It’s a question that some people have had at least once. Is flying with a wine and wine opener really a thing?
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) permits alcohol in flights with a few guidelines. Alcohol content dictates the decision to allow one or not. For less than 24% alcohol by volume (ABV) or 48 proof alcohols like wine, only 3.4 oz or less is allowed in carry-on bags. As for the checked bags, there is no limit. So, wine lovers who are invited to special occasions can bring their favorite vintage bottles along with a wine opener to further elevate the event. They can also bring home some rare bottles to pour for friends or add to their wine collection.
Moreover, seasoned flyers can look forward to enjoying a glass of wine on the plane. But we hate to be the bearer of bad news. Most airlines still do not stop you from bringing your own booze; however, some no longer allow you to drink it on board. They’re even limiting drink options to water only.
Now, should you still bring your wine opener on the plane? Preferably, yes! There is nothing more frustrating than being in your destination, ready to snuggle up with an excellent bottle of wine, only to find out that there’s no wine opener at your disposal.
TSA’s Take on Wine Openers
Wine openers with foil-cutting blades aren’t allowed by the TSA in carry-on bags. The same rule applies to other sharp objects like large scissors, blades, and knives. These objects can trigger an alarm during the screening process and can pose security concerns.
If your wine opener has a blade, make sure to pack it in the bag you won’t carry on the flight. This is known as the checked bag. TSA has somehow modified the rules and allowed wine openers with tiny collapsible blades, provided that they are placed in the checked bag. Yet, it is preferable to wrap it properly to guarantee the safety of luggage inspectors and handlers. On the other hand, you can bring your regular wine opener on your carry-on bag. As long as the wine opener doesn’t protrude anything sharp, it will most likely pass the TSA screening. However, you won’t be able to use that on the plane as airlines are suspending the drinking of alcoholic beverages in response to Covid-19.
TSA and Other Bottle Openers
TSA allows bottle cap openers, especially when they are part of a key chain. Since this type of openers are extremely small and don’t have any sharp ends, there are higher chances of it passing the screenings. Additionally, champagne openers aren’t forbidden, but once again, it’s always up to the TSA officer. Don’t be surprised if you’ve packed an opener that claims to be flight-friendly but was still confiscated at the checkpoint.
EU’s Take on Wine Openers
While the USA has clear regulations for bringing bottle openers inside a plane, the laws of the European Union aren’t that clear cut. Some reported that their simple wine openers were confiscated at EU airports. The catch is that even if your wine opener is not bladed, it is still unlikely to pass safety screenings at an EU airport.
Still, all airports share something in common- they do not allow a bladed wine opener in carry-on luggage. If the blade is longer than 2.3”, there’s no way your wine opener is going to make it through the airport.
The best way to make sure that your wine opener can pass the screening is to follow all TSA and airline regulations. Most airlines prohibit any objects that can potentially cause severe injuries on a flight, especially sharp objects.
A simple, t-shaped wine opener that features a handle at the top and a spiral worm is the safest bet. This is the only type of wine opener that is most likely to pass the screening. Other wine openers resemble a simple wine opener, but with a plastic sheath at the handle and spiral. We do not recommend this as any additional features may make your wine opener a subject for confiscation.
Even if you can increase your chances by bringing a wine opener that doesn’t protrude anything sharp, the final decision is up to the TSA officer. There are cases when a bottle opener is generally permitted in a plane cabin but still have trouble passing security checks. Most often than not, this happens when the TSA officer didn’t get the memo. If you bring a wine opener with tiny collapsible blades, it can be hard to explain that to an officer who wasn’t notified of the modified rule.
- A CORKSCREW YOU CAN FLY WITH - Thanks to the wine foil cutting wheels, there are no blades on this corkscrew so it's TSA approved! It even says so right on the double-hinged arm. Take this wine essential from your home bar to vacation or travel.
- DON'T LOSE ANOTHER CORKSCREW GOING THROUGH SECURITY - No other wine tool or bar kit accessory is safe from the TSA. With no serrated wine bottle foil cutter, just a hidden wheel foil remover, this corkscrew won't get confiscated.
- EASY TO USE - The double-hinged waiter's corkscrew design and wine bottle foil cutter makes uncorking a breeze. Comfortable curved grip and compact corkscrew folds and opens easily for a compact, travel-friendly, pocket-sized bar tool.
If your wine opener holds so much sentiment, it would be better to put it in your checked bag. You won’t be able to use it on the plane, anyway! As a rule of thumb, always pack on your own consideration.