This is how you can legally bring — and drink — your own booze on a flight

  • There are ways of legally bringing — and drinking — your own booze on a flight, according to frequent flier Gilbert Ott.
  • On his blog God Save the Points, Ott provides the do's and don'ts of making it happen.
  • Whatever you do, never try and serve yourself.


Unless you're flying first class, chances are you're used to only getting one or two complimentary drinks on a flight — or at least having to pay for alcohol, even if it is just those mini bottles of wine available.

But, according to frequent traveller and air miles guru Gilbert Ott of God Save the Points, it's actually possible to legally bring – and drink — your own booze on board. Here's what you need to know:

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How to bring your own alcohol on the plane
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How to bring your own alcohol on the plane

You can make good use of the 100ml bottle rule...

While an entire bottle of whiskey won't make it through security, there's an easy way to get a smaller amount of your favourite tipple through.

"You’re probably aware that liquid containers may not exceed 100ml," Ott writes. "Same goes for perfume, cosmetics, etc.

"Fortunately, mini alcohol bottles fit into the sizing requirements, and you can bring multiple mini bottles through security. It’s absolutely fine. Just put them in a clear plastic bag, just as you would any other liquid items."

...or go shopping at duty-free.

Your second option is shopping for booze once you get into the airport lounge — as long as you're flying direct.

"If you’re travelling internationally, you could absolutely buy a bottle of wine or Champagne (anything you’ll consume entirely on the plane) on your next flight," Ott writes, warning: "Don’t buy from duty-free if you have a connection where you’ll need to re-clear security before consuming. You’ll lose it!"

Whatever you do, don't try to serve yourself

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

"JetBlue famously made light of this policy last year — and we know many have successfully done this on other airlines around the world. There are no guarantees a crew will say YES — but this is real — and this happens."

Be prepared to drink the whole bottle

While you might get a nice flight attendant willing to open your own bottle for you, you better be ready to drink the whole thing.

"Don’t ask the crew to open anything which will not be finished on board. And please, be discrete," Ott writes. "The crew must dispose of anything open and unconsumed at the end of the flight. For that reason, it’s best to keep things simple."

Don't overdo it

According to Ott, the crew have final say on your ability to consume alcohol — so be wise in your consumption.

"If they decide you look far too ready for midnight karaoke — they have full right to cut you off," he writes. "In each and every circumstance — arguing with them is going to go poorly for you, so just don’t. Just sit back relax, enjoy the flight and politely persuade someone to pour you a lovely drink. You’ll be on the ground before you know it."

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Related: Here's what your crew member is actually thinking: 

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22 things your flight attendant won’t tell you
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22 things your flight attendant won’t tell you

1. Want to start off on the wrong foot with me?

Put your carry-on in a full overhead bin, leave it sticking out six inches, then take your seat at the window and wait for someone else (me!) to come along and solve the physics problem you just created. By the way, this is what your flight attendant first notices about you.

2. Yes, passengers are incredibly rude...

 

..but stealing a beer, cursing out passengers, and jumping out of a plane is not the way to handle it. You disarm an unruly passenger by introducing yourself, asking his name, and saying something like ‘I’ve been incredibly nice to you for three hours. Why are you treating me like this?’ Generally, that gets the other passengers on your side—and sometimes they’ll even applaud.

3. We don't have a boyfriend in every city.

 And our median age these days is 44.

4. An all-too-common scenario?

I hand you a cup of coffee and say, ‘Cream and sugar?’ You say, ‘What?’ I say, ‘Cream and sugar?’ You say, ‘What?’ Come on, people. What do you think we’re going to ask after we’ve handed you coffee? Your favorite color? (But in all honesty, you probably shouldn't order coffee on a plane.)

5. If you’re traveling with a small child and you keep hearing bells, bells, and more bells...

...please look to see if it’s your child playing with the flight attendant call bell. These are the things you should never do on an airplane.

6. The lavatory door is not rocket science.

Just push.

7. If you have a baby, bring diapers.

If you’re diabetic, bring syringes. If you have high blood pressure, don’t forget your medication. That way, I’m not trying to make a diaper out of a sanitary pad and a pillowcase or asking over the intercom if someone has a spare inhaler. Here are some other little flying etiquette rules you know.

8. Just in case you hadn’t noticed, there are other people on the airplane besides you.

So don’t clip your toenails, snore with wild abandon, or do any type of personal business under a blanket!

9. If you’re traveling overseas, do yourself a favor and bring a pen.

You would not believe how many people travel without one, and you need one to fill out the immigration forms. I carry some, but I can’t carry 200. Here are some more tips to know before your next flight.

10. Passengers are always coming up to me and tattling on each other.

‘Can you tell him to put his seat up?’ ‘She won’t share the armrest.’ What am I, a preschool teacher?

11. I hate working flights to destinations like Vail and West Palm Beach.

The passengers all think they’re in first class even if they’re not. They don’t do what we ask. And the overhead bins are full of their mink coats.

12. Do you really have to go to the bathroom right now, while we’re wrestling a 250-pound food cart down the aisle?

 You can’t wait 90 seconds for us to pass?

13. Is it that difficult to say hello and goodbye?

We say it 300 times on every flight, and only about 40 people respond—saying "hello" is really the one word you need to get your flight attendant to like you.

14. Do not poke or grab me

I mean it. No one likes to be poked, but it’s even worse on the plane because you’re sitting down and we’re not, so it’s usually in a very personal area. You would never grab a waitress if you wanted ketchup or a fork, would you?

15. We’re not just being lazy.

Our rules really say we aren’t allowed to lift your luggage into the overhead bin for you, though we can “assist.” Try these tips for packing light when bringing a carry-on.

16. I don’t care if you want to be in the mile-high club, keep your clothes on.

Who decided the mile-high club was something that everyone wants to do anyway? It’s cramped and dirty in those bathrooms.

17. If you hear us paging for a doctor...

 ...or see us running around with oxygen, defibrillators, and first aid kits, that’s not the right time to ask for a blanket or a Diet Coke. Here are some other pet peeves of flight attendants.

18. The only place you are allowed to pee...

 ...on the airplane is in the lavatory. Period.

19. Don’t ask us if it’s OK to use the lavatories on the ground.

 The answer is always yes. Do you think what goes into the toilet just dumps out onto the tarmac?

20. You really expect me to take your soggy Kleenex?

 Or your kid’s fully loaded diaper? I’ll be right back with gloves.

21. Sure, I don’t mind waiting while you scour the seatback pocket

 ...and the floor for candy wrappers and other garbage, then place them in my bag one by one. I only have 150 other passengers to serve.

22. I’m sorry it’s taking forever to get you a wheelchair.

That’s one thing you can’t blame the airline for. The wheelchair service is subcontracted to the cities we fly into, and it’s obviously not a top priority for many of them. Want more insider air travel info? These are the secrets your airplane pilot won't tell you.

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SEE ALSO: Everything flight attendants notice about you when you board a plane — and how their tips could help you get a free upgrade

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