Air France - Wine/Alcohol Restriction

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Michael Bowden
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Air France - Wine/Alcohol Restriction

#1 Post by Michael Bowden » March 10th, 2018, 3:44 am

Unsure if this should go in the Travel Forum or the Wine Forum....

Something that I was unaware of until today (I don't recall this being policy in the past or if this is something new) - Air France only allows you to travel with 5 liters of wine/alcohol.

Just an FYI if you were thinking about taking wine to/from Europe or anywhere else that AF might fly. Both DL and KLM have no restriction that I know about (I've carted multiple cases of wine back on both carriers without any issues).

Learning the hard way (read - at the f*cking airport with (12 bottles) case in-tow) isn't the way you want to learn about it. I need the wine in the case so my only option was to change my flight to a KLM flight ($650 later, change fee waived).

I didn't even bother mentioning the 3 bottles that I had in my suitcase......

From the AF site - "Alcoholic beverages not exceeding an alcoholic volume of 70 %, wrapped in their retail packaging, correctly closed and not exceeding 5 liters, are permitted. "
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#2 Post by Ian Sutton » March 10th, 2018, 8:13 am

There are sometimes isolated cases highlighted with airlines, of airport staff misguidedly imagining such a restriction, but in their defence you've identified that this is genuinely in the T&Cs - though worth checking via internet archive if this was there on booking. If so, and without communication of any revised T&Cs, you might have a case against them.

Of course amongst forumites here, this is a very poor marketing choice, and will cause many forumites to choose a different airline or even destination. Perhaps you may wish to share this thread with them when registering your dis-satisfaction, so they can reflect on the potential for lost revenue.
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#3 Post by Scott Tallman » March 10th, 2018, 9:01 am

This was a great wake up call as I always brought back whatever I wanted from Italy and France on Lufthansa without issue. Going to Belgium this spring and expected to bring back as much beer as I wanted.

Unfortunately, British Airways also has the 5L limit. Very disappointing.
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#4 Post by H Wallace Jr » March 10th, 2018, 9:43 am

Yikes... For the past several years, I've flown AF annually (both from US and from CDG) with 27L.

Just in Feb, I flew both ways on AF w/ 9L clearly marked in a wine check) w/ another 1.5L in my suitcase.

UGH.
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Air France - Wine/Alcohol Restriction

#5 Post by Barry L i p t o n » March 10th, 2018, 11:39 am

Thanks for the warning!

It’s been a long while but brought back 3 cases once in wine shippers. I missed the bag checkin cutoff but when I told them I was bringing French wine to California, they said it was too important to waste time collecting the bag fees, we must get the wine on the plane now!

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#6 Post by George Hejna » March 10th, 2018, 11:45 am

Air France the Hertz of the skies. [snort.gif]

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Air France - Wine/Alcohol Restriction

#7 Post by Michael Bowden » March 10th, 2018, 1:00 pm

George Hejna wrote:Air France the Hertz of the skies. [snort.gif]

George
I'm banning them....they aren't banning me.... I don't get the reference [smileyvault-ban.gif]
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Air France - Wine/Alcohol Restriction

#8 Post by doug johnson » March 10th, 2018, 1:30 pm

I think all Lufthansa lines have this same 5L restriction.

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#9 Post by Michael Bowden » March 10th, 2018, 2:13 pm

doug johnson wrote:I think all Lufthansa lines have this same 5L restriction.
BA apparently also.
I'm taller than Zach Lang.

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#10 Post by Ian Sutton » March 10th, 2018, 2:54 pm

In a bizarre twist, I've checked, and Ryanair still have no exclusion/limit for alcohol on hold luggage, barring anything in excess of 70% alc (140% proof).

So they are now leading champions of customer rights.

I need to lie down.
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#11 Post by Brian S t o t t e r » March 10th, 2018, 4:00 pm

I think this limitation is for higher alcohol content items like spirits. I’m flying Lufthansa next month and bringing as much riesling back with me that I can carry.
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Air France - Wine/Alcohol Restriction

#12 Post by doug johnson » March 10th, 2018, 5:32 pm

Brian S t o t t e r wrote:I think this limitation is for higher alcohol content items like spirits. I’m flying Lufthansa next month and bringing as much riesling back with me that I can carry.
Hi Brian,

Looks like you are right!

