Lonely Planet Writer

Here’s how you can check in a case of wine for free on this airline

For wine lovers, visiting wineries and buying beloved booze cases are just part of a unique experience but quite often it’s tricky to haul your purchases back home – especially on flights. Alaska Airlines wants to be part of their journey and help oenophiles bring their stash home.

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Wine lovers rejoice! Alaska Airlines has you covered. Image by GettyImages/Paul A. Souders

The airline’s “Wine Flies Free” program allows Alaska Mileage Plan members who are flying from 29 various airports in the Washington, Oregon, Idaho and California wine regions to now stock up on 12 bottles of wine and check them in for free. You can also join the Mileage Plan for free.

Cropped Hand Holding Wineglass At Restaurant
Now you can bring 12 bottles home! Image by GettyImages/Jose Francisco Dos Santos / EyeEm

Alaska Airlines suggests that you let the winery know that you’re planning to check the wine in at the airport so that they can then safely package it for travel. “This might include a foam-lined box, molded cardboard trays, or other protective packaging,” they say, “make sure the box is left unsealed for inspection”.

Make sure that your Alaska Mileage Plan number is on your flight reservation as this is needed when checking in your wine.

“When you get to the airport, go to the ticket counter and let an Alaska customer service agent know that you’re checking a case of wine,” they add. “They will inspect the case, seal it and ensure that it is labelled with FRAGILE stickers. Pro tip: Don’t try to take your case of wine through the TSA security line. That’s way too much liquid.”

Woman shopping for wine in winery tasting room
Make sure your wine is packaged properly. Image by GettyImages/Hero Images

The company’s blog also notes that many wineries in Washington and Oregon offer free tastings when you show your Alaska Airlines boarding pass. From there, you just need to board your flight and collect your wine at the other end!

The program has just been expanded to other airports in California including San Jose, Fresno, Monterey, Ontario, Orange County, Palm Springs, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, LAX, Burbank and Santa Barbara.