Lady Denied Boarding After Chugging Bottle Of Cognac At Beijing Airport

Filed Under: Security/TSA

I think we can all relate to wanting to “maximize” value, whatever form that may come in. I’ve certainly been known to have a glass or two of Krug too many on a flight in the name of “maximizing value.” But the truth is that there’s seriously diminishing return at a certain point when it comes to alcohol consumption.

Perhaps that would be a relevant lesson to the lady who was denied boarding after chugging a 0.7L bottle of Remy Martin XO Excellence cognac, after being informed she couldn’t take it through security.


Via The South China Morning Post:

A Chinese woman passenger who downed an entire bottle of expensive cognac at Beijing’s main airport was barred from boarding because she was “too drunk to fly”, a local newspaper reported.

The woman, surnamed Zhao, was found rolling on the floor at a boarding gate at Beijing Capital International Airport, shouting and screaming, according to a police officer who attended the scene.

“She was so drunk… she couldn’t even stand up herself. We took her to a room in a wheelchair so she could rest,” the officer told The Beijing Times.

According to the report, Zhao was stopped from bringing a bottle of Rémy Martin XO Excellence in her hand luggage.

Fearing the prized liquor would go to waste – a 700ml bottle costs about US$200 (HK$1,500) – she downed the entire bottle.

Thank goodness she was okay, because that amount of cognac could have easily killed her under the wrong circumstances.


(Tip of the hat to LoyaltyLobby and Josh Zepps from the #WeThePeople LIVE podcast)

  1. This practice seems to be getting more strict which in my opinion it’s a great thing for us passengers specially for our on board safety and overall flight experience. During June I was bound Los Angeles to Abu Dhabi, where a fellow passenger I caught/saw at the Lounge was chugging all sorts of drinks to the point that I thought to myself (I hope this guy isn’t on my flight). Boarding comes around and believe me, the fellow arrived to my gate and was wasted off his ass (barely could walk) and sweating like a pig on a farm at 100 degree heat. His behavior was scary that everyone was around was super concerned. At first he was allowed to board and within minutes he was pulled off the aircraft and never returned. My sign of relief was HUGE!

  2. Had a similar experience some years ago flying with my ex-gf VLC-HHN, where a stupid german drank a bottle of red wine in less than a minute in front of security*lol*. Ok…it was only a smaller 0,5 bottle and it looked like really cheap stuff, but we were simply shocked that he wasn’t denied boarding.

  3. I did the same but with expensive water only 😀 I can’t imagine how she felt herself after the whole bottle of cognac. She is lucky because it could easily kill her especially if she drunk it under a short period of time.

    I never understood why you can’t bring those items through the security that you bought in a duty-free shop. For instance I purchased perfumes in Asia at the airport and upon landing at LHR they told me that they have to take it if it’s over XYZ ml. First I shown them the receipts to prove that it has been purchased at the airport’s duty-free but they didn’t care. Luckily it was less than the limit but I still don’t understand this rule. If you purchase something at the airport then it must be safe and the duty-free shops should warn you at the time of purchase that you can’t carry on these items.

    Probably Lucky could explain this more in-detail.

  4. I would never drink but would also not give the full bottle to the security agent. I would excuse myself, go to the nearest restroom and dump into the sink. If I cannot take with me you can’t have it either. Not sure how TSA handles this in the US but I’ve seen in many countries were confiscated items make the party of the security agents. Not on my dime!!!!

  5. The best one I’ve had was the TSA telling me I had to chuck my duty-free bought fragrances when I landed in the US to connect onwards.

    Why was this the case? well the first flight I got to the US, as in the one I just landed in, decided they would rather leave my luggage in AMS than, you know, like bring it to where I am going.

    In the end I found a nice enough assistant who got me a baggage tag and a cardboard box so I could chuck it through the final bag check. It worked, but it showed how horrifically deficient the TSA processes are.

  6. I am surprised at some on the un-informed comments.

    Just because you know you bought it at duty free, the folks at security do not know that. You could have filled up that bottle with bad stuff and home and brought it to the airport. The receipt only shows you bought a bottle, not which bottle.

    As to the perfume on a connecting flight to the states. Once you went through customs, you have full access to your bags. You are now re-entering the secure zone. Anything you have including weapons could have been in our bag, but is now on your person.

    Simple stuff folks.

  7. Same thing happened to me once before at HKG while transiting. Route was KUL-HKG-LAX.
    Bought a bottle of whisky at the duty free at KLIA and when about to board the flight to LAX at their “TSA Compliant” security check, I had to hand it over. Bottle was still sealed in the duty free bag and them giving BS excuses that it was a TSA ruling (which is not for sealed bags).

    Ever since then i avoid transiting through HKG as a matter of principle.

  8. Last month I bought a bottle of Patron at the Bogota airport to get rid of my pesos. I stuck it in my carry on and completely forgot about it. I didn’t realize I would exit customs and re-enter security check point at DFW. Sure enough they flagged it. I told the TSA agent to enjoy the bottle. She told me it would get tossed. What a shame.

  9. Flying TPAC from Asia to the US it seems to depend more on the airline or the departure airport you choose than TSA procedures whether you can take duty free items on board:

    From Beijing your hand luggage will be screened for liquids manually when you fly United but not when you fly Air China. From Narita it is not screened at all, neither on United nor on ANA. Beijing’s duty free shops don’t even sell you anything when they see your boarding pass is from UA. I got told from several that it is solely airline policy and has nothing to do with government regulations, neither in China nor the US.

    Since I am aware of this I make it a point to pack a can of beer from the lounge into my briefcase to empty it into one of the buckets next to the security check tables at the gate upon discovery. Of course not without shaking it vigorously before packing it. The best things in life are for free … 🙂

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