Bringing Booze BACK from the cruise and Flying

I have bought booze in ports before on my first 2 cruises and brought them back home, but that was when I drove to the ports (NJ). This time I am flying into Ft. Lauderdale and need to fly back to MD. Any tips/tricks for flying back with bottles? Do you usually have a separate checked bag? Keep the bottles in the carrier boxes? 
I'm debating buying the Jet Bags on Amazon as extra packaging: 

Also contemplating a separate bag for booze only. Do I have to advise the airline when checking the bag for any security reasons that there are bottles in the luggage?

7 Answers

No, you do not have to declare liquids in your checked baggage. After all, the cruise lines try to sell you duty free liquor to take home in their shops where you only have access to it the day before disembarkation. Same goes for duty free shops on shore, you can bring it on board but only get it just before disembarkation. How else but in checked luggage are you going to get it home if you have to fly from the last port?

As for spillage or broken bottles, as many threads herein have talked about before, answer, get yourself some spell proof containers. We have multiple bottle and single bottle, bubble wrap sealed containers---You can find them in any liquor store worth being called so.

We travel the world on cruise lines and love winery shore excursion tours, where we try to pick up a bottle or two to bring back home to enjoy.

Kennicott - I had to reread you message a couple of times because I was reading too much into what you said.

I think you are right that you do not have to declare the bottles to the airlines (as you stated), however you must declare them to Customs when you debark in the US. (Your use of the word "declare" sent up a red flag in my head and I inferred more than what you were stating).

I recently brought 2 bottles of booze back from Cozumel. Unlike my last attempt to bring a bottles back from a cruise, (the bottles broke while in flight), I decided to wrap them in a kitchen garbage bag this time (just in case they broke), then in a towel and placed them mid point in my luggage so they were protected by the rest of my clothes and the pull rods.

Both bottles made it home safe and sound this time. You are allowed to bring back, I believe, ONE bottle each without declaring them, but I would check online what customs allows and what the law is. Good luck and hope you have a great trip.

Yea, I was referring to items in checked luggage beyond US Customs since the OP's context dealt with "security reasons" for transporting luggage on an airliner, not US Customs.

However, I was in error when I said you "don't have to declare liquids". I should have said "you don't have to declare TSA legal liquids". Attempting to transport bottles full of gasoline, for instance, will get one free room and board in the Graybar Hotel maybe rooming with Bernie Madoff.

True - but I hope that we are all understanding we are talking about legal liquids and not illegal Big Smile. It's just that in my job, the word "declare" has a specific legal definition, and therefore activated the red flag in my own little mind.

I have found that even when we are allowed to bring back a bottle or two, It's just not worth it. I can cross into the U.S. when I visit my sisters in Vancouver and I can cross into Montana for a golf trip, I can save that way but don't make it a special trip for a $40.00 bottle of Scotch on sale for $38.00.

When I was a smoker, I would go to the local duty free shop for cigarettes ($10/carton as opposed to $35), walk to the halfway point on the international bridge, turn around and re-enter the US. Of course the bridge was only a couple of miles from my house.

I don't think anyone would think it wise to make a trip to buy a personal supply liquor or cigarettes - you would spend more on the trip than you would save on duty. But if you are already on the trip, then nothing wrong with saving a dollar or two on the duty.


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