Can You Put Champagne in Checked Luggage?

Last updated on February 23rd, 2023 at 10:15 am

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After a wonderful vacation with amazing food and even more amazing wine, you’re going to hop on a plane bound home, to share the bounty. However, you are not sure of the protocol for storing alcohol on a plane. 

Airplane rules can be tricky to navigate and you don’t want to make any mistakes that will stress you out at the last minute. Fret not, here are some of your most frequently asked questions answered.

Will Champagne explode in checked luggage?

No, unless you do not pack your bubbly correctly and safely, the chances of your bottle exploding are not high. Read on to see how to secure your alcohol on a flight.

Will alcohol cans explode in checked luggage?

No, alcohol cans are designed to withstand a lot of pressure at different altitudes, so the chances of your beer cans exploding in your luggage are very slim.

Will prosecco explode on a plane?

The chances of a bottle of prosecco exploding on a plane are very low. Since all alcohol goes in your checked in luggage, you make sure it’s all packed and tight. 

Most cargo holds are pressurized and temperature controlled. So there will not be any pressure on the bottle per se. 

If you carry prosecco in your cabin luggage from duty-free, sometimes the cork might pop due to some pressure differences, like how your ears pop sometimes. 

Can you put a bottle of prosecco in your suitcase?

Yes, absolutely. Prosecco is a kind of sparkling wine, similar to champagne.

It is not a prohibited item according to the TSA’s guidelines. Each passenger has a limit of 5 liters of liquid or alcohol in their checked-in luggage only for higher alcohol content, so knock yourself out!

Will wine explode in checked luggage?

No, the wine will not ‘explode’ in checked in luggage. An explosion is more likely to happen with carbonated beverages, like champagne or cans of coke and beer.

Wine bottles have a tendency to break or crack if not packed correctly. If you plan to travel with a bottle or two, it is best to invest in wine sleeves for your bottles.

These sleeves are leak proof sealed covers which protect your bubbly as well as the contents of your luggage.

If you are buying more than a bottle, ask the wine store for a wine carrier or invest in a wine suitcase. It is designed specifically to hold 12 bottles of alcohol. 

Does flying with wine ruin it?

No, flying with wine does not ruin it. People frequently travel with alcohol in their checked in luggage all the time. 

 As long as your bottle is sealed and well-packed, nothing will happen to your wine.

Wine bottle in a luggage bag

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Southwest Airlines champagne in checked luggage

Southwest Airlines follows the TSA’s rules and list of prohibited items on a flight and the check in luggage. Most flight regulations limit any liquids in carry on baggage to 3.4 ounces.

Any other liquid, limited to the weight of 5 liters per passenger will have to go in the check in baggage. Champagne is not a prohibited item and so you can travel with it.

Make sure you declare your bottle of bubbly by filling out a declaration form. There are certain rules about bringing back alcohol into the US-

  • You must be 21 years old or older, to have alcohol in your luggage, even if you are bringing it as a gift.
  • No alcohol allowed in hand luggage unless you bought it at duty-free.
  • Alcoholic beverages with 24-70% alcohol content is limited to 5 liters per passenger.
  • Alcoholic beverages containing less than 24% alcohol have no limit. Most wines and champagnes fall in this category, but always check the TSA website for any change in policies before you travel.

How to pack alcohol in checked luggage

Here are some tips and tricks to pack alcohol in your check in luggage-

  • Choose a suitcase with plenty of space and padding. Do not pack a bubbly in a bag which is already bursting at the seams, the chances of the bottle cracking are high.
  • Wrap the bottle in bubble wrap or any other protective material. Some old clothes or pajamas will also do, if you don’t have bubble wrap handy.
  • Place the bottle in the center, surrounded with clothes and soft items.
  • Do not pack it in the edges or with hard objects which can hit the bottle. This can cause it to break or the cork to pop.
  • Always better to invest in a wine sleeve for hassle free travel.
  • If you are a wine enthusiast who travels often, here are some other pieces of equipment that can help transport alcohol safely are-
  1. Wine sleeves- specially designed to handle and carry bottles securely.
  2. Wine suitcases- you can check this in as regular luggage as long as you are well within the luggage weight limits. These are also specially designed to hold a dozen bottles of wine.
  3. If you have more than a couple of bottles, you can ask the winery for a wine shipping container.
  • If you don’t want any hassle or worry, get it directly shipped from the winery or local wine store. It will be well- packed and protected and you won’t be anxious on your trip back home.
  • If possible, try to keep the bottle upright during your travels. This will help prevent the champagne from spilling and making a mess.
  • To be on the safer side, mark your suitcase as fragile, so the crew will handle it as such.

 Watch this video for more safety hacks.

Will champagne explode at high altitudes?

Yes, if not packed with care, champagne can explode at higher altitudes. Champagne is a carbonated beverage, so pressure differences can cause it to pop or leak.

It is ideal to keep the bottle upright and not sideways to prevent breakage. Make sure the bottle or the cork is not touching anything hard or the edges of the suitcase.

Luggage gets tossed and jostled around all the time, you don’t want your bottle shaken or popped accidentally. But do not worry, most luggage cabins are pressurized, and some are even heated because these flights transport pets.

The bubble bottle is also designed to withstand a lot of pressure, so it will not be prone to breakage due to pressure differences.

Does high altitude affect alcohol?

The pressure at high altitudes can affect carbonated sealed cans or bottles. However, it does not necessarily affect alcohol it’s taste. 

While flying with bubbly or champagne, pressure differences can cause the cork to pop or the bottle to break. Most champagne bottles are designed to withstand this pressure, so there is nothing to worry about.

While flying with wine, make sure it is wrapped and protected, and you are good to go!

Luggage Bags

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FAQ relating to champagne in checked luggage

Can you put champagne on a plane?

Absolutely! as long as you follow the TSA’s rules regarding liquids on a flight, you can take champagne with you. 

The TSA restricts 5 liters of liquid per passenger on flights.

How do you pack a champagne bottle?

There are a few options to pack your champagne bottle in the safest way possible. You do not want to arrive home to have bubbly all over your clothes in the suitcase, do you? 

The most important thumb rule is to give as much cushioning as possible. It makes your journey so much more relaxed when your champagne is well packed away because you don’t have to worry about anything.

Champagne Bottle Packed Luggage

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How do I pack alcohol in my checked luggage?

Alcohol can only be carried in your checked-in luggage. You cannot carry bottles in the cabin unless you bought it duty-free at the airport. 

Any liquids more than 3.4 ounces are not allowed in carry on luggage. While packing alcohol in your suitcase it is important to pack it with as much cushioning as possible.

If you do not have a wine sleeve or wine carrier available, wrap your bottle in some not-so-important clothes like pajamas or towels. Cradle them in the center of your bag. 

How do you transport champagne?

Depending on the quantity of alcohol you are transporting, there are different methods to transport alcohol.

Listed below are some thing to remember which traveling with alcohol-

  • If you’re buying a bottle or two at duty-free, you can carry this in your cabin luggage. This is sometimes tricky while traveling internationally with connecting flights.
  • Be aware that if you are making a flight connection you’ll have to re-enter security, you may not be able to bring duty-free alcohol through with you when you re-enter. This happens sometimes if you are flying internationally and then connecting to a domestic flight.
  • Always check with your airline’s traveling safety rules first.
  • If you have pre-bought alcohol you can put it in your suitcase with bubble wrap or wine sleeves
  • Always mark your luggage at the airport as fragile. The crew will handle the suitcase with care.
  • You can also get it wrapped in the protective film as an added safety measure.

Happy traveling!

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