Can I Drink My Own Alcohol If The Airline Doesn’t Offer It?

One of the most annoying things about flying is the rip-off prices the airlines charge for everything, including in-flight drinks. However, in these changing times, in-flight services are being cut to restrict contact between cabin crew and passengers. So, if the airline doesn’t offer alcoholic drinks, can you drink your own alcohol on a flight?

Is it okay to drink your own alcohol on a flight? Photo: Getty Images

For many, flying is a necessary evil. When traveling, it’s the quickest way to get from A to B. One thing that you can be sure of is that airports and airlines consider you to be a captive audience so, if you want or need to buy anything, it will cost you an arm and a leg. However, many passengers don’t mind paying if the service is good.

Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, enjoying a tipple is often all part of the experience. However, once you get on the plane, a small can of beer, a tiny bottle of wine, or a miniature gin and tonic could end up costing almost as much as the flight. So, it’s always advisable to be prepared and take your own food and drink with you.

As a part of the “new normal,” many airlines have restricted the sales of food and beverages so, even if you would like to have a drink, other than water, you won’t be offered it onboard. But, is it legal to drink your own alcohol on a plane? Technically the answer is no, but there are some ways around the rules.

In-flight service
The cabin crew can serve your own alcohol to you. Photo: Getty Images

Ask the cabin crew to serve you

Legally, you can take alcohol onto an aircraft, but you’re not allowed to serve yourself alcohol on a plane. The rules are in place to enable the cabin crew to monitor the alcohol consumption of passengers so that they will be aware of any potential problems. With regard to the consumption of alcohol on board, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations state,

“No person may drink any alcoholic beverage aboard an aircraft unless the certificate holder operating the aircraft has served that beverage to them.”

One of the ways to get around the regulations is to politely and discretely ask a member of the cabin crew to serve your own alcohol to you. If the airline is not offering alcohol for sale and you appear to be a responsible person, the crew would have no reason to refuse your request.

Duty Free Shop
You can buy your alcohol in the duty-free shop. Photo: Nitin Chandra via Flickr

How much alcohol can you take on board?

You can take up to ten 100ml containers of liquids in your hand luggage. They must be placed in a sealable clear plastic bag for inspection at customs. You can also take a liter bottle of spirits aboard that has been bought in the duty-free store at the airport.

To drink your own alcohol on the flight, it makes sense to buy miniature bottles in advance. If you open a liter bottle and attempt to drink it, not only would it be reckless, but if you don’t finish it, the cabin crew are entitled to discard any unfinished liquid in an open container.

What are your thoughts about bringing your own alcohol on a flight? Let us know what you think in the comment section.