(NEXSTAR) — It’s not uncommon to pack a snack or a drink in your carry-on for a flight, especially for a long trip. While most alcohol falls under the list of food and beverages you can bring aboard a plane, can you drink it once you’re in your seat?
Though it may be tempting to open a bottle of liquor after a bit of rough turbulence, you can’t. And if you do, you could face serious consequences.
According to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), alcoholic beverages can be packed in your checked baggage. Those with between 24% and 70% alcohol are limited in checked bags to 5 liters per passenger and need to be unopened.
Beverages with 24% or less alcohol in your checked baggage don’t need to adhere to the same rules.
When it comes to your carry on, you’re allowed to bring smaller bottles of alcohol but they need to “comfortably fit into a single quart-sized bag,” TSA noted.
Once your alcohol is in your carry on, it should stay there.
Under current FAA regulations, passengers aren’t allowed to drink alcohol while flying unless it’s served by a flight attendant. Your flight attendant also isn’t allowed to serve you if you’re intoxicated.
Intoxicated passengers who become unruly on a flight can face hefty fines, sometimes totaling thousands of dollars.
FAA proposed a fine topping $40,000 against an April 2021 flyer accused of bringing alcohol on a Southwest flight and drinking it, smoking marijuana in the lavatory, and sexually assaulting a flight attendant. The passenger was arrested in San Diego on charges of public intoxication and resisting arrest.
You may also find yourself barred from flying at all if you drink too much while waiting to board. According to the FAA, airlines aren’t allowed to let any passenger that appears intoxicated on a flight.
In response to a historic uptick in reported incidents of unruly and disruptive — and sometimes intoxicated — passengers, many airlines banned alcohol on flights during the COVID pandemic. The FAA investigated over 1,000 cases of unruly passengers in 2021 alone — more than the five previous years combined.
The federal agency’s Zero Tolerance policy, enacted in early 2021, remains in effect. As part of the policy, instead of issuing unruly passengers warning letters or counseling, the FAA issues fines.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.