According to airline security regulations, any sharp objects that may be used as a weapon can’t be brought inside the cabin of an airplane. However, sometimes this is not the case for bottle openers and other accessories.
If you’re wondering whether it’s possible to bring a wine opener on a flight with you, you should know that the rules aren’t exactly clear. Some countries and airlines allow certain types of wine openers, while others are keeping it vague.
Before you decide to pack a corkscrew in your carry-on bag, learn the regulations regarding this topic.
TSA and Wine Openers
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) prohibits corkscrews that are equipped with blades in carry-on bags. This type of corkscrew won’t pass TSA screening and the agent will automatically confiscate it. The same goes for any sharp objects like knives, blades, large scissors, etc.
If your wine opener has a blade, you’ll have to pack it in your checked bag – the one that you won’t be carrying on the flight with you. Also, any sharp objects like a bladed corkscrew need to be wrapped or sheathed to prevent accidents or injuries to luggage inspectors and handlers.
On the other hand, certain wine openers are allowed in a plane cabin. If you have a regular corkscrew, you may bring it on a plane as long as it’s unmodified and doesn’t protrude anything sharp.
To make sure that the corkscrew will pass the checkpoint, you should bring a small corkscrew that has a simple handle on top. It shouldn’t have any additional features such as a bottle or can opener if you want to be sure.
Keep in mind that the final decision is on the TSA officer, so even if you bring a plain corkscrew in your carry-on bag, there’s a chance that it won’t make it. So, if you have a wine opener that bears some kind of sentimental value, it would be better to pack it in a checked bag. Otherwise, there’s always a chance of you losing it.
What Type of Corkscrew Should I Pack?
If you’re having doubts about whether your wine opener can pass the checkpoint, make sure that you follow all TSA and airline rules. Some airlines, such as all US airlines, don’t allow any objects that can cause severe injuries on a flight. Since a corkscrew is a sharp object, it can be considered dangerous by some airlines.
The type of corkscrew that is most likely to pass the checkpoint is the simple corkscrew. The t-shaped corkscrew that has a handle at the top and a spiral worm. There are also travel wine openers that look similar to simple corkscrews but with a plastic sheath that shields the handle and the spiral.
Some of these corkscrews are marketed as ‘unconfiscatable,’ but you should always be careful. There are no definite rules regarding what’s allowed; you may pack a wine opener that claims to be flight-friendly in your carry-on bag and have it confiscated at the checkpoint.
However, you can increase your chances if your corkscrew doesn’t have any protruding sharp edges.
EU’s Take on Carry-on Corkscrews
Unlike the USA, the laws of the European Union don’t have any clear regulations for bringing corkscrews inside a plane.
There are cases when even simple or travel corkscrews are taken away from check-out bags at EU airports. Your conventional wine opener is more unlikely to make it through an EU airport than an American airport.
However, one thing’s the same with all airports — you should never have a bladed corkscrew in your carry-on luggage, especially if the blade is longer than 2.3” (some laws and airlines may allow very short blades on a plane).
What About Other Bottle Openers?
Champagne openers aren’t prohibited, but once again, it’s always up to the security officer. Depending on the circumstances, some champagne openers can be deemed hazardous and confiscated at the checkpoint. The smaller the opener, the higher the chances of it passing a security check.
Bottlecap openers are usually allowed, especially when they are part of a key ring or extremely small. Since this type of openers doesn’t have any sharp ends and are equipped with a ‘D’-shaped head, they shouldn’t have trouble passing security checks.
Pack on Your Own Consideration
As you can see, regulations regarding wine openers on an airplane aren’t that clear cut, probably because not too many people have the urge to bring a corkscrew on a flight (it’s not like you could buy a bottle of wine in the air).
In any event, you can try to pack a simple or travel corkscrew and pray that it will pass security checks. Although they aren’t forbidden, a security officer may still decide to confiscate it.
If you’re also bringing a checked bag, it would be the better option to put your corkscrew in there. If not, don’t put any corkscrew that you can’t afford to lose in your carry-on.