I really don't want CATSA to throw it out.
August 12, 2006 1:56 PM   Subscribe

If I am separated from booze, the terrorists have won.

I was looking to get some Screech from Newfoundland and take it to New Jersey. With all liquids being banned from anything other than checked baggage, I'm not even sure if I can get it all the way there, and as such, I haven't even bought any yet.

I don't know what to do. As far as I can tell, I have the following options:
  • Pack it in carry-on baggage and pray that it doesn't get smashed into a million pieces.
  • Ship it to the U.S. via a method not involving the United States Postal Service, which doesn't ship alcohol. More specifically, attempt to FedEx it from somewhere in Newfoundland or Nova Scotia (possibly Halifax, which has the only FedEx Kinko's east of Ontario) to the United States. The problem with this one is that I now have to show up three hours before my flight, because lines at YHZ are reportedly very long, and that basically requires me to leave downtown Halifax very soon after the store opens.
  • Attempt to FedEx it to Toronto, where someone else would eventually bring it to me in the United States.
  • Send it via Canada Post to Toronto. Canada Post's web site seems to indicate that I would need the permission of the LCBO to do this.
If one of these is feasible, I'm completely open to buying it at NSLC instead of NLC if they've got it, or if either corporation will ship to the U.S., I could do that.

Does anyone have any idea which of these is the best option, or if there's a better option? I'm currently in Newfoundland.
posted by oaf to Travel & Transportation (22 answers total)
UPS will ship alcohol.
posted by fshgrl at 2:02 PM on August 12, 2006

You can get in the US in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.
posted by fenriq at 2:03 PM on August 12, 2006

Apart from obsessing on original packaging, why not plastic? Or flask?
posted by sagwalla at 2:05 PM on August 12, 2006

Response by poster: The UPS Stores in Halifax open after I have to leave for the airport.

You can get in the US in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.

Yes, I saw that. I'm not going to be there anytime soon.
posted by oaf at 2:07 PM on August 12, 2006

Best answer: Pour it into a plastic bottle or wrap it in bubble wrap and nest it in the center of your clothes. I've packed bottles in checked luggage many times and had no problem.
posted by CunningLinguist at 2:10 PM on August 12, 2006

Check at the NLC stores .... Screech is sold in plastic containers now. Should be fine in your checked luggage. FWIW, I returned from Newfoundland yesterday via Newark. I checked a couple of cans of Blackhorse for a friend here in the US. No problems, though he'll want to let them sit a while before opening!
posted by yqxnflld at 2:15 PM on August 12, 2006

I live in Vermont and I'd happily handle this by getting some for you and Fedexing it someplace. Email in profile blah blah blah.
posted by jessamyn at 2:16 PM on August 12, 2006

I just took 3 bottles of wine back from France (in what was going to be a carry-on), and they survived fine. All were tissue wrapped, bubble wrapped, individually wrapped in clothes, and then all wrapped in a sweatshirt.
posted by devilsbrigade at 2:29 PM on August 12, 2006 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: I'll check at the NLC stores...I'm not sure if they're open tomorrow, being Sunday and all. I'm not even sure where the local one is—I'm in a town with a population of about 2500, over 1000 kilometers from St. John's.
posted by oaf at 2:31 PM on August 12, 2006

I've packed tons of glass wine and liquor bottles in my checked luggage and never had a problem with it. Just make sure your suitcase is packed tightly (so things can't rattle around) and wrap each bottle in a piece of clothing near the center of the suitcase.
posted by mr_roboto at 2:59 PM on August 12, 2006

You can find a list of outlets and hours here. Where are you in Newfoundland, Oaf?
posted by yqxnflld at 4:32 PM on August 12, 2006

I went from DFW to NYC with a half gallon of vodka checked. I wrapped it time and time again with lots of clothes until the entire back was filled. The bag got lost for a couple days, then delivered to the place I was staying. When I got it the handle part of my bag was completely ripped off (fucking american airlines). To my suprise and elation the liquor was perfectly fine.

So yeah, to reiterate what everyone says. Bundle it, pack tightly, and finally, don't let the airport people scare you into thinking it will shatter on the plane.
posted by nadawi at 4:34 PM on August 12, 2006

I've packed glass bottles of booze into checked baggage many a time, with not a single incidence of smashage. Just wrap the bottle in several layers of newspaper, put the wrapped bottle into a plastic bag, and then put it in the middle of your suitcase, so that your clothes provide more padding between the bottle and the outside of your suitcase. It'll be fine!
posted by Kololo at 4:51 PM on August 12, 2006

My husband, on the other hand, had a bottle of wine smash in his checked luggage and ruin a bunch of clothing. Pack it with great care, and consider a plastic bag layer.
posted by bink at 5:03 PM on August 12, 2006

With regards to packing things in the middle of the bag for protection: The TSA may foil your attempts to protect your booze, since they randomly open-and-search checked luggage and tend to repack it in a very haphazard manner [leaving a little note on top.] Make sure that you've got it protected with newspaper and a plastic bag, at least, and hope that you don't get a particularly rough set of baggage handlers.
posted by ubersturm at 5:38 PM on August 12, 2006

Wrap it in a diaper so it will absorb liquid from any breakage. Then use a couple of plastic bags, sealed, and then bubble wrap on top of that.

If you don't have a diaper handy, use a whole roll of paper towels.

That might be overkill, but better safe than sorry.
posted by Melsky at 6:16 PM on August 12, 2006

Response by poster: Where are you in Newfoundland, Oaf?

Currently, St. Anthony—the local liquor store isn't open tomorrow. I'll be going through Corner Brook on Monday, and I'll take a look in the NLC store then.
posted by oaf at 6:30 PM on August 12, 2006

It is my understanding that in Canada the law prohibits you from shipping alcoholic beverages (by mail, courier or freight) unless you are the manufacturer or wholesaler of the beverage and the recipient is a wholesaler or retailer.

Though the manufacturer could ship it to an individual outside Canada (if the law in the individual's home state allows this).
posted by winston at 6:53 PM on August 12, 2006

When my friend and I were recently traveling from Mexico City to Chicago, security confiscated my friend's bottle of mezcal (although mine went undetected). She ended up checking it in a very small bag not much bigger than the bottle itself. When we picked up our baggage in Chicago, we instantly knew which one was hers, as we could smell it from quite a distance. Interestingly enough, it wasn't the glass bottle that broke, but the cap. So make sure the bottle is well sealed, and I think you'll be fine.
posted by bluefly at 7:11 PM on August 12, 2006

I have to bring Ice Wine from Canada to Amsterdam next week...with a stop over in London. I was planning on putting the thing in a Zip lock bag, in another Zip lock bag, in two towels in a garbage bag in the middle of my backpack (big). But I hadn't considered what would happen if they opened my bag. Would they really rearrange it? I always pack so that it only fits in one particular way!
I know wine shows up weirdly on the X-ray machines, so they'll probably open it. (That's why I always take it on carry on *sigh*)
posted by easternblot at 8:29 PM on August 12, 2006

homeland security totally rearranges stuff.
I was coming back to Canada from SE Asia, with a 2 hour stopover in LA, and all the stuff in my bag was messed up, one pair of pants was even missing. I had packed the bag so tightly that it wouldn't close if you packed it any other way. But they didnt forget the note.
posted by Iax at 11:29 PM on August 12, 2006

Response by poster: OK, I tried the bubble wrap approach and put them in the center of my luggage. And there isn't rum all over my clothes. Hooray!
posted by oaf at 6:17 AM on August 17, 2006

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