Passenger Packs Diet Coke In Checked Bag On Flight To Europe, Fails To Declare It [Roundup]

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Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Dumb move to drop the Omni flower icon – it had plenty of recognition among upscale leisure travelers

  2. It’s not illegal to “smuggle” Diet Coke. I bring foreign beers home all the time. Who cares?

  3. @Tino – you new around here? Leff doesn’t care at all if his clickbait headlines don’t have any relationship with facts.

  4. She obviously meant “smuggle” figuratively. Nobody cares if you bring processed food items across borders, just stuff that might carry pathogens.

  5. Small plastic bottles of Diet Coca Cola are probably the best at handling the air pressure changes in the airplane hold. That being said, the bottles can become pressurized due to ground crews throwing luggage around so it might be advisable to put them in a sealed heavy duty plastic bag. I’ve had cans fail from the heat in a car on a sunny day.

  6. The guitar case in that picture does not look at all sufficient to protect a guitar from routine baggage handling. You have to anticipate that your bag is going in a hold under the weight of potentially several other bags… PAX’s fault on this one.

  7. @jsn: The pressure difference on an aircraft isn’t going to do anything to a beverage container. You can throw a can of soda in a vacuum and it’ll be just fine… that’s just a pressure differential of 15psi.

    Heat or freeze a can and the pressure differential gets to be much higher, and THAT can definitely rupture a container.

  8. Bringing a non-alcoholic beverage like Diet Coke into the EU does not violate any laws and it does not need to be “declared.” One would think a self-proclaimed travel expert like Gary would have at least some familiarity with customs regulations rather than portraying this woman as some kind of criminal.

  9. I didn’t finish all the diet soft drinks I had before I got on a flight at Harlingen, Texas. They told me I could drink them or throw them away. I wasn’t wasting my drinks. They would have been better cold. I try to be careful now on how many I have left on flight day.

  10. Only an American child with a supportive father could piss off the other passengers on this flight.

    The father looks at camera as If he is proud of the brat.


  11. Guitar case took a pretty heavy load, but nobody should check a guitar without a TSA-approved flight case. It might not be handling – luggage conveyors and gates can get jammed up too. It does say they tried to gate check it – little chance for success unless in First. I doubt they could buy a seat for the guitar if they can’t spring for a proper case.

  12. @Steve. It doesn’t have to be an American child. It doesn’t have to be a child. Sometimes it takes a lot to piss people off. Sometimes a little. The man looks at the camera. I didn’t see any particular expression on his face. I bring a toy with lights and music for my son to keep him occupied. I turn the volume as low as I can and he is sitting down so the lights are in one spot. Not all over the plane distracting people or waking them or keeping them awake.

  13. I have been told by customs authorities in the EU that the hot new drink to bring from the US to Europe is Prime, not Diet Coke.

  14. How goofy. They do have plenty of Coke Zero in Europe. It may be called “Sugar-free Coke” or something like that, but there’s really no need to carry a suitcase full of Coke with you.

  15. They have Coke Zero sold as Coke Zero in Europe. It’s even locally-produced/locally-bottled in Europe just like Coke wants it to be.

  16. If pressure differential was an issue they couldn’t put soda in the galley. Most likely it was broken due to crushing in the suitcase

  17. Diet Coke tastes completely different from Coke Zero. They have Coke LIght in Europe which is close to Diet Coke but still not the same. I prefer Diet Coke as well but not enough to bring a suitcase full of it when I travel overseas.

  18. HA. . .that is the old DL! NW just made them better and now they are back to “Delta . . .Get’s you there”.

  19. we were in Japan and it is called Coke Lite because “diet” is a pharmacy term and would need a prescription

  20. That kids with the blinking lights can cause a seizure with some who have epilepsy. Flashing lights in the dark is a trigger event.

  21. How is this diet coke story worthy of a post? It is not illegal to carry Diet Coke into the EU and there is no need to “declare” bringing Diet Coke into the EU (or the US, for that matter)

    Crap like this cheapens the blog… Stick to real stories

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