Home Travel Jetsetter’s Dilemma: Can You Carry Drinks on a Plane?

Jetsetter’s Dilemma: Can You Carry Drinks on a Plane?

by Lois Earles

Embarking on a new adventure comes with a lot of excitement. It also comes with a fair share of logistical questions. Can you bring drinks on a plane? If so, what are the rules and regulations regarding this?

Let’s explore the ins and outs of jetsetting with drinks or food in tow providing clarity on your next flight.

Can You Bring Drinks on a Plane?


Yes, you can carry drinks on a plane as long as you adhere to Transport Security Administration (TSA) guidelines regarding liquid limits. You can pack about 5 liters of your favorite drink in a checked bag. Hard drinks should have alcoholic content from 24% to 70%. More quantities are permitted if the alcoholic content is 24%.

However, there are regulations to keep in mind to allow a smooth sail through airport security with drinks.

1. Bottled Drinks

Bottles water and soft drinks seem harmless but the TSA restricts passing any liquid through security checkpoint measuring over 3.4 ounces. So, don’t think of purchasing any cheap drinks and packing them in your carry-on bag. If found, it will be confiscated before letting you go through the checkpoint. However, you can put them in your checked bag.

2. After Passing Through Security

When you’ve passed through the TSA checkpoint, you can buy any drink and carry it with you on the plane. Duty-free shops at the airport sell bottled drinks and drinking water. You’re also allowed to bring an empty bottle or travel mug in the carry-on bag for filling with ice water at a kiosk. This saves you from the high charges at the airport restaurants or shops.

3. Alcoholic Beverages

The TSA has separate rules for carrying alcoholic drinks. You can’t carry a bottle with alcoholic content over 140. It may become a fire hazard. Alcohol in mini bottles or other liquids in containers of 3.4 ounces or less is subjected to additional screening.

You can carry a few shots of your favorite alcohol on board. However, you can’t consume it while on the plane. You are only allowed to consume alcohol served by the flight attendants.

4. Drinks for Children

Airport security is lenient on drinks for kids. You can carry larger amounts of formula, baby food, breast milk, and juice on a plane. In addition, carrying large amounts of baby formula and ice packs beyond the standard rule is allowed.

Even when you aren’t traveling with a baby. You just have to ensure that it’s packed in a quart-sized bag and declared to be checked by the security personnel.

Can You Bring Food on a Plane?


Yes, you can also carry food on a plane as long as you keep restrictions and exceptions in mind.

1. Solid Food

You can bring solid food in a carry-on or checked bag without worrying about size restrictions. However, the bag and weight restrictions apply. You may have to pay extra fees if your item is larger than the acceptable size.

2. Liquid or Gel Food

The rules for liquid and gel toiletries apply to this kind of food. All above the maximum of 3.4-ounce carry-on requirement should be packed in your checked bag. Otherwise, they won’t be allowed to pass through security. Other foods where the same rule applies include honey, liquid chocolate, gravy, ice cream, and canned foods.

3. Frozen Food

You can carry frozen seafood, meat, and vegetables on a plane in a carry-on or checked bag. There’s no need to worry about container size. However, if your frozen food is melted or slushy, it must meet the mandatory 3.4-ounce size requirement for liquids to pass through security.

4. Food Purchased After Going Through Security

The size of food no longer matters after going through security. You can buy takeaway meals or other snacks.


1. Can I Bring Drinks or Food Through International Customs?

Countries have different restrictions regarding carrying drinks and food on a plane. Check with local country restrictions to avoid any issues.

2. How Can I Pack Alcohol in Checked Luggage?

You can use a reusable bottle protector sleeve with bubble wrap to prevent breaks and spills in case the bottle breaks.
What Is the Legal Age to Drink Alcohol on a Plane?

The legal drinking age in the United States is 21 years. Flight attendants ensure to enforce this regardless of whether you carry your own drinks or from them. This applies to domestic and international flights.

3. Can I Carry Alcoholic Confections on a Flight?

Food items laced with alcohol raise eyebrows at airport security. However, the TSA doesn’t prohibit them as long as you put them in a carry-on or checked bag. However, they have to adhere to regulations regarding alcohol content.

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