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Delta baggage fees are pretty similar to what other major carriers like United and American but there are some differences. In this article, I’ll tell you everything you need to know about the different types of baggage policies and fees for personal items, carry-ons, and checked baggage. I’ll also show you several ways that you can avoid paying Delta baggage fees, including those on international flights.
What are the Delta baggage fees?
Delta allows you to bring on one personal item and one carry-on item free of charge and will usually charge $30 each way for your first bag at or under 50 pounds. The price for additional bags will depend on the route you’re taking and on additional factors as well. Keep reading below for more specific on the baggage fees.
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How to get free checked baggage with Delta
Delta credit cards baggage benefits
If you have an eligible SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express, you receive your First Bag Free on Delta flights booked with your SkyMiles Credit Card. The benefit extends to up to 8 travel companions listed on the Card Member’s reservation (for a total of 9 passengers).
- Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card
- Gold Delta SkyMiles Business Credit Card
- Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card
- Platinum Delta SkyMiles Business Credit Card
- Delta Reserve Credit Card
- Delta Reserve Business Credit Card
The Delta credit cards offer welcome bonuses that tend to come and go throughout the year so for cards like the Gold and Platinum card, you want to make sure that you’re jumping on those cards when the welcome offers are the highest.
Delta elite status baggage policy
If you have elite status with Delta they will reward you with free baggage (up to three bags). Here’s what you can expect to get from Medallion status.
Flights within the US
- Silver: One free 70 pound bag
- Gold: Two free 70 pound bags
- Platinum: Three free 70 pound bags
- Diamond: Three free 70 pound bags
You’ll also get an additional 50 pound bag for free when flying between other international destinations.
Also, if you are flying first class, Delta One you can get three free 70 pound bags regardless of status level. And if you are flying Delta premium select you can get three free 50 pound bags regardless of status level.
Delta military baggage policy
If you are in active military member flying with Delta you can get many bags for free. When on military orders your bags can be 80 inches and for personal travel your bags can be 62 inches. If you are traveling on military orders you can get five free 100 pound bags regardless of what type of class you are flying. So for example if you are flying basic economy or you are flying first class you will get five free 100 pound bags each time.
Things are a little bit different if you are flying for personal travel. If you’re flying for personal travel then you will only get two free 50 pound bags if you are flying to basic economy, main cabin, or Delta comfort plus. However, if you are flying first class, Delta premium select, or Delta one you will get three free 70 pound bags. To find out more about military airline benefits click here.
Delta carry-on & personal item rules
Delta allows you to bring on one personal item and one carry-on. This is very similar to other major US airlines but different from those budget carriers like Spirit and Frontier that love to charge you for carry-on items. One thing that makes Delta unique is that with their basic economy product, you still get a free carry-on.
What are Delta personal items?
Delta personal items may consist of the following:
- Camera bag
- Diaper bag
- Laptop computer (computers cannot be checked)
- 1 item of a similar or smaller size to those listed above
Typically, a small backpack may be considered a personal item as well and they won’t give you any trouble unless you’re trying to bring along a giant backpack. There’s also a list of items that don’t count as personal items and they are as follows:
- A jacket and/or umbrella
- Food or drink purchased after clearing the security checkpoint
- Duty-free merchandise
- Special items like strollers, child restraint seats or assistive devices such as wheelchairs or crutches
What are the Delta carry-on dimensions?
- Baggage may not exceed 45 linear inches (or 114 cm) in combined length, width and height, including any handles and wheels, with the exception of small musical instruments that fit in the overhead compartment space or under-seat space available at the time of boarding
- Baggage must meet carry on size limits (approximately 22″ x 14″ x 9″ or 56 x 35 x 23 cm).
Passengers traveling on Delta Connection flights, and only those flights with fifty (50) seats or less, are only permitted to carry personal items on board the aircraft due to limited overhead space.
Delta checked baggage
Delta checked baggage dimensions
Your checked baggage must not exceed 62 inches when you total the length + width + height. Your bag must also be no more than 50 pounds unless one of the exceptions applies that allow you to have bags up to 75 or 100 pounds.
You should note that there are separate fees for each limitation you exceed: size, weight and quantity. So let’s say that you were checking an extra bag that also exceeded your weight allowance of 50 pounds and that the bag was also oversized. In that case you’d be subject to three fees: one for the extra bag, one for exceeding the weight limit and one for going over the size restriction.
The fees can change depending on where you are flying too so if you want to check out the fees to the different locations then click here.
Delta domestic checked baggage fees
The standard amount that you will pay for your first checked bag will be $30. However, the prices for checked luggage change depending on the route that you’re flying. Below are some of the fees you can expect to pay for domestic travel when traveling in basic economy, main cabin, or Delta Comfort+.
