Basic principles: Airline flights aren’t “BYO.” If the demands the alcohol you brought on board to drink, you had better give it up.
- You can buy alcohol post-security, such as at duty free. (And Memphis airport is going to start selling alcohol in to-go cups.) But you cannot drink your alcohol on the plane.
- It is a violation of federal law to drink alcoholic beverage onboard an an aircraft unless served by the airline. Airlines have the option of serving you the alcohol you bring onboard yourself, but that’s entirely at their discretion (and the discretion of the flight attendants on any given flight).
I once had a seatmate refuse crew instructions to stop drinking her own alcohol onboard. I was lucky we didn’t divert, though things did get kind of nasty.
What happens to you really depends on the airline and the flight crew. Last year an Alaska Airlines flight diverted to Denver after a passenger refused to stop drinking his own alcohol and shouting “we’re all gonna die”. Yet the airline treated it merely as ‘a customer service issue’.
Love & Hip Hop‘s Tommie Lee was kicked off Delta flight DL1949 from Atlanta to Miami after boarding with a glass of wine in hand.
The incident went down Wednesday night in Atlanta, and according to witnesses, security and flight attendants approached Tommie shortly before takeoff. We’re told she was calm during the 10-minute convo and ultimately got off without a fight.
While “at least one witness says she was asked to leave [the glass of wine] in the terminal” but boarded anyway, Lee’s rep claims she “was kicked off for crying about a friend’s recent death” which of course is what airlines always do?
If you drink all the booze on the plane you may get congratulated by the pilot. Just make sure it’s the airline’s booze you’re drinking, and not your own.