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Question About Alcoholic Beverages Onboard  
User currently offlinedariusbieber From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 199 posts, RR: 0
Posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 4512 times:

I am travelling back to Germany again during the summer.This will be the first time I am traveling over the age of 16. I was wondering, on board international flights, what are the laws governing the purchase of alcoholic beverages?

Since the legal age in the US (flight origin) is 21, but the legal age in Germany (flight destination) is 16... And dinner is usually served over the open Atlantic, what law applies for the consumption and ordering of alcoholic beverages?

[Edited 2010-11-20 12:29:11 by DariusBieber]


Darius Bieber
17 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineRoseFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9611 posts, RR: 52
Reply 1, posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 4481 times:

US airlines restrict alcohol to over 21. On other airlines it can depend. Some will loosely enforce 21 and over on routes to the US, but others are less strict and will enforce their own airline procedures. As far as the minimum age goes, it is dependent on the base of the airline. If you are 16, you likely will not be served, however if the airline is German they might serve you.

With that said, some here might criticize a 16 year old American for drinking in general.



If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlineDariusBieber From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 199 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 4461 times:

Quoting RoseFlyer (Reply 1):

With that said, some here might criticize a 16 year old American for drinking in general.

I am a citizen of Germany.



Darius Bieber
User currently offlineajd1992 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 4426 times:

The law is whatever the law is in the airline's home country. If you flew DL, it'd be 21. If you flew Lufthansa, it'd be 16. If you flew BA, it'd be 18.

They will probably ID you either way if you are 16, and if you are on an American carrier, they won't serve you.


User currently offlineRamblinMan From United States of America, joined Oct 2010, 1138 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 4421 times:

Shhh...don't let the teetotalers on here see this.

Having said that, never been ID'd on a plane. Fly LH and you'll probably be ok. Be careful, too...the alcohol will hit you twice as hard at altitude. Oh, and be sure you don't get used to enjoying yourself over there, cause it'll suck when you get back.


User currently offlineRyanairGuru From Australia, joined Oct 2006, 5449 posts, RR: 5
Reply 5, posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 4390 times:

This is kind of related to a question I thought of the other day (and if the thread-starter doesn't mind) I'll tag it on here as opposed to starting a new thread....

I'm going to the USA next year, and will be 20. Obviously I can't purchase alcohol while there but what's the situation regarding duty free?

I'm thinking that I won't be able to purchase alcohol at LAX prior to departing to come home, but QF will have no problems selling me duty free alcohol once on board. Would that be right???



Worked Hard, Flew Right
User currently offlineQuokka From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 4384 times:

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 5):
but QF will have no problems selling me duty free alcohol once on board. Would that be right???


You are able to buy items duty-free in the arrivals area before customs and immigration. That'll save you having to carry the stuff around and you can go online and check out the product range and prices (and even order for pick up on arrival) in advance.


User currently offlineBAViscount From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2004, 2338 posts, RR: 4
Reply 7, posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 4371 times:

Quoting ajd1992 (Reply 3):
The law is whatever the law is in the airline's home country. If you flew DL, it'd be 21.

How does this equate to the drinking laws of specific states though? Forgive me if I'm wrong, but I was under the impression that the legal age for drinking is different in different states, unless things have changed. Is it driven by the origin/destination state of the flight?



Ladies & gentlemen this is Captain Tobias Wilcock welcoming you aboard Coconut Airways flight 372 to Bridgetown Barb
User currently offlineajd1992 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 4344 times:

Quoting BAViscount (Reply 7):

How does this equate to the drinking laws of specific states though? Forgive me if I'm wrong, but I was under the impression that the legal age for drinking is different in different states, unless things have changed. Is it driven by the origin/destination state of the flight?

They're all 21 now, have been since the mid 70's. The deal was each state could set it at whatever they chose, but if it was under 21, they'd lose their Federal Highway Maintenance Fund (or something along those lines).

Quoting Quokka (Reply 6):

You are able to buy items duty-free in the arrivals area before customs and immigration. That'll save you having to carry the stuff around and you can go online and check out the product range and prices (and even order for pick up on arrival) in advance.

Not at 20. The law is 21 regardless of where you are in the country (and they do enforce it with passion, trust me), and they will want ID if you look like you even have a pulse.

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 5):
I'm going to the USA next year, and will be 20. Obviously I can't purchase alcohol while there but what's the situation regarding duty free?

I'm thinking that I won't be able to purchase alcohol at LAX prior to departing to come home, but QF will have no problems selling me duty free alcohol once on board. Would that be right???

You can buy on a QF flight (if you are over the Australian age of drinking, not sure what it is but being a part of the Crown it's probably 18) but not at LAX. Once you take off on a QF jet then Australian laws apply, not US.


User currently offlineLuftfahrer From Germany, joined Mar 2009, 1013 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 4339 times:

Quoting ajd1992 (Reply 3):
If you flew Lufthansa, it'd be 16.

It depends, 16 year-olds would be served alcoholic beverages with a lower volume percent, i.e. beer and wine. For hard liquor, you would need to be 18 –– however, it doesn't hurt to ask...

Although I am not 21, I would have tried to order a drink last time I flew on a US carrier, but I didn't feel like paying $7 at all for a tiny bottle of booze.  

