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If you have an upcoming flight with Delta and are planning to travel with just carry-on luggage, you’ll need to be up to speed with Delta’s carry-on policies. Each airline’s rules are slightly different, so don’t just assume that what works for one will work for all airlines.
In this article, we’ll explain everything you need to know about Delta’s carry-on policy. This includes Delta’s carry-on size and weight limits, liquid policy, personal items, pets, and prohibited items.
Delta Airlines Carry-On Rules
Delta allows you to bring one carry-on bag and one personal item onboard with you at no additional charge. The only restriction is that your personal item must be small enough to fit under the seat in front of you.
Delta Carry-On Size (Dimensions)
Delta’s carry-on bag size limit is 22″ x 14″ x 9″. These dimensions include the wheels and handles of your carry-on bag.
If you aren’t sure what size your carry-on is, Delta has carry-on sizers located near the ticket counter. These templates will help you make sure your carry on bag will fit in the overhead bin before you get to the gate.
Weight Restrictions for Carry-on Bags
As a rule, Delta doesn’t impose weight restrictions on a carry-on bag. But there are a couple of international exceptions to this rule, including:
- Singapore – Changi International Airport (SIN): Carry-on bags cannot exceed 15 lbs. (7kgs)
- Beijing – Capital International Airport (PEK): Carry-on bags cannot exceed 22lbs. (10kgs)
- Shanghai – Pudong International Airport (PVG): Carry-on bags cannot exceed 22lbs. (10kgs)
I fly Delta almost every week into and out of many airports and I have never had them weigh my carry on bag for domestic or international flights. I have not flown to Singapore, Beijing or Shanghai on Delta, so I can’t speak to the weight restrictions on those routes.
Weight Restrictions for Checked Luggage
Weight restrictions with checked luggage vary by cabin, destination, and medallion status. The general rule of thumb is if you don’t have medallion status you are allowed up to a 50 lb. weight limit per bag. If you have Delta medallion status, you are allowed up to 70 lbs. per bag for domestic flights and 50 lbs. per bag for international flights.
However, Delta One, First, and Business passengers are allowed up to 70 lb limit per piece regardless of Medallion status.
My Recommended Carry-On
If you are looking for a great carry-on bag when flying Delta, I recommend the Travelpro Maxlite 5 Expandable Spinner. I have used this carry-on for years and brought it with me on many Delta flights.
It’s durable, reasonably priced, and holds everything I need for shorter trips (3-4 days). Plus the spinner wheels make it very easy to get through the airport quickly and effortlessly.
4-wheel spinners rotate 360°.
- H: 21 in. W: 14 in. D: 9 in.
- Weight: 5.4 lbs.
This carry-on bag has been sizer bin tested to accommodate overhead bin space on most major US airlines. Fully expanded Carry-On may not meet airline restrictions.
Rules for “Special Items”
Delta will allow you to travel with some “special items” which do not meet their checked or carry-on size or weight dimensions. You will want to talk with the gate agent upon checking in to address the needs and characteristics of your special item. The gate agent will help you check your special item and determine if any extra fees will apply.
“Special items” may include:
- Strollers and Child safety seats
- Sporting Equipment
- Musical Instruments
- Medical Equipment & Wheelchairs
- Fragile items
- Perishable Items & Imported Merchandise
Delta Personal Item Size
Delta’s carry-on policy allows you to travel with a free personal item in addition to one piece of carry-on luggage. Personal items include a purse, briefcase, laptop, backpack, blanket, shopping bag, or a similar-sized item.
Personal items must be able to fit under the seat in front of you. Underseat dimensions are 20 x 15 x 11 inches (55 x 38 x 28cm) on most Delta aircraft.
In addition to your carry-on bag and personal item, you can bring the following items with you:
- A jacket and 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
Delta Connection Flights
If you happen to be flying on a Delta Connection flight with fifty seats or less (such as a CRJ 200), Delta’s policy states that you can bring a personal item with you, but not a carry-on bag, 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.
However, despite this “official rule” there are some bags you can carry on a regional jet. Check out our article on the best carry-on luggage for regional jets for a list of options, including under-seat luggage.
Delta Liquid Policy
The rules for carry-on liquids are set by the TSA (Transportation Security Administration), not by the airline. Delta doesn’t have its own specific Liquids Policy, they just enforce the rules and policies of the TSA.
It’s also important to note that the rules for bringing a “liquid” in your carry-on bag differ from those that govern what you can bring in your checked luggage. Liquids in a carry-on bag must be 3.4 ounces or smaller and fit in a 1 quart-sized container. Anything larger must be placed in your checked luggage.
- All liquids, gels, pastes, and aerosols must be in a container of 3.4 ounces or smaller.
