So, just how strict is Delta Airlines with its passenger luggage size and weight restrictions for carry-on items? And what about personal items? You may have many questions in this regard, so I will cover as many as possible right here.

title slide - How Strict Is Delta Airlines With Carry-On & Personal Item Size?

Read on as I lay out Delta’s current rules and regulations and then answer common questions I hear about them.

If you need new carry-on bags, take a look at these Delta-compliant ones:
This great carry-on bag is for travelers that want to get the best value out of their luggage investment.
This Travel Pro bag could end up being the last carry-on bag you ever purchase! 

How Strict is Delta Airlines With Its Carry-on Luggage Policy?

Delta, along with other commercial airlines, has its own unique policies regarding size and weight requirements for check-in and carry-on luggage. All Delta passengers are allowed one carry-on luggage item and one personal item. 

How strict is the carrier about these policies?

Delta Airlines Carry-on Luggage Policy

Including handles and wheels, your carry-on luggage on Delta Airlines flights shouldn’t exceed 

22” l x 14” w x 9” h (56 x 35 x 22 cm)
In addition, note that the total length plus width plus height of the luggage piece in question cannot exceed 45 linear inches/114 linear cm.

When it comes to carry-on baggage size, Delta Airlines is considered to be somewhat strict. In many instances, you just might have to show Delta reps at your boarding gate that your item fits into the sizer. Take some preemptive cautionary steps beforehand so you can travel smoothly and calmly.

Delta-compliant Luggage Recommendations

So, what carry-on luggage would I recommend for flying with Delta? I personally recommend the following Delta-compliant carry-on luggage bags because of the carrier’s strictness with its luggage policies. 

This great carry-on bag is for travelers that want to get the best value out of their luggage investment.

This Travel Pro bag could end up being the last carry-on bag you ever purchase! 

Delta’s Carry-on Luggage Allowance

All Delta passengers are allowed to bring one carry-on item and one personal item on board its flights, both domestic and international.

If your carry-on bag is deemed “too large” to reasonably fit in an overhead luggage bin or underneath the seat in front of you, you may have to check it. In general, checked bag fees are $30 for your first checked bag, and $40 for the second. Things like Delta Medallion memberships and the ownership of Delta- or Delta partner-branded credit cards can help you avoid additional checked baggage fees. 

Pro Travel Tip: Flying Delta Comfort Plus will give you dedicated overhead bin space for your carry-ons/personal items, and tends to be worth the extra expenditure on longer flights.

Bringing Carry-on Liquid Items Onto Delta Flights

You can bring liquid items onboard Delta Airlines flights as long as they make it through the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) security screening checkpoint. 

Liquid items that undergo security scrutiny include your toiletries and all other liquids and creams you may want to pack along. The TSA allows containers/bottles with no more than 3.4 fl. oz. / 100 fl. ml.

These liquid toiletries/items also need to be packed neatly into a re-sealable clear Ziploc-style plastic baggie, like these gallon size baggies. Your baggie can’t be any larger than 7.8 x 7.8 inches (20 x 20 centimeters).

You’ll find plenty more information here on our TravelontheFly site about what items you are and aren’t allowed to bring on a plane with you.

You can also verify these requirements with the TSA’s website

How Strict Is Delta Airlines With Your Carry-on Size?

When it comes to enforcing its carry-on size policy, Delta Airlines tends to be fairly strict, but as long as your item(s) fit in the overhead bin above you or underneath the seat in front of you, you should be fine.

As they focus on maximizing revenue with every flight, Delta has the incentive to enforce their policies more strictly in this regard, especially when it comes to fully booked flights.

To make your flight as worry-free as possible I’d suggest complying with their policies instead of trying to get away with “getting one over” on them. If you need a new carry-on bag that will fit Delta’s (and other airlines’) guidelines, get this bag and never worry about it again.

How Strict Is Delta Airlines With Your Carry-on Luggage Weight?

Carry-ons and personal items are not subject to weight restrictions for Delta flights. The size dimensions of your bags I mentioned above are all you need to be concerned with.

Should I Risk Flying on Delta Airlines With an Oversized Carry-on?

Most travel-savvy individuals will tell you “Probably not!” And I would agree with them. But know that if your bag is only slightly larger than Delta’s specified size dimensions, the carrier will likely let it slide. The worst thing that can happen is that you will check your bag and pay the $30 checked-bag fee (or $40 for a 2nd checked bag fee).

PRO TIP – You have a better chance of getting away with a slightly larger piece of luggage if your carry-on is soft-sided. That‘s why I have highlighted and pointed you toward soft-sided bags like this one here. They are a little easier to squeeze into tight spots, including into the overhead bins on a plane!

Delta Airlines Checked Baggage Fees

Like I said before, if you are within the carry-on size limitations I mention above, you won’t have to worry about additional fees when flying on Delta. If your luggage surpasses these size constraints, you might have to pay a $30 fee to check your bag ($40 for a 2nd checked bag). 

I travel with a bag that is a bit larger than regulation and have never been asked to check it, but I can’t guarantee you won’t.

Your best bet is to travel with a bag that is within Delta’s size regulations, and then you will never have to worry about it!

You can check out this page on Delta’s website for more information relevant to a specific upcoming flight.

Where Can I Find a Quality Travel Bag That’s Within Delta Airlines’ Carry-on Luggage Limits?

I recommend this great carry-on bag that is a great value for the money.

And this Travel Pro bag is more than sufficient for even the pickiest travelers. 

How Strict Is Delta Airlines With Its “One Personal Item” Policy?

Delta, along with most other airlines, are pretty lenient about the size/weight of personal items brought on board their flights. As long as the personal item in question can easily be carried and stored underneath the seat in front of you, Delta probably won’t ask to verify its size or weight.

Delta Airlines’ Personal Item Policy

Each Delta passenger may bring a smaller item in addition to their main carry-on such as a diaper bag, briefcase, purse, shoulder bag, etc. Read Delta Airlines carry-on/personal item policy here

Carrying Additional Items Onboard a Delta Flight

No worries about bringing “extra” small personal items on board a Delta flight, like a jacket, book, blanket, umbrella, duty-free items, reasonably sized stuffed animal, food/drink purchased past the security checkpoint, crutches, strollers, camera, etc. Small items like these don’t count as additions to your “one” personal item. Bring them on board along with your carry-on and personal item. 

Personal items include things like purses, shoulder bags, backpacks, briefcases, large camera cases, etc.

Is the First Bag Free on Delta Airlines Flights?

Checked bag fees on Delta Airlines flights depend on various things, but for most domestic and international flights, Delta charges $30 USD for passengers’ first bag and then $40 USD for their second. There are some strategies to get these fees waived, including being a Delta Medallion status passenger and/or owning a Delta- or Delta partner-branded credit card. Weight restrictions exist for checked bags (50 lbs/23 kg or less) and 62 total linear inches/158 cm in size or less (length + width + height). Excessively large checked bags can incur up to $200USD+ in fees.

So, How Strict is Delta Airlines About Carry-on and Personal Items?

All Delta passengers are allowed one carry-on bag and one personal item, and passengers can each anticipate having these items checked for size, as Delta Airlines is considered among carriers to be stricter than most with baggage size limitations. With this in mind, the best thing you can do is invest in a bag that complies with carry-on regulations, like this one. In case you choose to take this risk with Delta by bringing larger bag, be sure to at least use a soft-sided bag so you’ll have some wiggle room.

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