Travel News 6 Ways to Avoid Checked Baggage Fees on Delta in 2019

All articles

6 Ways to Avoid Checked Baggage Fees on Delta in 2019

Before you book your flights, consider the rules on Delta baggage fees. This guide will explain Delta Airlines baggage fees to ensure you still have the cheapest fares possible when you make your next journey.


It’s never been easier to find cheap flights with our Everywhere Search or Price Alerts, but how do you avoid checked baggage fees on Delta? When you know the rules on Delta checked bag fee and Delta baggage fees you will be prepared for when you arrive at the airport.

Find Delta Flight Deals in the App

6 Ways to Avoid Checked Baggage Fees on Delta

  • Understand the carry-on limits for Delta carry on baggage
  • Know the loopholes before you decide your Delta luggage size
  • Layer up to reduce the size of your Delta checked bag fee
  • Travel light and share the load to ensure smaller Delta baggage fees per person
  • Get one of the Delta Airlines credit cards
  • Minimize your Delta Airlines baggage fees

1. Understand the carry-on limits for Delta baggage

The airline allows one Delta carry-on baggage that must be no bigger than 22 x 14 x 9 inches. Try not to pack any bulky items, and use accessories to your advantage. Packing cubes will help compress your clothes to create more room and maximize your Delta allowance. There is NO weight restriction for most routes with your carry-on you can be strategic about how you pack. Exceptions to the no maximum weight. for carry-on item are:

  • Singapore, Singapore – Changi International Airport (SIN) carry on should not exceed 15 lbs. (7kgs)
  • Beijing, China – 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, China – Pudong International Airport (PVG) carry on should not exceed 22lbs. (10kgs)
Common Delta baggage fees

For flights in a domestic, main cabin seat, beyond your allowance of a free carry-on and personal item, there will be Delta baggage fees. These are set at $25 each way for your first extra bag under 23 kg. Then there would be a $35 each way charge for your second bag under 23kg.

Carrying baggage within the main cabin of a Delta flight is not guaranteed, it depends on the capacity and type of aircraft on your route and the discretion of the airline staff.

If in doubt, ask questions at check-in before you clear security. You may be more comfortable on a smaller plane if you stow your baggage in the hold. If you are asked to do this for bags you are entitled to carry in the main cabin you will probably avoid a Delta checked bag fee.

Other Delta baggage fees

For U.S. and Canada Delta flights to and Europe or North Africa that are ticketed on or after 6 December 2017 for travel on or after 10 April 10 2018, there will be the following baggage fees for BASIC ECONOMY ONLY:

  • 1st bag fee is $60/50EUR/75CAD
  • 2nd bag fee is $100/85EUR/120CAD

There is no change to the Delta baggage fees policy for Main Cabin/Delta Comfort/First Class/Delta Premium Select/Delta One passengers.

Search Delta Deals Now

2. Know the loopholes before you decide your Delta luggage size

As you are allowed one personal item without incurring Delta baggage fees, it’s important to consider the definition. Delta Airlines describes personal items as:

  • 1 purse, briefcase, camera bag or diaper bag
  • laptop computer (computers cannot be checked)
  • item of a similar or smaller size to those listed above
Additional Approved Items without Delta baggage fees

The following items do not count as personal items but are still allowed to be carried onto the plane for free:

  • 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 items such as wheelchairs or crutches

Now, technically speaking, your purse, briefcase, camera or laptop bag could be a bigger backpack or even a duffle bag. Airlines are usually more concerned about your “true” carry-on luggage and its dimensions, so they tend to ignore your personal item. Know the rules about Delta baggage size before you travel and ensure your personal item can fit .

Find Delta Airlines Deals Now 

3. Layer up to reduce the size of your Delta checked bag fee

Packing clothes that you can wear in different situations is a great way to reduce the amount of space you use. Think tops such as tanks or tees during the day that can be layered with a lighter long-sleeved top at night. This way you can avoid packing heavy sweaters. Leggings work well with skirts, while a good pair of jeans can last a long time.

Speaking of layering, there’s no rule about how many layers you can wear onto the plane. There’s nothing stopping you from boarding the plane while wearing half your wardrobe. Although for simplicity, you’re probably better off just wearing your bulky items such as your sweater and jacket. This can help you reduce the size of your Delta carry on and Delta baggage.

4. Travel light and share the load to ensure smaller Delta baggage fees per person

I know this may be the cliched answer, but if you want to avoid checked baggage fees on Delta; start traveling light. With the tips above, you should easily be able to reduce the amount of things that you pack.

After you pack your suitcase, seasoned travelers will always recommend that you examine your vacation items and try to remove half. That way, you can move more easily and avoid unnecessary Delta baggage fees.

There’s no reason to pack a different outfit or pair of shoes for every day you’re away. You’re better off packing less and budgeting time to do laundry once or twice. Looking for more ways to save space? Check out our favorite travel accessories for those who prefer to pack light. Be a smart traveler with the smallest possible baggage.

Remember that Delta baggage allowance is allocated to each passenger. If each traveler in your party shares out items and takes their maximum free baggage then that helps ensure your group will have all that it needs during your trip.

5. Get one of the Delta airlines credit cards

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, who must be listed on the card member’s reservation — for a total of 9 passengers. The first bag of each passenger on the reservation will have their fees waived at check-in. This benefit must be used with bags that are not overweight or oversize under Delta’s applicable rules.

The Card types eligible for the first bag free benefits, avoiding Delta baggage fees, are the following:

  • 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

Keep in mind that the free baggage applies to all tickets booked with a Delta credit card, so reserve your tickets together if you’re traveling in a group.

6. Minimize your Delta Airlines baggage fees

Sometimes it’s not possible to avoid checked baggage fees on Delta, but you can minimize your fees. Always pay for your checked baggage in advance online as they may charge you more if you wait until arriving at the terminal. Also note that you’ll pay even more fees if your checked baggage exceeds the 50 lbs limit, so make sure you’re under that threshold.

Stick to the rules and you can ensure any Delta checked bag fee does not add to your overall travel budget when you find a cheap Delta Airlines flights deal with Skyscanner.

Didn’t find a deal you liked? See the latest Delta Airlines sale 

Check out App reviews and ratings and see why Skyscanner is the number one trusted travel app to search for flights, hotels and car rentals.

Rated by Ashley Stewart on June 16, 2018

This app has made planning a vacation so much easier on me.

Rated by Google user on June 22, 2018

Really good app, the option of looking for flights from everywhere or to everywhere its the best, awesome!

Rated by Parveen Singh on June 25, 2018

I always book my flights and hotels through Skyscanner.

Rated by Robert Novak on January 21, 2019

Such a simple way to get the greatest deals on the internet! I love you Skyscanner.

Rated by Mahal Ko on January 20, 2019

I always get a great price, thank you!