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Flying NOB with Booze

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Post by CheenaGringo Wed Dec 28, 2011 8:01 pm

It has been a tradition of ours to bring back "collector bottles"of Tequila when we return from Mexico. It is easy for us when driving back since New Mexico allows you to bring all you want as long as you pay $1.50 per liter over and above your allowed 1 liter. However, if we fly we on US Airways, we have to comply with the 1 liter limit entering Arizona. They do not offer the option to bring in more than 1 liter and will confiscate any excess and pour out the contents in front of you. With the current TSA regs, one doesn't have the option of putting liquor in your carry on and it must be in your checked luggage and you take the chance of it being broken.

I ran across a appropriate product to hopefully assure safe passage for your booze:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0055OZPEC/ref=ox_ya_os_product

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Post by Intercasa Wed Dec 28, 2011 8:57 pm

People entering the US must face the stricter of:

Entry requirements of the state at point of entry
Federal limits

Arizona is the toughest. I used to routinely bring back 3 bottles of rum when living in the Caribbean years ago and never had issues arriving at a point of entry in California, Texas, North Carolina and Florida.
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Post by hockables Wed Dec 28, 2011 8:59 pm

CheenaGringo wrote:It has been a tradition of ours to bring back "collector bottles"of Tequila when we return from Mexico. It is easy for us when driving back since New Mexico allows you to bring all you want as long as you pay $1.50 per liter over and above your allowed 1 liter. However, if we fly we on US Airways, we have to comply with the 1 liter limit entering Arizona. They do not offer the option to bring in more than 1 liter and will confiscate any excess and pour out the contents in front of you. With the current TSA regs, one doesn't have the option of putting liquor in your carry on and it must be in your checked luggage and you take the chance of it being broken.

I ran across a appropriate product to hopefully assure safe passage for your booze:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0055OZPEC/ref=ox_ya_os_product


drink contents... transport vessel... problem solved :)
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Post by hound dog Thu Dec 29, 2011 8:27 am

Usually, when we fly from Mexico to France we fly nonstop to Paris from Mexico City but the last time we flew we got a deal flying to Paris from Guadalajara through Chicago and back through Dallas on American Ailines. Huge mistake. We always take some top quality tequila with us for family in France since they can´t get it there and some family members love really top quality tequila. To prevent potentially disastrous breakage, we hand carried the tequila onto the plane which was no problem in Mexico but personnel at Chicago´s airport were going to confiscate the tequila until one kind American Airlines representative offered to wrap and securely box the tequila and check it for us on the flight to Paris. If it had not been for her kindness, there went some very expensive tequila and our plans for a margarita party in Paris.

I guess we were naive, not having flown through the U.S. in years. The TSA destroyed a $200USD suitcase of ours transiting through the states because we dared lock the thing and left a note inside the resealed bag stating they regretted ruining our checked suitcase but that was our problem. Returning to Guadalajara through Dallas, the TSA personnel acted like thugs in several incidents involving several passengers in transit including us while we were on the ground connecting to Guadalajara. One of those was an infirm, elderly woman gruffly subjected to a body search. Where do they recruit these TSA goons they find to harass people?

We now avoid flying through the U.S. again even if we have to pay a premium to fly direct from Mexico to France or any other country if the U.S. can be avoided. If the U.S. can´t be avoided, we will think twice about that voyage. Flying within Mexico, which we do usually from Guadalajara to Chiapas, is a breeze. Seat room bordering on luxury, one passenger class, amenable personnel and a lack of thuggish goons harassing us. Damn are we glad we got out of the U.S. ten years ago despite Mexico´s current problems.

By the way, we were going to take a young Oaxaca Zapoteco kid with us to the U.S. on a flight to Phoenix last year and they made it impossible for him to get a visa even though he was being chaperoned by a U.S. citzen. So, we´re taking the little guy with us to Paris instead of Phoenix and Santa Fe. Poor kid. The U.S. is its own worst enemy. Imagine if we were flying to Paris transitting through the U.S. with a Mexican kid with a transit visa. I wouldn´t take that chance.