See here, under sub-heading "Alcoholic Beverages" -
https://www.lufthansa.com/us/en/Informa ... rous-goods - which reads "Rules
- In retail packaging, containing more than 24% but less than 70% alcohol by volume.
- In receptacles not exceeding 5 litres.
- The total net quantity per passenger is 5 litres."

Thanks for correcting me!

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#13 Post by Russell Faulkner » March 10th, 2018, 8:54 pm

Since they don’t screen bags at check in. And the screening is done by the airport rather than airline. I suspect this is all somewhat academic if you pack wine in your suitcases as opposed to something obvious at checkin.

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#14 Post by Ian Sutton » March 11th, 2018, 5:17 am

Russell Faulkner wrote:Since they don’t screen bags at check in. And the screening is done by the airport rather than airline. I suspect this is all somewhat academic if you pack wine in your suitcases as opposed to something obvious at checkin.
Yes the obvious wine case may have been the flag in this case. As Michael said - no problem with the other bottles in the suitcase.

Do the Air France conditions also mention the 70% alcohol definition. If so, then Michael would have a legitimate complaint (not that I'd expect Air France to listen to it...)
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#15 Post by Howard Cooper » March 11th, 2018, 12:24 pm

When I go to Burgundy, I have wine shipped to me by Cotes D’Or Imports. Depending on cost of wine, savings by not having to pay VAT can offset cost of shipping. Don’t know if there are similar things in other wine regions.
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#16 Post by patrick c albright » March 11th, 2018, 12:55 pm

Howard Cooper wrote:When I go to Burgundy, I have wine shipped to me by Cotes D’Or Imports. Depending on cost of wine, savings by not having to pay VAT can offset cost of shipping. Don’t know if there are similar things in other wine regions.
Depending on whom the seller is, you can usually get twelve percent to all of the VAT returned via PABLO.
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Air France - Wine/Alcohol Restriction

#17 Post by Sally S » March 11th, 2018, 6:40 pm

We flew BA last March to France and back. I noticed the 5L restriction language before we left, exchanged several emails with Customer Service, where they finally told me I could check my full wine boxes on the return trip. It was a difficult conversation but ultimately got my exact questions answered. Took a printed version of the email with me, but never needed it. I flew home with 33 bottles, using 2 wine boxes and a 6-bottle styro insert in my suitcase.
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#18 Post by Walter Nissen » March 22nd, 2018, 5:28 pm

Interesting the TSA has the same rules, except that anything below 24% (basically, anything not made by Zind-Humbrecht) is unlimited. I wonder if that's what Air France is basing their rule on.

https://www.tsa.gov/blog/2014/01/07/tsa ... -beverages

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#19 Post by LoriMcLaughlin » April 16th, 2018, 2:18 pm

Walter Nissen wrote:Interesting the TSA has the same rules, except that anything below 24% (basically, anything not made by Zind-Humbrecht) is unlimited. I wonder if that's what Air France is basing their rule on.

https://www.tsa.gov/blog/2014/01/07/tsa ... -beverages
The interesing thing about this is they opened a new airside Moonshine Distillery in the airport here in Greenville. No restrictions on amount in volume or alcohol to carry on board. I guess it doesn't have to go through the TSA checkpoint and you are on your honor about not drinking it in flight.

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#20 Post by Brian S t o t t e r » April 17th, 2018, 3:16 pm

When I returned from Germany with my Wine Check in tow, the customs officer told me that they don't care how much wine you bring back for personal consumption. Their only concern is if you're bringing in cases of higher alcohol liquor or palettes of wine that are clearly being imported for distribution, in which case you pay the tax.
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#21 Post by William Moy » April 20th, 2018, 9:33 am

Is this new? My buddy and I both flew back from CDG this past September with a full wine check each and had no issues.

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#22 Post by Michael Bowden » April 20th, 2018, 10:43 am

William Moy wrote:Is this new? My buddy and I both flew back from CDG this past September with a full wine check each and had no issues.
I'm guessing selective enforcement.
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#23 Post by cjsadler » April 20th, 2018, 11:38 am

I flew back on Air France this past fall with a full Wine Check and no problems (and my buddy had 2 cases). Getting ready to head back to France next month (on AF again). Anyone have the correct info on this? Is AF trying to follow the TSA 5L thing but forgetting about the 24-70% abv detail? Just an unlucky overzealous/incorrect enforcement issue for the OP? I'd be damn surprised if AF of all airlines isn't going to let you bring back a case of wine.
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#24 Post by M.Kaplan » April 20th, 2018, 12:35 pm

https://www.airfrance.fr/FR/en/common/g ... france.htm

Alcoholic beverages not exceeding an alcoholic volume of 70 %, wrapped in their retail packaging, correctly closed and not exceeding 5 liters, are permitted.

