The trouble with travelling when wine is involved

11 January, 2008

Isn't it time someone did something about the ludicrous airport security regulation governing wine? My question is prompted by the recent tale of an absent-minded Foster's regional manager who had to destroy two bottles of Penfolds Grange at Melbourne airport when a jobsworth wouldn't let him carry them through security. A similar thing happened to two friends of mine travelling back from Florence. Their solution, however, was to retire to the closest bar and drink their precious haul of Chianti.

As a journalist, I used to be able to carry interesting bottles back from trips in the comparative safety of my hand luggage. Now they have to travel in my suitcase. There were three carefully wrapped bottles in my Samsonite on its way back from Australia recently and I nearly sprained my wrist lifting it on to the scales. Luckily none of them broke in transit on this occasion, but it's only a matter of time.

There are two solutions to the problem. The first is to invest in a pack of Wineskins (, which will prevent liquid disaster. The second is for the wine trade to lobby airports to make an exception to their ludicrous 10cl rule.

After all, if you can buy wine duty free and carry it on to a plane, why can't you pack it in your hand luggage? Does anyone seriously believe that wine is potentially explosive? And if a broken wine bottle is potentially a lethal weapon, why don't airlines move to plastic containers in business and first class?

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