One of the greatest ironies of air travel is that just being in an airport makes you feel like you need a drink or 10 – but there are also strict regulations about how much booze you can take on a plane. Thankfully, one airline has eliminated some of the hassle of buying adult beverages at Duty Free, and the stress of trying to pack a bottle of wine inside your suitcase. For the past decade, Alaska Airlines has had a program called Wine Flies Free, which allows travelers to check an entire case of wine for $0 dollars, and it has just expanded that glorious, glorious benefit to include an additional 18 airports.
Travelers who have joined Alaska’s Mileage Plan membership program can now check up to 12 bottles of wine for free if they’re flying from 29 airports in four states: California, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. And it’s not a coincidence that most of those departure airports are located close to popular wineries and wine-producing regions.
According to Alaska Airlines, it’s reasonably simple to take advantage of Wine Flies Free (which are three of our favorite words). First, you do need to be a member of its Mileage Plan frequent flyer program – which is also free – and then you need to visit the winery of your choice, taste enough wine to determine which bottles you want to buy, and then tell them that you’d like to take home a case. You’ll need to tell the winery that you’ll be flying with your bottles so they’re packed appropriately, and then upon arrival at one of the 29 participating airports, just give that precious cargo to an Alaska Airlines customer service agent who will seal the box, put some FRAGILE stickers on the side and send it on its way.
“Wine and food are huge passion points for travelers when choosing their next travel destination,” Natalie Bowman, Alaska Airlines’ managing director of marketing and advertising, said in a statement. “Our Wine Flies Free program makes it easier for our guests to experience some of the country’s best wine regions and take their favorite wines home. We look forward to […] continuing to work with our partners to welcome visitors to these premier wine destinations that we serve.”
An airline making it easier for travelers to go home with the wine they love? Heck yes, we’ll drink to that.