- All liquids must be in a resealable quart-sized clear plastic bag removed from your carry-on during the TSA screening process.
- Special exceptions are in place for items such as medication, formula, breast milk, etc.
- Food and Drinks purchased once you have cleared TSA checkpoints are not included in these restrictions.
The TSA 3-1-1 Rule
The TSA 3-1-1 rule provides the parameters for how passengers can bring liquids on an airplane in their carry-on.
Each passenger may carry liquids, gels, and aerosols in travel-size containers that are 3.4 ounces or 100 milliliters and are enclosed in a sealed one-quart-size bag. Common travel items that must comply with the 3-1-1 liquids rule include toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, perfume, mouthwash, deodorant, 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 checkpoint.
Delta Food Policy
The TSA also sets the rules for what type of food you can bring on the plane. There are two different scenarios pertaining to food:
- The food you bring with you from home, and
- The food you buy at the airport after you have gone through security.
When bringing food with you from home, 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 or beverage on the plane that you buy at the airport. The one exception is alcohol. You cannot bring open alcohol on the plane with you. You can bring a sealed bottle of alcohol purchased at the airport (such as a duty-free shop), but you are not allowed to open or consume alcohol on the plane unless it is provided by Delta.
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. You will also have to call Delta in advance to tell them you are bringing a pet with you and confirm that they are allowed on your flight.
Delta generally allows up to 2 pets in business/first class and up to 4 in the main cabin. Pets are accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis. So if your pet meets Delta’s pet requirements, contact Delta Reservations in advance to arrange to bring your pet on board.
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.
Delta Airlines Carry-On Policy: Pet 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||$ 95.00|
|U.S. Virgin Islands / International||$ 200.00|
TSA-Approved Pet Carrier for Delta Airlines
I have traveled with 2 dogs over the last 10 years, one was a 20 lb. Shih Tzu-Bichon (in the picture above) and another is a 12lb. Chihuahua mix. We used the Sherpa pet carrier when bringing them on a flight with us and it worked great!
Features mesh panels so your pet can breathe easily, a non-slip shoulder strap, locking zippers, and a rear storage pocket for treats and other goodies.
Approved for use on most major airlines and the small and medium sizes are included in Sherpa's exclusive Guaranteed on Board program.
Prohibited and Restricted Items
There are certain items that are considered dangerous and classified as hazardous materials. Dangerous goods are prohibited from both your carry-on and checked baggage on all flights. The rules for these items are not specific to any airline and are mandated by the Federal Aviation Administration.
Here is a list of items that are strictly prohibited on Delta flights:
- Aerosol products (such as cooking spray or anti-static spray)
- Household Cleaners such as bleach, drain cleaners, or pesticides
- Car Batteries
- Fireworks or explosives
- Ammunition, gunpowder, black powder, mace, and pepper spray
- Torch or blue flame lighters and all lighter refills
- Fuel (gasoline or sterno cans)
- Meals Ready to Eat (MREs)
- Pocket knife
- Paints, stains, or lubricant
- “Strike-anywhere” matches
- Safety razors and straight razor blades
- Hoverboards, balance gliders, self-balancing boards, or motorized riding suitcases that use lithium or lithium-ion batteries
- Items with refrigerants including refrigerators, air conditioners, freezers, or dehumidifiers
The following items are not considered “dangerous goods” and are allowed when packaged properly, in accordance with TSA regulations:
- Ammunition, Explosives, or Firearms
- Battery or Fuel-Powered
- Food or Alcohol Transportation
- Personal Care & Medical Items
- Robotics, Machine, Household Items & Other
- Sporting & Leisure Goods
- Tobacco, E-Cigarettes, Marijuana
- Other Items
Frequently Asked Questions About Delta’s Carry-On Policy
Delta allows you to bring 1 personal item and 1 carry-on with you onboard your flight.
No. Delta allows you to bring on 1 personal item and 1 carry-on at no additional charge.
Delta has no weight limit except for select flights to Asia, such as Singapore, Beijing, and Shanghai.
No. Even though Delta has a weight restriction for some destinations, they typically don’t weigh your carry-on bag. They pay more attention to the size of the carry-on rather than the weight.
Delta’s under-seat dimensions are 20x15x11 inches (55x38x28cm) on most of their aircraft.
Yes. If you travel to a country/airport with a duty-free store and purchase items sealed in clear plastic bags, you can travel with those items as a carry-on.
Certain types of razors are permitted in your carry-on while others are not. In general, electric and disposable razors are permitted. Safety razors, straight razors, and razor blades are not.
This article will help you understand the various rules for different types of razors including electric razors, straight razors, safety razors, disposable razors, and razor blades.
There is no charge to carry a bag 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.