cloth duffel bags, but your bottle should be fine if it’s well-padded on all sides.

What Are the Customs Rules for Bringing Wine in Checked Luggage?

If you are traveling to the United States, whether returning as a citizen/resident or entering as a tourist, you must follow US customs rules.

US Customs and Border Protection doesn’t limit the amount of wine in checked luggage so long as it’s bought for individual consumption. 

However, you can only bring 1 liter of alcohol through customs duty-free – any more than that will be subject to import duties and taxes. (The average bottle of wine is 750 ml, so while the first one may be free, the second one will cost extra.)

Travelers shipping wine in from abroad must also let the CBP know upon arrival, as these bottles will likely be subject to duties and taxes.

Anyone transporting wine for commercial use must complete the appropriate forms from the US Alcohol and Tobacco Trade and Tax Bureau

If you’re traveling abroad and want to bring your favorite wine, you’ll have to confirm what’s permitted by your airline and the customs bureau at your destination.

Will Wine Freeze or Explode if Packed in Checked Luggage?

A plane’s luggage hold is pressurized and temperature controlled, meaning it’s highly unlikely a bottle of wine will freeze or explode during a flight. 

With an average alcohol content of 12.5%, wine only freezes at 22ºF (-5ºC), but luggage holds never reach temperatures that low. 


Wine can be the perfect gift for friends or a memento of a vacation well spent. 

Fortunately, bottles of wine are permitted on planes in both carry-on and checked luggage – but travelers need to be aware of some important rules.

First, bringing wine in carry-on luggage comes with a lot of limitations. 

You can’t bring bottles of wine through security that are larger than 3.4 oz (100 ml).

The only exception is if you’re flying into the United States and your bottles are sealed in tamper-proof bags from the airport shop. 

Second, while there are no restrictions on how many bottles of wine can be transported in checked luggage, there are airline policies, baggage weight limits, and customs regulations to consider.

When flying with wine or other alcoholic beverages, it’s important to confirm all the rules (both at home and abroad) before packing your bags or shopping at the airport.