Delta Baggage Fees: Here's What You Need to Know

Delta Baggage Fees: Here's What You Need to Know

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any credit card issuer.

There are very few aspects of airlines that are as detailed and nuanced as their baggage policies. Fortunately, Delta Air Lines offers a rather straightforward set of rules when it comes to determining how to pack and what to bring. However, when viewed in context with the variety of different membership levels, co-branded credit cards and travel destinations that are available, fees and policies frequently change from the norm.

Thankfully, Delta has some of the industry’s most customer-friendly baggage benefits. Known for its fast and reliable bag service, Delta has a 20-minute guarantee for all domestic arrivals. If your bags don’t arrive at the carousel in 20 minutes or less, you’re entitled to receive 2,500 bonus miles. Furthermore, you can track your checked baggage here using your bag tag number, confirmation number or file reference number, so you’re always kept in the loop.

Here's everything you need to know about Delta's baggage policy, from carry-on to checked baggage fees:

Delta carry-on baggage guidelines

Personal items and carry-ons: Everyone is allowed one personal item on a Delta Air Lines flight and one standard carry-on bag. The personal item does not have a defined size, with the only condition being that it must fit under the seat in front of you. The carry-on bag, on the other hand, does have maximum dimensions of 22 inches by 14 inches by 9 inches. As long as your personal item and carry-on bag adhere to these simple requirements, you can bring both onto your flight at absolutely no cost, assuming there is room on the plane at the time that you board. If not, your carry-on baggage is subject to being gate checked at no additional cost for you.

Lap infant and strollers: When traveling on a Delta flight, children and infants under 2 years old can travel on the lap of an adult for free on domestic flights. If a child is traveling for free through this policy, then the child's baggage counts as the accompanying adult's baggage. On international flights, infants traveling in your lap will generally cost 10% of the ticketed adult fare and international taxes and fees. On both domestic and international flights, you must contact Delta to list your child on your ticket.

It's also worth noting that Delta does not consider strollers nor child-restraint seats as standard baggage. Therefore, Delta checks these items for free. You can check your stroller or child-restraint seats at no cost at the curbside, ticket counter or gate itself.

Delta checked baggage guidelines

There are a few constants to keep in mind that apply to all checked bags with Delta Air Lines. The first is that your baggage size cannot exceed 62 inches in total length. Total length is the sum of the length, width and height dimensions of your luggage. The total length limit applies to all passengers, regardless of loyalty or membership status. The only exception for someone to have a total length greater than 62 inches is if they are active military and traveling on military orders.

The second constant is that First Class, Delta Premium Select and Delta One® members are entitled to two free, 70-pound checked bags on any flight, without any change in policy due to origin or destination regions. This is contrary to Basic Economy (BE), Main Cabin (MC) and Delta Comfort+® (DC+) levels, because these groups have a maximum weight per bag of 50 pounds. The baggage fees vary depending on the locations between which a passenger in BE, MC, or DC+ is traveling.

The following table is intended to clarify the specific baggage fees that BE, MC and DC+ passengers experience, depending on which locations they are traveling between. The maximum weight of each checked bag for this demographic and table is still 50 pounds, but the fees range widely.

Note: Almost all prices are provided in USD, unless otherwise noted.

Delta checked baggage fees

FromTo1st bag2nd bag
U.S.U.S.$30$40
U.S.Canada$30$50
U.S. and CanadaU.S. Virgin Islands, Central America, Caribbean, Guyana and Bermuda$30$40
U.S. and CanadaMexico$30$55
U.S., El Salvador, Ecuador and PanamaU.S., El Salvador, Ecuador and Panama$30 (BE); Free (MC/DC+)$40
Canada, El Salvador, Ecuador and PanamaCanada, El Salvador, Ecuador and PanamaFree$40
U.S., Canada and MexicoSudan, Syria, Iraq, Kazakhstan and UzbekistanFree$75
U.S., Canada and MexicoSaudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan and YemenFreeFree
Caribbean, Mexico and Central AmericaSouth America (excluding Guyana)FreeFree
U.S. and CanadaSouth America (excluding Guyana, Ecuador and Brazil)FreeFree
U.S. and CanadaTahiti (PPT)$60 (BE); Free (MC/DC+)$100
MexicoTahiti (PPT)Free$100
U.S. and ColombiaU.S. and Colombia$30 (BE); Free (MC/DC+)$60 (BE); Free (MC/DC+)

