Russia Says Don’t Drink That Duty Free

If you’re planning to sink that bottle of duty-free vodka between Moscow and Washington, it may not be as easy as it used to be. Russian authorities say they’re cracking down on alcohol-fueled anger, fights and erotic dancing. And not just from the flight attendants.

Russians love their vodka, and love is blind. Drink is to them what prayer is to the Vatican. And floating above the fluffy cumuli of 35,000 feet can be pretty close to heaven. This week The Moscow Times, and many other news organizations including The Telegraph and NPR, reported the Russian transportation minister has had enough. He’s read enough reports (more than a thousand bad-behavior incidents since 2009) and seen enough YouTube clips (see below). Inebriated with gin-clear logic he’s had enough of flights being diverted, landing somewhere between the tourist traps, jails and substance abuse clinics of Scandinavia. He wants flight attendants to stash all duty-free liquor carried on board and keep it safely sealed and stowed away for the duration of the flight. Just think of all the paper cups it will save.

It was our own Starring_Emma back in 2011 who first raised the question:  Can I brink a bottle of vodka on the plane? Thoughtful FT members suggested everything from pouring it into a water bottle, to Absolut confessions, worry about tipsy TSA staff, and good old safety considerations and the fear of consequences. Right on, FT.

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