Last edited by hound dog on Thu Dec 29, 2011 8:55 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post by CheenaGringo Thu Dec 29, 2011 8:39 am

Dawg:

So that you and others are aware, it appears that the rules may have changed at GDL. When Kathy was down in November, she purchased a bottle of fine Tequila in Tlaquepaque and had it in her carry on bag. They would not allow her to carry on the flight. Her checked bag had already been sent on its way and US Airways wanted $200USD to retrieve the bag and allow her to put the bottle in the checked bag. So she found a nice younger lady seeing someone off in the crowd and gave the bottle to her. Needless to say, she wasn't happy but she wasn't going to give the bottle to someone from US Airways. She then purchased another bottle of lesser quality Tequila at the Duty Free shop and they delivered to the plane. When she arrived in Phoenix, she had to transfer it to her checked bag after clearing customs.

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Post by hound dog Thu Dec 29, 2011 9:02 am

[quote="CheenaGringo"]Dawg:

So that you and others are aware, it appears that the rules may have changed at GDL. When Kathy was down in November, she purchased a bottle of fine Tequila in Tlaquepaque and had it in her carry on bag. They would not allow her to carry on the flight. Her checked bag had already been sent on its way and US Airways wanted $200USD to retrieve the bag and allow her to put the bottle in the checked bag. So she found a nice younger lady seeing someone off in the crowd and gave the bottle to her. Needless to say, she wasn't happy but she wasn't going to give the bottle to someone from US Airways. She then purchased another bottle of lesser quality Tequila at the Duty Free shop and they delivered to the plane. When she arrived in Phoenix, she had to transfer it to her checked bag after clearing customs. [/quote]


Thanks for the warning, Neil. We´ll need to consider that when flying to Paris next year. Perhaps we will need to buy the tequila at the duty free shop in DF or find some way to pack the tequila in such a way that it will be safe from breakage when we board in Guadalajara. Maybe a styrofoam container will do the trick.
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Post by CheenaGringo Thu Dec 29, 2011 9:21 am

Our objection to purchasing at the Duty Free shops is the selection. Most of the brands offered are the commonly recognized mass market names and we try to bring back some of the finer domestic brands not created for the export market.

The bags in my previously posted link have an absorbent lining that are designed to contain the full .75l of liquid without spillage into one's luggage. While not exactly my preferred item to purchase for our upcoming trip, it was the one option we could be assured of receiving prior to departure.

The style that I really preferred was: http://www.amazon.com/Vinnibag-Inflatable-Travel-Wine-Bag/dp/B0049WMSXC/ref=pd_sim_sbs_k_8
[img]Flying NOB with Booze 31a8ge10[/img]

Quite a bit more expensive but look like a good investment for future travel.

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Post by brigitte Thu Dec 29, 2011 9:31 am

I used to carry wine in my luggage all the time, nothing expensive is necessary. Wrap it with bubble wrap and put it within a plastic bag with a knot and another one with a knot as well. This will prevent clothes to get ruined if the red wine spills...
Wrap very well as airlines can destroy just about anything.

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Post by saege007 Thu Dec 29, 2011 12:58 pm

My method of transporting booze has never failed me.

1. put bottle inside snug sock
2. wrap in plastic bag
3. put inside another snug sock
4. wrap in plastic bag
5. pack wrapped in clothing

No fancy equipment necessary.

Back when you could carry bottles on the plane, I brought back 4 bottles of wine in my backpack, and had another 4 in my checked bag coming back from Germany. The look on the US Customs guy was priceless.
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Post by gringal Thu Dec 29, 2011 2:00 pm

We have been dreaming about a Europe trip and hate the idea of going through the U.S. but I have heard that you can fly directly to Spain from some Mexican airports.
Anyone know more on this?

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Post by hound dog Thu Dec 29, 2011 2:20 pm

gringal wrote:We have been dreaming about a Europe trip and hate the idea of going through the U.S. but I have heard that you can fly directly to Spain from some Mexican airports.
Anyone know more on this?


We fly Aeromexico and Air France who partner on the non-stop flights from Mexico City to Paris. I´m sure Aeromexico also flies non-stop from Mexico City to Madrid and, perhaps Barcelona. They may be partnered with a European airline going to Spain as well. With high speed rail, French and Spanish destinations are easily within reach of each other. From Paris, we will spend some time in La Rochelle and then plan, perhaps, to take high speed rail down to San Sebastian and on to Bilbao. Intra-European travel these days between France and Spain is way easier than it used to be. Anything to avoid transitting through the dreaded U.S. with the neo-Gestapo on duty.

