How many alcohol bottles can you carry on flights?

The packaging or the seal of the alcohol bottle shouldn’t be opened as the passengers are not allowed to consume their alcohol on flights. Photo: iStock/GTNoffsinger

Tourists often carry alcohol home when returning from destinations known for the affordable availability of quality liquor. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation, the regulatory body of civil aviation in India, recently released new guidelines for carrying alcohol on domestic airlines. As per the rules, the passengers can carry up to 5 litres of alcoholic beverages in their checked-in baggage, provided that the alcohol content does not exceed 70%. This limit applies to all adult passengers and is not transferable to other passengers. Meanwhile, most airlines do not allow carrying alcohol in hand baggage. However, if the passenger purchases the bottle after the security screening or from the airport security hold area, up to five litres of alcohol is allowed in the cabin baggage if it is in its retail packaging. The packaging or the seal of the alcohol bottle shouldn’t be opened as the passengers are not allowed to consume their alcohol on flights.

Alcohol purchased from duty-free stores
Passengers who have purchased alcohol from the duty-free shops in the departing airport can carry them on board. However, they aren’t allowed to open the packaging or seal, and the bottles should be placed in their hand baggage. It must be noted that the passengers should carry alcohol only for their consumption. The DGCA strictly prohibits opening or serving alcohol on board.
Drunk passenger
The airline staff has the right to refuse a passenger from carrying alcohol if he/she is believed to be in an inebriated state. In such situations, the airline could deny boarding to the passenger or confiscate the alcohol. Passengers must be aware of these guidelines regarding carrying alcohol on flights. Lack of awareness may lead to hefty monetary fines, delay of flights or even severe legal consequences.

How to purchase alcohol from the airport
If you are buying alcohol from the departing airport, then make sure that the bottle is in its original packaging and the seal isn’t opened. Carrying bottles that exceed 70% alcohol content is strictly prohibited inside the plane. Besides, passengers cannot carry opened or partially used bottles. Moreover, passengers are strictly prohibited from consuming alcohol from the bottles they carry on board. 

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