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-   -   Wine bottles as checked luggage (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/british-airways-executive-club/1910937-wine-bottles-checked-luggage.html)

MaximeD May 24, 18 7:24 am

Wine bottles as checked luggage
 
Hey guys,

I'm flying in J from LHR to GVA next month for a stag-do and I wanted to bring 4-5 bottles of wine that I really like and I want to share with my friends.
I googled a little bit to know if that's possible and how to pack it.
Most answers I found was based in the US and people are very divided.

I called up BA and the representative was not sure either.

So, I have a few questions based on your experience :
1/ Should I pack them in a separate luggage or keep it in the cardboard box it came with (it looks very sturdy and I can add bubble wrap) ?
2/ Will BA refund me the wine if the luggage is lost or broken ?
3/ Is there customs fees?

The total value of the wine is not more than £80, so in case it's lost or broken, I can live with it.

Thanks!
Really appreciate the help.

citiflyerUK May 24, 18 7:34 am

I regularly take bottles on my flights from LHR-ARN and have never had any problems or breakages. I wrap them in a towel or clothes and just make sure they are not going to move around. My wife and I also brought back wine from South Africa in our hold luggage and had no issues.

gustavmahler May 24, 18 7:34 am

I have taken wine in checked luggage several times from EU and US back here - never more than 12 bottles. I have done it a few ways, but having a carry-on sized case with one of those half case polystyrene boxes is definitely the easiest way. On other occasions, making sure they are wedged in the case, not too close to the outside and not touching each other has been fine. I always put them in tied up bin bags, too just in case. I've got no idea about refunds if it gets broken, but I doubt you'd get anywhere.

mjh0 May 24, 18 7:37 am

Shipped wine in checked luggage loads of times - both wrapped securely inside clothes, understanding that I am taking a bit of a risk if one breaks or leaks and my clothes get soaked in wine, and in specialised wine shipping boxes, where you have a bit more peace of mind.

If it's just the odd bottle, I tend to wrap it in clothes securely, ensuring the bottle is well padded from shocks and unable to roll around.

If it's a few bottles, like you are shipping, I would use a proper wine-shipping box. This is a tough reuseable box which has either polystyrene foam inserts, or moulded cardboard pulp inserts, these keep the bottles from clanking together or wobbling around in the box.

Normally, if you're shipping a box with wine, the airline will make you sign the "bag" as "Limited Release" at check-in, which absolves the airline of any responsibility for damage - you effectively declare it's "unusual" luggage and accept that it's not their problem if something goes wrong.

You're allowed to bring 5l of table wine (up to 18% alcohol) into Switzerland Duty Free, and up to a litre of spirits or stronger alcohol, as long as the total value is < CHF 300 - https://www.ezv.admin.ch/ezv/en/home...itzerland.html

Cheers,
Mike

Buster May 24, 18 7:41 am

I regularly bring wine in checked luggage. I use and have never had a problem.

ringingup May 24, 18 7:44 am

I always take bottles of wine (sometimes also spirits and oil) with me from Sardinia in my check-in suitcase. I either wrap them individual with bubble wrap or I use these:

https://cimg9.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.fly...ee3c414586.jpg

gingerlucy May 24, 18 7:55 am

I've travelled fairly often with wine and spirits and never lost a bottle but do feel it is a matter of time and therefore my advice would be to plan for things to go wrong therefore containing the potential mess is the number one concern. Do not put them in the same suitcase as anything that might be impossible to clean (silk, suede, other delicates), electronics or anything that you'd be heartbroken to lose - red wine is of course worse than white in terms of ruining clothes. Regardless of bubble wrap, each bottle should be at least double bagged to contain any broken glass as otherwise this makes dealing with the contents downright dangerous as well as messy. You may also risk your dripping luggage being pulled from the system by a concerned baggage handler and potentially delayed - my husband had this happen to him years ago and the luggage being delayed and sitting soaking wet for a week was probably worse than the original liquid damage.