In the cabin: no
In the hold: yes
Prior approval needed: no

Maximum 5 l per person
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#25 Post by cjsadler » April 20th, 2018, 8:26 pm

M.Kaplan wrote:https://www.airfrance.fr/FR/en/common/g ... france.htm

Alcoholic beverages not exceeding an alcoholic volume of 70 %, wrapped in their retail packaging, correctly closed and not exceeding 5 liters, are permitted.

In the cabin: no
In the hold: yes
Prior approval needed: no

Maximum 5 l per person
I’ve seen this, but I’m thinking they mistakenly omitted the 24% part.
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#26 Post by ATaylor » April 23rd, 2018, 5:15 am

My wife is in the air right now on the CDG-SFO flight bringing a Winecheck and a few loose bottles in her luggage. No issues at all.
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#27 Post by cjsadler » May 16th, 2018, 3:07 pm

Just flew back on AF with a case. No problems whatsoever.
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#28 Post by Blake Brown » May 19th, 2018, 11:33 am

Not a fan of Air France. Their super strict enforcement of precise carryon size and weight in Paris cost us $100 plus losing our place in a LONG line which translated into almost missing our flight. I was wearing a heavy trench coat and when they added that to the total of my carryon, it made it oversized and 1 pound over weight. Had to go back to the check in counter and check it in. What made it worse was the attitude which was extremely critically rude and confronting and this was just about a piece of baggage and a pound. They took it personally. Having only a couple of hours of sleep, I didn't handle it all that well initially until I did.
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#29 Post by pbudny » May 28th, 2018, 8:28 am

I recently flew from CGG to YVR (Vancouver, BC Canada) on Air France with a Wine Check full of 12 bottles of grower Champagne. No issues other than they asked me to check the Wine Check at the oversize counter for whatever reason. Then in Vancouver it came out with all the other luggage and NOT the oversize area :)
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Re: Air France - Wine/Alcohol Restriction

#30 Post by Frank Z » October 30th, 2019, 9:39 am

Sorry to be reviving an old thread, but will be travelling on AF to Paris in January, and I wanted to bring back a case of Champagne in my wine check. Anyone have any updated information, or is the 5L policy still enforced? Also, if I travel with family (of 4 total), does that mean my limit goes up to 20L?

Thanks!
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#31 Post by Scott Tallman » October 30th, 2019, 9:59 am

I’m guessing the wine check may open you to scrutiny and thus require you to comply with the 5L limit. I returned from Belgium last year with more than double BA’s 5L limit, but it was in my suitcase and was not flagged.
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Re: Air France - Wine/Alcohol Restriction

#32 Post by Blair Ridley » October 30th, 2019, 1:26 pm

I flew back from Paris in July on Air France and checked my 12-bottle styro Wine Check. No problems at all.

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Re: Air France - Wine/Alcohol Restriction

#33 Post by Michael Bowden » November 1st, 2019, 9:50 am

From experience (mine and others) it just seems to be the agent you get - you could get nothing but you could also get an agent who really wants to enforce the rules. I've stopped flying AF because I travel with wine virtually every trip and I don't want to take the risk.
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Re: Air France - Wine/Alcohol Restriction

#34 Post by Blake Brown » November 9th, 2019, 12:46 am

Michael Bowden wrote:
November 1st, 2019, 9:50 am
From experience (mine and others) it just seems to be the agent you get - you could get nothing but you could also get an agent who really wants to enforce the rules. I've stopped flying AF because I travel with wine virtually every trip and I don't want to take the risk.
I`m inclined to agree that it probably comes down to the agent{s} you're dealing with. Our carryon issue involved about 5 different agents playing the role of enforcer and loving it amidst numerous passengers shouting profanities and even some just throwing their carryons in the trash and leaving their belongings behind. I do not know what they had inside, but that was not a choice for us. I stopped flying with AF and have never had any problem with KLM/ Delta and others although I would not put it past British Airways to cop a similar attitude.
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