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We are often asked how our guests can bring their favorite Kentucky bourbons back home after their visit. Here are the current TSA alcohol guidelines and regulations for planes.

Top 3 Things to Know about TSA Alcohol Rules in Carry-Ons and Checked Baggage

  1. Carry-on Alcohol
  2. Checked Baggage Limitations
  3. Airline Specific Regulations

1. Carry-on Alcohol

Jim Beam Travel BottlesYou’re allowed to take hard liquor like whiskey on your flight in your carry-on luggage, but the amount you can take depends on where you buy it. The TSA restricts the amount of liquid you can take through security to travel-size containers of 3 ounces or less, which must be carried in a single 1-quart plastic bag with a zip-top. This may include miniature liquor bottles, which you can find at most stores that sell beer and liquor.

These restrictions only apply to alcohol purchased before you go through security. Once you clear the security checkpoints, you can purchase a larger bottle of whiskey from an airport vendor.

2. Checked Baggage Limitations

If you want to travel with quantities of whiskey greater than what you can carry in 3-ounce bottles, you will need to pack it in your checked luggage. Even if you do, though, you can’t travel with just anything.

The TSA prohibits any type of air travel with whiskey — or other liquors — more than 140 proof. It also restricts just how much liquor you can travel with, limiting each passenger to 5 liters total.

3. Airline-specific Regulations

Though the TSA does not have specific regulations on how you pack your whiskey — other than recommending that you do so carefully, so it doesn’t break — you should always check with your airline before you pack.

Packing regulations for alcohol vary by an airline to minimize breakage and damage, and the airline reserves the right to refuse your luggage’s contents even if the TSA does not. Some airlines, for example, require that each bottle be packed in a leak-proof bag and sealed with tape in a cardboard container.

More Frequently Asked Questions

Skyline of Louisville with Big Four Bridge at sunset

Have more questions about your tour? Visit our Frequently Asked Questions page online.

About the Author – Rachel Goldenberg

Rachel Goldenberg - Mint Julep ExperiencesRachel Goldenberg has been Director of Marketing at Mint Julep since 2017. Her extensive bourbon education includes becoming an Executive Bourbon Steward through the Stave & Thief Society and graduating from Woodford Reserve’s Bourbon Academy. She is a Certified Tourism Ambassador and enthusiastic advocate for her adopted hometown of Louisville. When she’s not promoting Mint Julep’s portfolio of southern experiences, she can be found walking her dog or enjoying a drink on a Germantown patio.