[Edited 2010-11-21 06:57:13]


Et là tu montes encore plus haut et ça persiste, alors on vole
User currently offlineQuokka From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 4333 times:

Quoting ajd1992 (Reply 8):
Not at 20. The law is 21 regardless of where you are in the country (and they do enforce it with passion, trust me), and they will want ID if you look like you even have a pulse.
Quoting ajd1992 (Reply 8):
Once you take off on a QF jet then Australian laws apply, not US.


With respect, I was referring to purchasing on return to Australia. According to Customs,( http://www.customs.gov.au/webdata/re...urces/files/GuideForTravellers.pdf ) if you are aged 18 years or over, you can bring 2.25 litres of alcohol duty-free into Australia with you. All alcohol in accompanied baggage is included in this category, regardless of where or how it was purchased. In major International Airports in Australia there are Duty Free Shops available to arriving passengers prior to reaching Customs and Immigration.


User currently offlineRamblinMan From United States of America, joined Oct 2010, 1138 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 4289 times:

Quoting BAViscount (Reply 7):
How does this equate to the drinking laws of specific states though? Forgive me if I'm wrong, but I was under the impression that the legal age for drinking is different in different states, unless things have changed. Is it driven by the origin/destination state of the flight?

The federal government allows states to set their own drinking age...as long as it's 21. Of course, there would be nothing to stop a state from lowering it, except they would lose all federal highway funding. That's right- federal gov't builds a massive cross-country highway system, then uses the necessary maintenance funding as a means to force policy in unrelated issues.

So, if you Brits have ever wondered why you don't get any sympathy from us for your f--ked up government... Welcome to the Club!!!

Quoting ajd1992 (Reply 8):
Not at 20. The law is 21 regardless of where you are in the country (and they do enforce it with passion, trust me), and they will want ID if you look like you even have a pulse.

Are you referring specifically to the duty free shops? Because in general, it's about as enforced as the speed limit. Some states are far stricter than others...and some actually allow underage people to drink accompanied by parents.

And on planes...I always figured if asked, I would just claim my ID was in the overhead and not to bother. Never been asked though, including after I turned legal.


User currently offlineBAViscount From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2004, 2338 posts, RR: 4
Reply 12, posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 4277 times:

Quoting ajd1992 (Reply 8):
They're all 21 now, have been since the mid 70's.

I looked it up and it changed in July 1988, which explains why during my visits in 1986/87 at the age of 20 I could legally drink in some states I visited, but not others. Thankfully I'm too old to have to worry about it now!



Ladies & gentlemen this is Captain Tobias Wilcock welcoming you aboard Coconut Airways flight 372 to Bridgetown Barb
User currently offlineRyanairGuru From Australia, joined Oct 2006, 5449 posts, RR: 5
Reply 13, posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 4230 times:

Quoting Quokka (Reply 6):
You are able to buy items duty-free in the arrivals area before customs and immigration. That'll save you having to carry the stuff around and you can go online and check out the product range and prices (and even order for pick up on arrival) in advance.

Cheers Quokka, I'd forgotten about those

Quoting ajd1992 (Reply 8):
Not at 20. The law is 21 regardless of where you are in the country (and they do enforce it with passion, trust me), and they will want ID if you look like you even have a pulse.

I was referring to the Aus bound leg, but thanks anyway.

So yes, when returning home I will be able to purchase duty free either on the plane or on arrival. Thanks for your help!



Worked Hard, Flew Right
User currently offlinePlymSpotter From Spain, joined Jun 2004, 11645 posts, RR: 60
Reply 14, posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 4222 times:

Quoting ajd1992 (Reply 3):
The law is whatever the law is in the airline's home country.

There are some variations to that rule, especially in the Arab states. For instance in the UAE it's supposed to be forbidden for a Muslim to drink alcohol, however should they wish to, Emirates or Etihad would serve them this.



...love is just a camouflage for what resembles rage again...
User currently offlineAirbusA6 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2005, 2013 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 4188 times:

Recently flying back from SIN to LHR on SQ, there was a large group of British schoolboys (with their teacher), all in the same year, so some were 17 and some were 18. Showing ID, the 18 year olds got beer or wine, the 17 year old didn't. Indeed, one celebrated his 18th birthday on board which was good timing  


it's the bus to stansted (now renamed national express a4 to ruin my username)
User currently offlineTBloemink From Netherlands, joined Mar 2010, 114 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 4100 times:

If I'd run a airline, I'd pick 18 for beer and wine (2 years above the Netherlands minimum age for those) and 21 for ''stronger'' drinks (which is 3 years above Netherlands minimum age for those)

But I thought it was all 21 now.



Flown on: A300, A319, A320, A330, A380, B717, B734, B738, B739, B747, B777
User currently offlinefalstaff From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 6088 posts, RR: 29
Reply 17, posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 4081 times:
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Quoting Luftfahrer (Reply 9):
It depends, 16 year-olds would be served alcoholic beverages with a lower volume percent

That is what I thought. Back in 09 I was in Halle visiting a buddy of mine and his daughter turned 18 and we all went out and boozed it up good for her first legal drinking binge. Very good stuff. I'm always up for a good drinking binge, anywhere in the world....



My mug slaketh over on Falstaff N503
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