How our Scotch Whiskey got confiscated and how Tom McD is getting a fabulously generous gift


We like our Whisky. A lot. So when we travel we always grab a couple of bottles in Duty Free on the way out to enjoy at our destination and get a couple on the way back to stock up the bar at home.

We are currently in Abu Dhabi. We left Melbourne at 0204 Saturday morning and were pretty happy (and astounded) when the lass at Duty Free in Melbourne told us we can take 4 litres of alcohol into the UAE each. That’s a lot of whisky.

We decided on three nice bottles – a litre of Aberlour because we don’t remember trying it before, a litre of Highland Park because the free gift was cufflinks and Highland Park is Tom McD’s dad’s choice of whisky and a sentimental drink and a box of three mini Hellyers Road, the new Tasmanian whisky that I have been dying to try. All in all, a nice $200 batch of our favourite drink.

We didn’t realise we had a one hour layover in Kuala Lumpur as it wasn’t on our itinerary – I checked because I was feeling like a dill that I didn’t know. Heading back through the KL security scanner the officer opened the top of our unsealed bag and promptly told me that we couldn’t take it back on the plane. I thought she was joking. She wasn’t.

Naturally, when I realised she really was serious, I wasn’t overly happy. We were careful though, we had no desire to visit a Malaysian jail. The other security officer suggested that we take our bags back to their own duty free and see if they would seal it. They wouldn’t. I asked to borrow a stapler or sticky tape and they wouldn’t let me do that either.

So they confiscated our whisky. Back on the plane we had a thought that the cufflinks were still in the whisky bags but were delighted to find upon unpacking that we still had them.

As a result Tom McD is going to get some cufflinks that were originally a cheapskate freebie and eventuated into a very generous $200 gift. What good friends we are hey?

Only afterwards we had a thought that if we had known early enough at KL (we waited until the end to re-board) we would have got some plastic glasses and shared it all out with the conference delegates in the layover hallway. That would have made for a fun second leg.

We arrived at the conference hotel to find that news travels very fast and have been the butt of jokes since.

For those of you that are my fix-it friends, we believe we have four options.

1. A 5am argument with Melbourne Airport Duty Free who checked our boarding pass but didn’t seal the alcohol (most others on the flight had their bags sealed but a four others got caught like us) to either have a refund or replacement.

2. If that fails, a discussion with Emirites who could have checked the bags and advised us of the layover.

3. Mastercard have a wonderful “not fit for purpose” clause. That might work.

4. And finally does anyone know if our travel insurance will cover it?

Anyhow we stopped off at the Dubai Airport Duty Free and paid a squillion dilmahs (I have been calling the currency that as I keep forgetting the name of it) for some more, but not as nice whisky – A Dura, a Dewars and a Grants.

Anyone for a drink?

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