'Drunk booze-smuggler'causes flight diversion! But how much alcohol can you actually take on board?

2017-12-05 11:16 - Unathi Nkanjeni
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Cape Town - While having a drink or two is perfectly okay when flying on certain airlines, one passenger took it way too far and ended up being escorted off an easyJet flight from Spain en route to the UK.

According to the DailyMail, the woman described as “small and blonde” had to be escorted off easyJet flight EZY7124, which was diverted by 800 miles (about 1 280 km) to Bordeaux, France, after the flight crew claimed she was being disruptive and suspected of bringing her own bottle of alcohol on the flight.

As a rule, passengers are not allowed to bring their own booze on board for personal consumption and cabin crew are charged with monitoring alcohol consumption while in the air.  

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The publication reports that another passenger who was on board, Catherine Skelhorn, saw the incident occur and said she was about to fall asleep when the crew made the announcement about the emergency landing.

Skelhorn is quoted as saying, “There was a lot of commotion near the front as the crew were speaking to a [woman] when we landed the police came on the plane, they tried to speak to her but took her off and put her in a police car. They found an empty bottle under her seat."

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While drunk or disruptive passengers are not only a danger to themselves in-flight but can also be a risk for others on board, easyJet says the safety and welfare of their passengers and crew is easyJet's highest priority. 

"Whilst such incidents are rare, we take them very seriously do not tolerate abusive or threatening behaviour on-board and always push for prosecution. "Police met the aircraft on landing and the passenger was escorted from the aircraft.

"The aircraft has since continued to Liverpool and we would like to apologise to all passengers for any inconvenience caused by the delay," says the airline. 

What you need to know about transporting alcohol on a plane:

Am I allowed to bring alcohol on board?

According to custom control the transporting of alcohol is regulated, once it is over a certain alcohol percentage. You can keep this in either your cabin baggage or checked-in baggage but it must be sealed and in its original packaging. 

It must also be stowed correctly, taking into consideration breakage. Also, you should really know by now that Liquids, Aerosols and Gels (LAG) are restricted on international flights.

You can still bring LAG items in your hand luggage, but the bottles can’t exceed 100ml and should be packed in a plastic re-sealable bag. Not sure what LAG items are? Simple rule of thumb is: if you can pour it, pump it, squeeze it, spread it, smear it, spray it or spill it, it’s considered a LAG.

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How much alcohol can I bring

Travelling to the EU:

As a private individual, there are no limits on what you can buy and take with you when travelling between EU countries as long as the products purchased are for your own use and not for resale. Taxes (VAT and excise) are included in the price of the product in the country where you bought it, so no further payments are due in any other EU country.

If you enter the EU from a non-EU country, you can bring goods free of VAT and excise duties with you within the limits set out below and if they are not for resale. The same rules apply if you come from the Canary Islands, the Channel Islands, Gibraltar or other territories where EU rules on VAT and excise do not apply.
Alcoholic drinks
You can bring in:
4 litres of still wine and
16 litres of beer
You can also bring:
a total of 1 litre of spirits over 22 % vol. or 1 litre of undenatured alcohol (ethyl alcohol) of 80% vol. (or over) or 2 litres of fortified or sparkling wine
Each of these amounts represents 100% of the total of this last allowance which you can split. For example, you can bring a half a litre of spirits and 1 litre of fortified wine - both represent half of this allowance.


Travelling to the UK:

You are allowed to bring the following into the UK from outside the EU without paying duty and/or tax: 1 litre of spirits or strong liqueurs over 22% volume. Or. 2 litres of fortified wine (such as port or sherry), sparkling wine or any other alcoholic drink that is less than 22% volume.

How much you can bring depends on the type of drink. You can bring in:
beer - 16 litres
wine (not sparkling) - 4 litres
You can also bring in either:
spirits and other liquors over 22% alcohol - 1 litre
fortified wine (eg port, sherry), sparkling wine and alcoholic drinks up to 22% alcohol - 2 litres
You can split this last allowance, eg you could bring 1 litre of fortified wine and half a litre of spirits (both half of your allowance).
You may have to pay Excise Duty on alcohol you declare.

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