Beer lovers are a rare breed. There’s a good chance you know someone who hoards limited edition craft beers or has a bucket list of breweries to tour. But recently, Australian traveler Dean Stinson set a new standard of dedication when he checked a can of Emu Export lager on his Qantas flight from Melbourne to Perth. That’s right: not a case. A can.
Concocted in partnership with a friend working at Melbourne’s Tullamarine Airport, Stinson’s stunt was spurred as much by a desire to test the limits of airline baggage policy as any particular love for the brew that Aussies affectionately call “Bush Chook.” It took a bit of finagling to convince the automated check-in kiosk to accept his precious cargo, but Stinson told Mashable he was “bloody stoked when it finally went green and zoomed off.” Between the vagaries of air travel and potential theft at the hands of a thirsty baggage handler, Stinson didn’t know if he’d see his Emu Export again. But he says he was “prepared to submit a lost luggage report” if it came to that.
Thankfully, Stinson avoided filing one of the more absurd lost luggage claims in the history of commercial aviation when his lager landed safely in Perth. In fact, the Australian beer made its way onto the baggage carousel well before the more legitimate luggage of his fellow travelers. “The baggage handlers obviously appreciated it," he told The Daily Mail.
While using a can as a checked bag technically didn’t violate Qantas’ luggage policies, the airline does advise against packing “fragile, delicate, or perishable items.” Australian travel writer Peter Ellis of FlightMood said he’s heard of Emu Export cases flying “as far as Greece” from their native Western Australia, but there’s no doubt that the journey of this particular can of “flightless bird” is a special story.
Given that the contents of his Emu Export can may have shifted during the three-and-a-half hour flight, Stinson will probably be extra-careful before eventually cracking open this particular cold one. But there’s no doubt that his flying pint will give him quite the story to share with his mates at their next happy hour.