One nice thing about flying to Europe on Aeromexico with its European partners is that one accumulates kilometrage under Aeromexico´s Club Premier for flights to such places as Havana and Lima or, for that matter, Chiapas for the 2012 end-of-the-world fiesta right there among the Maya and go out in style.
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Post by CanuckBob Thu Dec 29, 2011 5:16 pm

hockables wrote:drink contents... transport vessel... problem solved :)

I'm with Hocks on this one......jaja
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Post by CheenaGringo Fri Dec 30, 2011 8:39 am

Three US airlines who service GDL (American, US Airways & United) hit the jackpot by being named the worst for passengers being hassled:
http://mobile.bloomberg.com/news/2011-12-16/american-us-airways-coach-fliers-fare-worst-in-hassle-rankings

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Post by hound dog Fri Dec 30, 2011 9:30 am

[quote="CheenaGringo"]Three US airlines who service GDL (American, US Airways & United) hit the jackpot by being named the worst for passengers being hassled:
http://mobile.bloomberg.com/news/2011-12-16/american-us-airways-coach-fliers-fare-worst-in-hassle-rankings[/quote]


Speaking of American Airlines, of which we spoke earlier regarding the threatened confiscation of our prized tequila in Chicago, this brings to mind another recollection of the adventures that sorry airline provided. Keep in mind that my wife is a French citizen and has no resident rights in the U.S. since she lives in Mexico although she lived and worked in the U.S. for some 30 years. This meant that she only had a transit visa through the United States on our flight from Guadalajara to Paris via Chicago and Dallas and, therefore, had no right to exit the secure international transfer area of an airport and, shall we say, rent a hotel room for the night if delayed. This means that, had there been any problems with connections when we returned to Mexico through Dallas, she would have had no choice but to wait interminably in the secure international transit area which is akin to purgatory. In other words, she lacked the right to even contemplate leaving the secure transit area and spending the night in an airport hotel even though she had lived in and been a successful business person in the United States for three decades.

Now, moving along:

We were staying with family in Paris when we decided it would be a good idea to reconfirm our reservations back to Guadalajara via Dallas. We only did this because we are of the generation traveling in the 60s when reconfirmation of airline reservations from Europe to North American were required or you lost the reservation. The American Airlines agent we called over the telephone told us the connecting flight from Dallas to Guadalajara had been canceled because of insufficient seat sales (this was the time of the swine flu epidemic) but they had booked us on another flight out of Dallas to Guadalajara. Unfortunately, that flight left Dallas before we arrived from Paris but that had not occurred to them. When we reminded them of that important technicality, they suggested several alternative routes via places such as Los Angeles and London none of which made sense and all of which increased travel time and transfer hassles exponentially. We finally simply switched our flight to one from Paris to Mexico City direct and took a bus back to Guadalajara all at our own expense. American offered us nothing in recompense telling us the flight cancellation was an act of God. What the hell - we enjoyed overnighting in Mexico City despite the added expense but it will freeze in hell before we fly through the United States again and U.S. airlines are all on our sh*tlist.
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Post by raqueteer Fri Dec 30, 2011 1:00 pm

gringal wrote:We have been dreaming about a Europe trip and hate the idea of going through the U.S. but I have heard that you can fly directly to Spain from some Mexican airports.
Anyone know more on this?

We flew direct from D.F. to Madrid a few years ago on Iberia. It was an adventure, flood in D.F. airport, missed the flight to Malaga. Three hour delay. Massive lineups in Madrid for rerouting.

Happy ending. Despite a very lengthy delay, both we and our luggage arrived safely in Malaga four hours late. Got a super room in a Parador, very close to the airport, just phoned them up on the off chance. The car rental people were very friendly plus, and I know this wouldn't be of interest to you, there were no smoking signs everywhere, we were told by everyone that they were just a suggestion. The roads were fabulous.

Flying home, we left from Barcelona back to Madrid, then on to D.F. and were able to leave our rental car in Barcelona, no problem. Missed the flight to GDL, from D.F. and it was our fault, we messed up with time changes. No problem, they put us on the next one, no charge.

It was a great trip, close to a month of wonderful, a lot of mileage, excellent hotels and super food. Well worth it even if you have been there before.

Happy trails,
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