Wine Bottle Breakage

By: Brian Hart

wine bottle broken on airplane

Whether you’re a wine enthusiast or simply looking to enjoy a special bottle on your vacation, traveling with wine can be nerve-wracking. The fear of arriving at your destination to find your cherished bottles shattered in your luggage is a genuine concern. In this blog piece, we explore the factors contributing to wine bottle breakage during flights and offer practical tips to minimize the risk.

Understanding the Air Travel Environment:

Airplane cargo holds are pressurized, creating significant pressure changes during take-off and landing. Unfortunately, wine bottles aren’t always built to withstand these fluctuations. As the external pressure decreases during ascent, the air inside the bottle expands, potentially causing the cork or seal to pop. Conversely, during descent, the shrinking air inside the bottle could cause it to implode, leading to breakage.

Temperature Fluctuations and Vibrations:

Another critical factor is the varying temperature inside the cargo hold. As the plane cruises through different climate zones, the temperature can fluctuate, impacting the wine bottles’ structural integrity. Rapid temperature changes can weaken the glass, making it more susceptible to breakage. Additionally, the constant vibrations from the aircraft’s engines and movements can create micro-fractures in the glass, further increasing the risk of breakage.

Statistics on Wine Bottle Breakage:

While comprehensive statistics on wine bottle breakage during flights might be scarce, numerous anecdotes and reports from travelers indicate that it’s a common occurrence. The photograph above, of the broken bottle in the sink, was a bottle that was being flown from Australia to Boston, owned by the Founder of the Coravin wine preservation system, Greg  Lambrecht.  He was gifted the bottle when visiting the Penfold’s winery, and it was special as it was the birth year of his spouse, Jennifer.  Greg painstakingly packet the bottle carefully by wrapping in multiple layers of clothing, as he left his Vinarmour Wine Carrier back in Boston, not thinking he would need it that trip.

Packaging Solutions for Wine Bottles:

To protect your precious cargo, invest in specialized wine bottle carriers such as our Vinarmour Wine Carrier. It provides an additional layer of insulation against pressure changes and vibrations.

Regulations and Guidelines:

Before traveling with wine bottles, familiarize yourself with airline policies and regulations concerning the transportation of alcohol. While most airlines allow passengers to carry wine as part of their checked or carry-on luggage, specific guidelines may apply. Be aware of any restrictions on the number of bottles or the alcohol content allowed.

Tips for Packing Wine Bottles:

Packing wine bottles like a pro can significantly reduce the risk of breakage. Here are some expert tips:

1. Choose bottles with screw caps: Screw caps are less likely to fail under pressure changes compared to traditional corks.

2. Use the Vinarmour Wine Carrier. No other travel bag can protect agains impact, puncture, and leaks.

3. Separate bottles: Ensure the bottles and Carriers are placed individually, avoiding direct contact with each other.

4. Center placement: Position the wine bottles or Carrier in the center of your luggage to minimize exposure to external forces.

5. Label your luggage: Mark your luggage as “fragile” to alert baggage handlers to handle it with care.


Traveling with wine bottles requires caution and preparation, given the unique environment of an aircraft’s cargo hold. Understanding the impact of pressure changes, temperature fluctuations, and vibrations on wine bottles can help wine lovers take proactive measures to safeguard their precious cargo during flights. By investing in a superior carrier such as ours,  and following expert tips, you can increase the chances of arriving at your destination with your favorite wine bottles intact and ready to be savored.