Canada and Colombia
Canada and ColombiaFreeFree
U.S. and CanadaBrazil (excluding select G3-operated flights)FreeFree
Canada, Caribbean, Mexico, Central and South America (excluding Brazil)IsraelFree$100
U.S.Israel$60 (BE); Free (MC/DC+)$100
U.S., Canada, Caribbean, Mexico, Central and South America (excluding Brazil)Australia, New Zealand and PhilippinesFreeFree
U.S., Canada, Caribbean, Mexico, Central and South AmericaAsiaFreeFree
U.S., Canada, Caribbean, Mexico, Central and South AmericaSouthern and West AfricaFreeFree
U.S., Canada and MexicoIndiaFreeFree
U.S. and CanadaEurope and North Africa$60 (BE); Free (MC/DC+)$100
Caribbean, Central and South America (excluding Brazil)Europe and North AfricaFree$100
Caribbean, Central and South America (excluding Brazil)Middle East (excluding Israel)Free$75
Mexico, Central America and CaribbeanMexico, Central America and Caribbean$30$40
EuropeIndiaFree75 EUR
JapanGuam, Saipan and PalauFree$40
MexicoEurope$60 (BE); Free (MC/DC+)$100

Delta baggage insurance

It's worth mentioning that Delta already provides a domestic liability limit of $3,500 per ticketed passenger. Delta no longer offers additional baggage protection on top of this liability. However, should any problems arise involving delayed, damaged or lost luggage, you can submit a claim here.

Delta airlines baggage and active military

Delta makes several favorable exceptions for active duty U.S. military personnel. These privileges vary depending on whether the individual is traveling on military orders or for personal travel.

If someone on active duty is traveling for personal reasons in BE, MC or DC+, then the baggage fees on their first and second checked bags up to 50 pounds each are waived. If that person is traveling in First Class, Delta Premium Select or Delta One, then they are entitled to three checked bags without any baggage fees whatsoever. These three bags also have a weight limit of 70 pounds each and can be up to 62 inches.

If an active duty military person is traveling on military orders, they have access to a set of benefits that do not change regardless of the seating, whether that be First Class or Basic Economy. In particular, he or she will have a maximum weight per bag of 100 pounds and the baggage fees on up to five of these checked bags are all completely waived. The total length maximum also changes from 62 inches to 80 inches in this case.

Delta SkyMiles Medallion baggage allowance

If you have Delta Medallion Status, you are provided a few substantial benefits by Delta. One of the most significant benefits is that your first checked bag fee is completely waived, regardless of fare class.

One of the best parts of this benefit is that it applies to up to eight members traveling on a Delta-operated flight through the Medallion Member’s reservation. This benefit can be particularly advantageous for families who travel together. The following table illustrates how many bags you’re allowed to bring per Medallion status:

Delta Silver Medallion MemberDelta Gold Medallion MemberDelta Platinum Medallion MemberDelta Diamond Medallion Member
Basic Economy, Main Cabin or Delta Comfort+ within the U.S. and CanadaOne free checked bag, up to 70 poundsTwo free checked bags, up to 70 pounds eachThree free checked bags, up to 70 pounds eachThree free checked bags, up to 70 pounds each
Basic Economy, Main Cabin or Delta Comfort+ to and from international destinationsOne additional free checked bag over standard checked baggage allowance each way, up to 50 poundsOne additional free checked bag over standard checked baggage allowance each way, up to 50 poundsOne additional free checked bag over standard checked baggage allowance each way, up to 50 poundsOne additional free checked bag over standard checked baggage allowance each way, up to 50 pounds
Delta Premium Select to/from all destinationsThree free checked bags, up to 50 pounds eachThree free checked bags, up to 50 pounds eachThree free checked bags, up to 50 pounds eachThree free checked bags, up to 50 pounds each
Delta First Class or Delta One, to/from all destinationsThree free checked bags, up to 70 pounds eachThree free checked bags, up to 70 pounds eachThree free checked bags, up to 70 pounds eachThree free checked bags, up to 70 pounds each