If you decide to risk it, my tips for packing are:

- Hard sided suitcase for preference. If not, at least one with structure rather than a duffle bag.
- The bigger the suitcase the better so that the bottles are further from the sides.
- The suitcase needs to be full and densely packed so things can't move around.
- Bottles should not directly touch each other without some padding (bubble wrap, clothes or cardboard).
- Even if boxed, each bottle should be wrapped within the box and as above double bagged to contain glass.
- The necks are a weak point so need to be wrapped to be the same diameter as the rest of the bottle. If using a box then make sure you pack all the extra space around the necks. Pairs of socks are good for this.
- Think about what might be most damaging for wine bottles. You do not want a direct blow to the base of the bottle or to the neck. Therefore under no circumstances should either end of the bottle be against the side of the case even if it is hard shell. Pack clothes etc very tightly between the bottle ends and the case wall.
- Make sure nothing hard or spiky is pointing towards the bottles, so no plugs or adapters (point them away), hairbrush handles (lie them parallel to the bottles) or high heeled shoes.

By doing this I managed to bring five bottles back from the USA last month including domestic flights, but no guarantees!

Definitely do not expect the airline to pay any compensation for damage - this is all very much at your own risk.

frandrake May 24, 18 7:56 am

I do ship plenty of wine when travelling on BA so I hope to be of help.

1) You can do both. If the cardboard box is made for shipping (e.g. bottles are well divided and secured) you can ship the whole thing as is. It will indeed count as one piece of checked luggage. I did this a few times and never had problems. Should you decide to pack them in a normal suitcase, of course ONLY pack the wine without anything else in the suitcase to avoid serious damage to cloths in case of breakage. If you use a suitcase, use plenty of packing material and newspapers so they can absorb liquid in case of breakages (only happened to me once after 30+ suitcases shipped).

2) No. Fragile items are shipped at your risk, but suitcase damage (not from spilling though) will be covered as per normal shippings.

3) Not for 4 bottles worth £80, you're on the safe side!

vintagepilot May 24, 18 8:03 am

Never had a problem with wine bottles wrapped in clothes - do remember that every bottle is another 1.2kg or thereabouts.

Or you could go for the Rolls Royce solution: - what else do you need on a stag weekend after all!

https://cimg5.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.fly...94a22720e3.jpg
Mind you, the wine could end up travelling in better comfort than you! :D

frandrake May 24, 18 8:03 am


Originally Posted by Buster (Post 29789406)
I regularly bring wine in checked luggage. I use these bubble wrapped, sealed wine bags and have never had a problem.

wow never spotted those! just ordered two :)

JP Flyer May 24, 18 8:29 am

Last month I brought a case of local Washington State sparkling and dessert wines back from Seattle. I use the carry handle cardboard case I got in the winery and just stuffed my dirty underwear around the bottles, and made sure the box wa dead in the middle of my case with laundry underneath and above it. It made it fine.

When I unpacked, my suitcase was a bit neater than I remembered, but still padded well. Inside the case of wine as the usual note from the TSA saying that they had inectwd my bag. They are obviously far more conscientious and neater packers than I am.

JP Flyer May 24, 18 8:30 am

Last month I brought a case of local Washington State sparkling and dessert wines back from Seattle. I use the carry handle cardboard case I got in the winery and just stuffed my dirty underwear around the bottles, and made sure the box wa dead in the middle of my case with laundry underneath and above it. It made it fine.

When I unpacked, my suitcase was a bit neater than I remembered, but still padded well. Inside the case of wine as the usual note from the TSA saying that they had inectwd my bag. They are obviously far more conscientious and neater packers than I am.

Cris L May 24, 18 8:36 am

I routinely travel with wine bottles from SA back to London on the return portion of my ex EUís.

21 bottles is my max (2 bags), and NEVER broken a bottle. I wrap them in some newspaper 2 sheets. Seal it with scotch tape, then stuff it inside a dirty sock. Sometimes, but not always this goes into a wine box from the supermarket. Into the suitcase. Never had any issues whatsoever.

Dont even bother asking for a fragile tag, and Iíve never even mentioned to check in staff.

I will possibly be doing this again on Tuesday.. Joburg to LHR via MAD and BRU. Do not expect any issues at all.

ringingup May 24, 18 8:42 am

Wasn't a similar thread to this created a few days ago? Lots of tax evaders I can see. :p

Oxon Flyer May 24, 18 8:43 am

Put the bottle in a sock, then double up the protection with another sock from the other end. Line the bottles up in the centre of the case surrounded by as much protection as possible.

Never had any breakages.


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