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If you’re planning to travel with just a carry-on, you’ll need to be up to speed with airline carry-on policies. Specifically, the various rules and regulations each carrier has for what you can and cannot “carry-on” to the plane. Each airline’s rules are different, so don’t just assume that what works for one will work for all airlines.
If you are going to be flying Delta, here are the Delta Airlines Carry-On rules you need to be aware of:
Delta Airlines Carry-On Rules
Delta allows one carry-on bag and one personal item onboard at no charge.
Delta Airlines Personal Item Size & Fees
Personal items include a purse, briefcase, laptop, backpack, shopping bag or a similar sized item
Additional items that can be carried on include:
- 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
Carry-On Bag Guidelines for Basic Economy Fares
There is no charge to carry a bag on when you buy a Delta Basic Economy fare. The carry-on rules are the same for all classes of service. The main difference is with a Basic Economy ticket, you will be one of the last to board, so overhead space will be limited.
Delta Airlines Carry-On Size Limits & Fees
Delta’s size requirements for a carry-on are 22″ x 14″ x 9″.
If you are not sure what size your carry on is, Delta does provide size check templates located at their ticket counters and gates. But by the time you get to either of these locations it’s too late if the bag is too big, so better to always know your bag size in advance.
Delta Carry-On Weight Limits
As a rule, Delta doesn’t impose weight restrictions with a carry-on bag. But there are a couple of international exceptions to this rule, including:
- Singapore, Singapore – Changi International Airport (SIN) carry on should not exceed 15 lbs. (7kgs)
- Beijing – Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) requires that domestic hand carry bags should not exceed 10kgs. Individual carrier rules apply for international flights.
- Shanghai – Pudong International Airport (PVG) carry on should not exceed 22lbs. (10kgs)
Rules for Small Regional Aircraft
If you are lucky enough to be flying on a Delta Connection flight (ugh..) with fifty seats or less (such as a CRJ 200), you can bring a personal item on board, but not a carry-on bag the aircraft due to limited overhead space. Personal items must be able to fit under the seat in front of the passenger.
All carry-on bags within Delta’s size restrictions will be gate checked, free of charge, during the boarding process and returned upon deplaning. Depending on the time of year, this will give you the opportunity to hang out with 50 of your newest friends in either a steaming hot or freezing cold jet bridge. Fun!
Despite this “official rule” there are some bags you can carry on to a regional jet. Check out this article on the best carry-on luggage for regional jets.
There are certain items that are considered dangerous and classified as a hazardous material. Dangerous goods are prohibited from both your carry-on and checked bag on all flights. These rules are not specific to any airline and are mandated by the Federal Aviation Administration.
Delta Carry-On Liquid Rules
The rules for carry-on liquids are set by the TSA and FAA. Delta doesn’t make the rules, but they must enforce them.
The TSA 3-1-1 Rule
Each passenger may carry liquids, gels and aerosols in travel-size containers that are 3.4 ounces or 100 milliliters. Each passenger is limited to one quart-size bag of liquids, gels and aerosols. Common travel items that must comply with the 3-1-1 liquids rule include toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, mouthwash and lotion.
Any liquid that does not meet the TSA 3-1-1 rule will either have to be checked with your luggage or will be thrown away at the security check point.
Here is a little video to help illustrate:
There are two different scenarios pertaining to food:
- Food you bring with you from home, and
- Food you buy at the airport, after you have gone through security.
An important thing to note is the classification of liquid vs. solid foods. The general rule is “If you can spill it, spread it, spray it, pump it, or pour it, then it’s considered a liquid or gel”. This means your food may be considered a liquid and will fall under the TSA 3-1-1 liquids rule, which mandates that any liquid, gel, cream, aerosol, or paste in a carry-on must be 3.4 ounces or less, and fit in one quart-size resealable bag (only one such bag is allowed per passenger).
Here’s a link to the TSA website advising what food can be brought with you on your Delta flight. This applies to food you are bringing from home through security. Once you get through security, you can bring just about any food on the plane that you buy at the airport.
Delta Pet Policy
Delta may not charge for your carry-on bag, but they will charge for your carry-on pet.
If you are going to bring a pet on board with you, it must be able to fit in a small, ventilated pet carrier that fits under the seat in front of you.
Pets in cabin kennels will count as your one carry-on item. In addition to the kennel, you can bring one personal item onboard the aircraft. The following fees apply to/from the following destinations.
Delta Airlines Pet Carry-On Fees
Here is a chart showing the pet fees Delta charges each way. Double them for a round trip flight.
|To/From Destination||Pet Fee Each Way|
|U.S./Canada/Puerto Rico||$ 125.00|
|U.S. Virgin Islands / International||$ 200.00|
TSA Approved Pet Carrier for Delta
Delta Airlines Carry-On Fees
Delta does not charge a fee for carry-on baggage that meets their size requirements. If your bag is too large and does not meet Delta’s carry on restrictions, you may be charged a fee to gate check it.
Here is a link to Delta’s Carry-On page to make sure you have the most up to date information.