This Whiskey Brand Will Pay for You to Check a Bag If You Pack a Bottle of Bourbon

Because holiday cheer shouldn't come at the expense of a checked bag.

Bourbon company Maker's Mark is toasting to the holidays and making travel a little easier by covering checked bag fees if passengers pack a bottle of their booze to take home for the holidays.

The promotion, which the company has dubbed "Whisky Flights," will reimburse travelers (21 and over, of course) who paid an extra bag fee if they upload their receipt to the website through Dec. 31, the company shared with Travel + Leisure. The company will pay back up to $40 for each traveler, and up to $50,000 in total.

A packed suitcase with a bottle of Maker's MArk
Courtesy of Maker's Mark

"As a family-led brand since our inception in 1953, we've always believed that the perfect holiday moment starts with you, your loved ones and a bottle of bourbon to share, and we wouldn't want anything to get in the way of that quality time," Rob Samuels, a whisky maker and the grandson of the founders at Maker's Mark, said in a statement. "We know you can't bring a bottle of Maker's Mark Bourbon in your carry-on luggage, so we're encouraging folks to check a bag on their next holiday-bound flight so they can bring a little spirit home to share. We'll pick up that pesky fee for some lucky travelers."

While some airlines, like Southwest in the United States along with many international carriers, allow travelers to check a bag for free, many U.S. carriers charge a hefty fee on domestic routes. United Airlines, for example, charges $30 to check a bag in advance for domestic routes and $35 to check the bag last minute at the airport.

A Maker's Mark suitcase in an airport
Courtesy of Maker's Mark

Similarly, baggage fees for both Delta Air Lines and American Airlines start at $30 for a single checked item in economy.

Knowing what can and cannot go in your carry-on luggage and checked bag can mean the difference between a smooth trip through airport security and a holiday headache. Thankfully, the Transportation Security Administration has shared what is okay and what will likely get flagged. The agency warns against bringing wrapped presents, for example, because if a gift triggers an alarm, it may need to be opened. Instead, the agency recommends travelers wrap their gifts in gift bags or place them in a gift box.

Additionally, festive foods like fruit cake and candy canes can go in a carry-on bag, but booze like eggnog (or bourbon) will need to be checked.

Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.

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