Free checked bags with Delta SkyMiles credit cards

You’ll enjoy your first checked bag free if you’re a cardholder of the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card or higher. Therefore, by using your qualifying SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express to book your Delta flight, your first checked bag under 50 pounds will be free. The great part about this benefit is that it can be shared with your travel companions. Anyone (up to a maximum of eight additional people) included in the reservation made with a SkyMiles Credit Card will also have their first bag checked for free as long as that bag follows size and weight regulations. There will still, however, be baggage check fees beginning on the second checked bag per person.

Delta credit cards with free baggage:

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card

$550

15.74%-24.74% Variable

Excellent/Good

  • Earn 40,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
  • NEW! With Status Boost™, earn 15,000 MQMs after you spend $30,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to four times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • NEW! Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free and Main Cabin 1 Priority Boarding on Delta flights.
  • NEW! Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases.
  • Earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases.
  • Complimentary access into the Delta SkyClubs® for you when travelling on a Delta flight.
  • NEW! Enjoy complimentary access to The Centurion® Lounge when you book your Delta flight with your Reserve Card.
  • Receive a 20% savings in the form of a statement credit after you use your Card on eligible Delta in-flight purchases of food, beverages, and audio headsets.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $550  annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
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Among the various SkyMiles Credit Cards from American Express, the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card is the most premium option and offers the most perks. The greatest benefit of this credit card is its companion certificate. Each year upon renewal, cardholders receive the benefit of a companion certificate that functions as a two-for-one coupon on any domestic first class or economy class fare. In other words, you will receive an additional ticket within the same class of service as long as there are available seats on the flight. The potential savings and value of this certificate can be several hundreds of dollars each year depending on the flight you select to apply your certificate.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Card

$250

15.74%-24.74% Variable

Good/Excellent

  • Earn 60,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months, Offer Expires 10/28/2020.
  • NEW! Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card.*Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • NEW! With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 MQMs after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • NEW! Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta Flights.
  • NEW! Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
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The Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Card is an option for frequent Delta flyers who are looking for ways to achieve higher loyalty status with the airline or maintain their current standing for the upcoming year. Similar to the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, cardholders will receive a companion certificate that can be redeemed on a U.S. domestic flight of any service class. You should note that the certificate provided by the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Card is not as valuable as the one offered by its more premium counterpart, because it can only be redeemed for economy class tickets. Yet, you will still be able to earn tremendous value through the companion certificate if used on longer domestic flights.

Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card

$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $99.

15.74%-24.74% Variable

Good/Excellent

  • Earn 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months, Offer Expires 10/28/2020.
  • Earn 2X Miles on Delta purchases, at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • NEW! Earn now. Travel when you're ready. After you spend $10,000 in purchases in a calendar year, you will receive a $100 Delta Flight Credit to inspire your next travel.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta Flights.
  • Earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases.
  • Enjoy a $0 introductory Annual Fee for the first year, then $99.
  • Terms Apply.
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The Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card provides users with 2 miles for every dollar spent directly with Delta, at restaurants worldwide and at U.S. restaurants and 1 mile on all other eligible purchases. These miles can then be redeemed through Delta's SkyMiles program for a variety of rewards, most notably airline tickets and flight upgrades. In comparison to the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Card and Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card comes across as a weaker option with a less substantial suite of benefits for cardholders.

Delta baggage fees and restrictions

There are three main ways that your baggage does not follow regulation: weight, size or quantity. If your bag is too heavy, too large or you simply have too many, Delta will require you to pay a fee. It's important to understand that you will be paying a different fee depending on which part of the baggage regulations you broke and also depending on your geographic region.

If you are unsure of whether it's worth it to pack that extra bag or go a few pounds over the limit, the following tables will list the various fees. Please note that all of the following fees are given in U.S. dollars (USD), and flights from the United States include the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

Delta excess baggage fees

You can check up to 10 bags per passenger on flights operated by Delta or Delta shuttle, and up to four bags on Delta Connection carrier flights. In either case, be prepared to pay some hefty baggage fees.

