After having written about Delta Liquor Policy and United Airlines Liquor Policy, it was felt important to write a comprehensive article on various aspect of carrying and consuming self-brought liquor on US domestic flights. US Carriers allow carriage of liquor in flight and this depends on the alcohol content of the liquor.
Those alcoholic beverages which are less than 70 percent of alcohol by volume, but more than 24 percent, and are more than 100 ml before security clearance, it has to be carried in check in baggage and in original retail packing. The bottle or can shall not be open. And, you are only allowed maximum of 5 liters of liquor in check-in baggage per adult passenger.
Now, liquor in 24-70 % alcohol range can be carried in carry-on or hand baggage subject to the rules of TSA for hand baggage. This invariably means that this shall not be more than 100 ml, not opened and carried in tamper-evident plastic transparent bag. This is a general regulation pertaining to carriage of any liquid in cabin.
So, if you have already bought the liquor before entering security area and this is more than 100 ml but less than 5 liters and of alcohol content 24-70%, it has to be checked in.
However, if you have not bought the liquor before entering security clearance and buy it afterward the security clearance and the alcohol content is up to 70%, it can be carried in cabin with 5 liters per person allowance.
All those liquors that are more than 70 percent alcohol by volume are not allowed in the flight.
Carrying Liquor in Connecting Flights in US Domestic Sectors
How about carrying alcohol in a connecting flight? Well, if you have bought liquor after security clearance and are taking it in hand baggage in the first flight, and would be leaving the sterile area at airport for taking a connecting flight and again go through security clearance, you shall put the liquor in check-in bag if this is more than 100ml. If you do not have to leave the sterile area, then there is no issue. You can bring it in cabin.
What about liquor of 24% ABV or less?
Another question is whether alcoholic beverages of less than 24% be allowed or not? For the domestic US flights, if alcohol percentage is less than 24%, then it is not considered hazardous. So, the quantity which can be carried is limited only by the weight and size of check-in or carry-on baggage.
These above mentioned provisions are the rules of bringing liquor for all US airlines- American Airlines, Delta Airlines, United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, JetBlue Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, Frontier Airlines and Spirit Airlines.
Who is allowed to carry alcohol?
With respect the age of passengers who can bring alcohol on flight, it can be said that airlines have their own rules for it. jetBlue allows carriage of alcohol in domestic flights for persons of more than 21 years of age only. You must check with the airline about the age of passenger who can bring alcohol in flight. Naturally, it has to be an adult but the age needs to be known by calling the airline.
Consumption of Self-carried Alcohol in Flight
If you are carrying alcohol in hand baggage in a US domestic flight, then the rules might vary from one airline to another.
JetBlue allows you to drink the wine, beer or champagne you are carrying with you on condition that it is being carried in an unopened state and has been handed over the cabin crew for serving it to you. You cannot, by yourself, open and drink the wine, beer or champagne you are carrying.
Frontier Airlines does not allow you to consume own alcoholic beverages.
Hawaiian Airlines would allow consumption provided it is served by the airline attendant.