- 1st bag: $30
- 2nd bag: $40
- 3rd bag: $150
- 4th+ bag: $200 each
If you are traveling in first class, Delta Premium Select, or Delta One, you’ll be able to bring along two free checked bags up to 70 pounds on just about every route.
Delta international checked baggage fees
When it comes to international flights, the baggage fees can change a lot depending on your destination. Here are some prices you might run into for travel around North America.
Travel between US and Canada
- 1st bag: $30 USD/CAD
- 2nd bag: $50 USD/CAD
Travel between US and Mexico
- 1st bag: $30 USD/CAD
- 2nd bag: $55 USD/CAD
It’s worth noting that for some international routes you don’t have to pay for your checked luggage at all! For example, your first two bags can be checked for free when traveling from North American to the following countries: Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, & Yemen.
There are also a lot of other places that give you your first two bags for free when flying to or from the US like Australia, India, and many countries in Africa, South America, and Asia. Check here for the full list of countries you can fly to while avoiding baggage fees.
First class, Delta Premium Select, and Delta One
As stated, you can check two bags free if you are flying First class, Delta Premium Select, or Delta One. Moreover, these bags can weigh up to 70 pounds each. This is the standard allowance of premium passengers that other airlines offer as well.
Special baggage limitations
Geographical restrictions with Delta baggage
Many airlines have special limitations on baggage when traveling to certain destination during certain times and Delta is no different.
For example, you may be limited to a maximum of one or two checked pieces of luggage when flying to places Bogota (BOG), Caracas, Venezula (CCS), Guadalajara, Mexico (GDL), Guatemala City, Guatemala (GUA), Manila, Philippines (MNL), the list goes on and on here.
So they key is that if you have plans to fly out of the country on Delta and you are planning on bringing a lot of luggage with you, you need to first verify that you’re allowed to bring so much luggage with you during that time.
What is the total number of bags you can check with Delta?
You can check up to 10 bags per passenger on flights operated by Delta, Delta Shuttle or Delta Connection. Delta does reserve the right to limit the amount of baggage you bring on the plane when the excess prevents them from transporting up to two bags per passenger.
Can you bring excess bags on Delta Connection flights?
Delta Connection carriers will accept excess baggage but only on a space-available basis. If the baggage cannot be carried on the same flight with you, it will be transported on the next available flight.
Delta special baggage items
Delta has some special rules for certain items such as fragile items, sports equipment, medical supplies, etc. Here’s a rundown of some of those policies.
Fragile or bulky items
If you are traveling with something bulky or very fragile, you may want to purchase a ticket for your fragile item so that you can store your item in any passenger seat with a physical bulkhead or divider in front of the compartment.
You’ll need to contact reservations to see about the fee for this but if you wish to do this the item must not exceed 100 pounds and also meet some other requirements you can find here.
Also, if you’re checking something fragile, you might need to fill out a limitation of liability form.
Here’a list of potential fragile or bulky items:
- Car Seats
- Fishing Rods
- Musical Equipment
- Tennis Racquets
If you want to bring your special sporting equipment with you on a Delta flight you’ll probably be allowed. Many of the different types of equipment will require you to pay a special fee if they are large or heavy. This fee will likely be around $150 but it depends on the route. Also, be aware that certain countries have specific rules about brining in certain types of equipment so make sure that you’re aware about that.
- Boogie/Skim Boards
- Canoes/Kayaks (foldable)
- Fishing Equipment
- Golfing Equipment
- Hockey and Lacrosse Equipment
- Scuba Equipment
- Shooting Equipment
- Ski or Snowboard Equipment
Musical instruments or equipment can be checked if the total linear dimension (length + width + height) does not exceed 150 inches (381 cm), and provided the weight, including the case, does not exceed 165lbs (75 kg).
If you’re looking for special information on pets and the fees for those you can check those here.
Delta baggage protection
You can get your baggage protected from getting lost or being damaged in the transport with many different types of credit cards. But you can also purchase baggage protection from Delta. The fee will be paid at check-in and will change depending on the route and value of your luggage. Here are what the fees look like.
DOMESTIC OR INTERNATIONAL
TOTAL DECLARED VALUE
FEE PAID AT CHECK IN
$3501 to $4000
$4001 to $5000
UP to $1000
$1001 to $2000
$2001 to $3000
$3001 to $4000
$4001 to $5000
As you can see, Delta Airlines has a pretty straightforward luggage policy. You can take advantage of free bags if you have status, the right credit cards, are a member of the military, or if you are headed to certain destinations. Always check about special restrictions and fees for special items and you should be good to go with Delta.
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Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the digital smart wallet, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned full-time credit card rewards/travel expert and has earned and redeemed millions of miles to travel the globe. His content has been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, US News, and Business Insider. Find his full bio here.