How much whiskey can i bring back with me in my checked luggage?

Rare Whiskey Collection

Recently we've had more and more questions from travellers visiting Scotland and Ireland wanting to clarify how much whisky they can bring back to the US, or another country. The same goes for other higher alcohol spirits, such as cognac or armagnac, which travellers want to bring back from Europe.

Although taking alcohol on the plane with you is an excellent way to bring back some great bottles that is not available back in the US or your home country, we've heard our fair share of urban legends disguised as educated answers to this very important question.

A lot of travellers are still afraid to bring back whiskey or other liquor because they simply do not know what the law is on air travel with alcohol, which is what we wanted to clarify. 

You can bring up to 5 litre (170 oz) of alcoholic beverages with alcohol content between 24% and 70% in your checked luggage. If going back to the US, the first liter of alcohol is duty free. Anything more than one liter will technically be levied a flat rate duty of about $2-$3 a bottle depending on the type of alcohol. In reality, this almost never happens and you're waved through by the US customs agent. The amount to collect is just too small to justify the paperwork. 

Although the 5 liter per person limit (for bottles with alcohol content between 24% and 70%) applies on most domestic and international flights, the duty-free amount, and chargeable duty over the duty-free amount, varies by country. See our Flying With Alcohol 101 guide to see the customs laws in your country.


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Pro Tips:

  • Pack your alcohol well to avoid bottle breakage and destroyed luggage content. Don't take any risks! Shop our wine travel products, such as bottle protection sleeves, polystyrene boxes, or specialty airplane luggage for bottles, which you can order online and we will ship out to your hotel or short term rental throughout Europe.
  • Remember, the 5 liter limit is per person. A typical whiskey bottle is 700 or 750 ml. This means that each traveller can legally bring 6 to 7 bottles onto the plane. If travelling as a couple or with a friend, you can group your bottles and check them together in our 12 bottle airplane alcohol carrier specially designed to be checked onto the plane like any other luggage.
  • Focus on bringing unique and rare spirits from quality distilleries that don't export to your country or region. It's best to purchase it either directly from the distillery or from a specialty shop. There is little point in picking up a whisky from an airport duty-free shop that's already available internationally.