Looking forward to a relaxing flight with a little booze? You’re not alone. Be prepared not to be able to do so, however., because not all airlines allow drinking on board. This means, you may not carry your own booze or they don’t serve it either.
After a stressful and hectic process of getting to the airport on time, going through the security and immigration, and checking in several pieces of luggage, it is understandable if all you want is to relax a bit with booze. Yet, that may not happen if there are rules that will bar you from doing that.
It will be good to remember that alcohol and airplanes don’t mix.
There are rules about bringing your own booze (BYOB) when flying, but these aren’t clear and universal. It will be prudent for you to inquire from your airline or do a bit of research. For your guidance, it would help to read this post Can I bring my own booze: the ultimate guide to drinking on a plane by Karina Martinez-Carter for Road Warrior Voices. Martinez-Carter writes:
“When it comes to boozing on board, things can get a little hazy — legally speaking. Those miniature bottles can make it through security, but can you crack one open on the plane? Can you get served if you’re flying to a destination where alcohol is prohibited? And what are the consequences should you, er, go overboard.”
… Here’s what you need to know:
- “Can I bring my own alcohol on board?” Bringing your own booze is generally allowed, but don’t assume unless you get an affirmative answer to your query. It also needs to be small enough to pass security or bought from Duty Free. If you’re flying between UK and Ibiza by Ryanair, you better abort your plan as boozing on board is not allowed.
- “Can I consume my own alcohol on the plane?” The general answer is a “NO.” Bringing and drinking on board are two different things. Martinez-Carter says,”Oftentimes this isn’t even an airline’s policy, but the law. “According to the FAA (The Federal Aviation Administration): “No person may drink any alcoholic beverage aboard an aircraft unless the certificate holder operating the aircraft has served that beverage to him.” If an airline would allow boozing on board, it is generally something you have to ask/order. Logically, this will allow the flight attendants to monitor how much you are drinking. In certain airlines such as Royal Brunei Airlines, you can bring and drink your own booze, provided it is served by an attendant, still for the purpose of keeping tab on how much you are drinking.
- “Can I get drunk during a flight?” You can, but you might want to watch it if you want to keep all your flying privileges. This past summer a spate of alcohol-induced rowdiness, security threats and violence in the skies caused airlines to crack down hard. Budget airline Jet2, for example, sued one passenger for £4,809 and has taken a zero-tolerance approach and banned multiple passengers for life, and now the Civil Aviation Authority is considering blacklisting disorderly U.K. passengers from all airlines. Don’t go from blackout to blacklist.
- “What’s the minimum drinking age on a plane?” “As a general rule of thumb, when the plane is on the ground it follows the local laws of wherever it is at that moment. Airborne, the laws of the country where the airline is registered reign. For example, American Airlines follows U.S. law. Air France follows French law.”
- “Can you drink on a plane registered in a country that prohibits alcohol?” Most probably , you can’t. The laws where the airline is registered is generally respected. For instance, airlines registered in an Islam country will not serve alcohol, even when your airline is not Kuwait Airlines or Saudia.
- “What about U.S. state laws regarding alcohol?” “Same deal with having to respect local laws. If alcohol sales are prohibited, say, before noon on Sunday (as in the case in New York), airplanes on the tarmac in those states also are unable to sell or serve. Once in the air the bottles can pop, though.”
- “Can an airline employee deny someone alcohol?” If and when booze is allowed on board, a flight attendant has the right to cut you off, particularly when you already appear intoxicated with alcohol. This is to make sure you and the rest of the passengers will be safe until the plane has reached its destination.
For additional tips, check out Everything you need to know about drinking on planes by Kat Collins. It covers some information about drinking limits and the quantity of alcohol you can bring with you when flying to UK.