FromToBag 3 FeeBags 4-10 Fee (each)
The U.S.The U.S.$150$200
CanadaUnited States$150$200
U.S. or CanadaCaribbean$150$200
U.S. or CanadaMexico$180$200
U.S., Canada and MexicoCentral America (excludes GUA, SAP and SAL)$150$200
Mexico, Central America and CaribbeanMexico, Central America and Caribbean$125$200
U.S. and CanadaSan Pedro Sula, Honduras (SAP) and San Salvador (SAL)$200$200
U.S. and CanadaGuatemala City (GUA)$200$285
South America (excluding select GOL-operated flights between BSB-MCO/MIA and FOR-MCO/MIA)U.S., Canada, Mexico, Caribbean and Central America$200$200
GOL-operated/Delta-marketed flights between Brasilia International Airport (BSB)Miami (MIA) or Orlando (MCO)$100$100
North/South/Central AmericaEurope or North Africa$285$285
AsiaEverywhere$200$200
U.S., Canada and MexicoTahiti$285$285
BrazilEverywhere$200$200
All other international destinationsEverywhere$200$200

Delta overweight baggage fees

FromTo51-70 lbs71-100 lbs100 lbs+
U.S. or CanadaU.S. or Canada$100$200Not Allowed
North/South/Central AmericaEurope or North Africa$100Not AllowedNot Allowed
Mexico, Central America or South AmericaEverywhere$100$200Not Allowed
North AmericaSan Pedro Sula, Honduras (SAP) or San Salvador (SAL)$150Not AllowedNot Allowed
To/From/Within Europe, South Africa, United Arab Emirates$100Not AllowedNot Allowed
To/From/Within Asia$100$200Not Allowed
To/From/Within Australia or New Zealand$100Not AllowedNot Allowed
All other in'tl destinations$100$200Not Allowed

Delta oversized baggage fees

Geographic Region63-80 inches
Within/Between U.S. and Canada$200
Asia, Middle East, Australia and India to anywhere$175
North/South/Central America to Europe or North Africa$300
U.S. or Canada to Mexico, Caribbean, Central and South America$150
North America to Africa (except North Africa)$175
Brazil to anywhere$100

Note: Bags larger than 80 inches are listed as not allowed for every geographic region that is a part of Delta's network. Rather than paying a fee, your luggage will most likely not be accepted at all if its total length exceeds 80 inches.

What is the maximum size my baggage can be?

According to Delta's baggage policies, the maximum total length of any of your bags cannot exceed 62 inches. Total length refers to the sum of the length, width and height of your bag. There is, however, one exception to the 62-inch size limit: Active duty military personnel who are travelling on military orders are allowed a maximum total length of 80 inches — 18 inches greater than the typical limit.

If you have a bag that is greater than 62 inches in length and are not an active duty military member, then you will have to pay a fee that can be determined from the oversized baggage table above.

Do I need to pay money to check a stroller for my child?

Checking a stroller is free of charge. Delta baggage policy does not consider strollers as standard baggage. Therefore, you can check your stroller at the curbside, ticket counter or the departure gate itself.

What is the baggage policy when traveling to, from or within U.S. territories of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands?

Delta includes Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands within the United States category. Therefore, all the numbers and fees that are listed broadly as "U.S." across the overweight, oversized and excess baggage fee tables are directly applicable to these territories.

How do I check my bags with Delta?

Within 24 hours prior to departure, you can check in for your flight and indicate the number of checked bags you will be bringing. You can do this on delta.com or on the Fly Delta app. Alternatively, you can check in and pay for your checked bags at the airport.

Stella Shon

Stella Shon is a travel credit cards writer with ValuePenguin. A personal finance wiz and travel rewards expert, she knows the ins and outs of the credit card industry. She recently graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she majored in journalism.

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Example of how we calculate the rewards rates: When redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards, Chase Sapphire Preferred points are worth $0.0125 each. The card awards 2 points on travel and dining and 1 point on everything else. Therefore, we say the card has a 2.5% rewards rate on dining and travel (2 x $0.0125) and a 1.25% rewards rate on everything else (1 x $0.0125).