I’ll be traveling internationally soon and would like to take some local brew along with me. Are there problems with bringing beer in checked luggage? Special packing considerations? Special process or declarations?
You may be required to declare at Passport/Customs control at your destination before you are allowed to pick up your checked baggage. If you don’t physically have it with you at the time, it might generate an extended Customs check.
I’ve brought liquor and wine in checked suitcases, and made the normal declarations at customs.
And on a couple of trips, I didn’t end up with clothes smelling like alcohol or being infested with broken glass! Man, the worst was a suit totally soaked in whiskey. I thought that sort of thing only happened at Sterling-Cooper-Draper-Price.
Double bag it!!!
Checked bags okay per TSA (international rules may be different). I guess it can be brought carry on if in containers of less than 3.4 oz, but I’m not sure why you’d do that with beer.
I’ve brought whiskey in checked internationally, no problem except I think I the destination only allowed 1 liter so no handles. They also sell multiple bottle containers for wine etc.
I would worry that the low atmospheric pressure in the cargo hold would induce the cans to rupture.
I’m pretty sure the cargo hold is pressurised to the same level as the passenger cabin.
I’m pretty sure it isn’t, judging by what I’ve seen happen to my packed lotions etc. but it’s possible that 1) it’s semi-pressurized - that is not quite to the level of the passenger portion, and 2) that things have changed since I last flew.
They are pressurised, to the same level as the cabin. However, the pressure in the entire aircraft is somewhat less than that at sea level (6000 - 8000 feet pressure altitude would be typical) so that could explain what happened to your lotions.
Cargo holds are pressurized. There may be pressure sensitive packages that might be crushed by atmospheric pressure if the hold is unpressurized then repressurized upon landing and people often have live animals carried in the cargo holds of airplanes, so they are heated, as well.
There is an allowance below which you will not need to make any declaration. Check the allowance for your destination.
I’ve regularly carried cans of beer to Japan in luggage, and had one bad experience - a can of Guinness ruptured and damaged my clothes. I would recommend wrapping each can in a towel and sealing inside a plastic bag.
I’ve had beer bottles explode in the past, but I’ve also had them not explode; I think sometimes the pressure may fluctuate a little bit, making the caps pop off.
I’d bag them up in a ziploc with all the air out, so that if the pressure does drop, you have some cushion for the little bit of air in the bag to expand without popping the seal.
You are correct that the whole fuselage (both passenger and cargo compartments) is pressurised. However only a small section of the cargo hold is set aside for live animals, and this section can be heated/air conditioned and has sufficient ventilation. The rest of the cargo hold is not a hospitable environment.
The pressure does change, yes. Basically it starts out the same as the takeoff airport, reduces to an altitude of 6000-8000 feet as the plane climbs, and then is automatically adjusted to match the altitude of the landing airport as the plane descends.
I’ve had cans of beer rupture in checked baggage, so I’d definitely recommend double-bagging them. I’d be more concerned about bottles popping their caps because of the aforementioned pressure variations.
Flying into to a dry county once (illegal to buy, not to possess), I decided to bring a 6 pack with me, not problems, but I did get a friendly note that the TSA was curious of what I was packin’
Your luggage will be loaded onto a catapult and tossed out near the plane. Then an 800 lb gorilla will throw it (from about 50 feet away) into the cargo compartment. When the plane lands, they just til the plane onto its side and all of the luggage falls out. Then another 800 lb gorilla punts it into the terminal.
Ok, not really. But the way luggage is brutally handled sometimes it sure seems like it. Pack accordingly. Otherwise I’m picturing a lot of beer-soaked clothes.
In the good old days you could just surround something delicate with clothes and use that to cushion the 800 lb gorilla treatment. These days the TSA will unpack your luggage as they look for good stuff to steal (er, do a security check on your things) and will likely not take as much care to assure that your delicate items are surrounded by soft cushiony clothing when they are done.
I’ve taken beer in bottles before with no problems. I think that cans should be even safer, since the bottle cap is still a weak point. Still, put each can in a ziploc and wrap them each in something cushiony.
I think there’s more variation in cap clamp-down on the bottles than we realize- I’ve had 3 bottles pop open out of the same 6-pack, while 3 others did not. (Staropramen, July 2003, United Airlines Boeing 777 - Heathrow->DFW)
That being said, I haven’t had problems other than that- everything else has stayed capped/corked/bottled (Hungarian wine, Cuban rum bought in Italy, Dutch genever, etc…)
Interesting thread. I expected the OP to be mercilessly mocked for the idea of taking beer anywhere. Yet it seems to be a common enough thing. I would have bet anything that no-one could be bothered taking a six pack of beer on a plane, ever.
Me too - the weight alone would be a problem, and surely one of the pleasures of going abroad is to sample the local brews.