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Delta Airlines' Carry-On Rules (Exact Size & Weight Restrictions)

Fly stress-free with Delta Airlines: Know the exact carry-on size (22"x14"x9") & weight (under 50lbs) rules, plus what you can & can't bring onboard.

Tobi Miles
October 18, 2022
Delta Airlines' Carry-On Rules (Exact Size & Weight Restrictions)

Flying can be an exciting experience, but also a stressful one. Understanding the rules for what you can and cannot bring on an airline such as Delta is important for having a stress-free trip! Carry-on regulations are particularly tricky as they are different between every airline, and getting them wrong can be incredibly stressful.

Delta Airlines carry-on bags must not exceed the dimensions of 22" x 14" x 9" or 45 linear inches. The carry-on bag and personal items are free of charge. Your carry-on must weigh less than 50 pounds. You are allowed one personal item, such as a purse or backpack, and one carry-on item per person.

There are other regulations that come up on specific occasions. However, this is the information most flyers will need as they board their flight. Individuals who have never flown before may wish for a few extra details to be fully prepared for their trip! This article will have all the carry-on and baggage information you may need for flying with Delta Airlines.

What Are Delta Airlines' Baggage Restrictions?

For carry-on luggage, each passenger is allowed one personal item and one carry-on item without fees! The personal item must be small enough to fit underneath the seat in front of you. This includes backpacks, purses, and other small bags. Your carry-on time must not exceed 45 linear inches, which includes the handle and wheels.

It should be noted that a jacket, umbrella, diaper bag, duty-free items, and assistive devices (wheelchairs, walkers, crutches, strollers, child restraint seats, etc.) do not count towards your carry-on allowance. This is because they are either too large, awkwardly sized, or too personal to be placed in the overhead bins.

For those looking to check their bags, there are certain fees that increase with the number of bags checked. If your luggage is overweight or oversize, there will be variable fees per bag. These fees depend both on weight and size categories. Delta allows athletes with large sports equipment to travel on their airline. Items such as skis, snowboards, golf clubs, and others- might have some additional fees to check.

For those who are traveling to or from Africa, the Caribbean, Central America, Japan, Mexico, and South America these restrictions may change if you have a lot of luggage. It may be helpful to check Delta’s site for these excess baggage restrictions if you are visiting these countries.

Overall, the guidelines for Delta Airlines luggage are standard for the industry. The best aspect of this airline is that every passenger gets a free carry-on item. This policy applies regardless of if you purchase an economy ticket. If you have special items like large luggage, golf clubs, or a wheelchair there will be fees to check those onto the plane.

What Are The Size Limitations For Delta Airlines?

Carry-on sizes are quite strict and exact, as they are stored in the small compartment above the passenger seats. Oftentimes when you purchase a suitable suitcase it will let you know its measurements. Making it easy to know if you are okay to bring your carry-on! The acceptable size for carry-on dimensions is 22 in x 14 in x 9 in. For those more familiar with the metric system, that is 56 cm x 35 cm x 23 cm.

Checked baggage can be a bit more flexible than carry-on baggage. This is because it does not need to fit in a specific location. The checked bag size should not exceed 62 linear inches or 157 linear centimeters. This is calculated by adding the length, width, and height dimensions of your bag.

If your checked bag exceeds the measurements, you will either not be allowed to bring it on the plane. You may face extra fees if they still allow you to check it. But generally speaking, you will want to stay within these measurements to ensure you will not run into any problems during your travels. If you are still unsure about the dimensions, a quick measurement should tell you if it is the right size!

What Are The Weight Limitations For Delta Airlines?

When it comes to the weight of your carry-on or checked luggage, Delta Airlines is not as strict as the size. But you may run into extra fees or luggage rejection if your bags are too heavy. If you are worried about the weight it is best to check your bag with a scale at home. That way you are sure to be within the limit when you get your tickets.

The maximum weight of a carry-on for Delta Airlines is 50 pounds or 23 kilograms. To fit in the size restrictions of a carry-on, you would need to pack very heavy material to meet this weight limit. So if your carry-on is filled with basic clothes and toiletries, you should not worry about exceeding this limit.

Additionally, the maximum weight of a checked-for Delta Airlines is also 50 pounds or 23 kilograms. This limit is a bit easier to exceed, as a large luggage case when filled up with clothes can come very close to 50 pounds. You may find it convenient to weigh your suitcase at home! But if you happen to exceed the weight limit you might be charged for the extra weight.

How Strict Is Delta Airlines Carry-On Policy?

Delta Airlines is very strict with the sizing limitations of its carry-on policy. This is simply because if your luggage is larger than the set dimensions, it may not fit in the overhead bin. Which would cause many complications during the boarding process that you do not want to cause. Additionally, if your luggage fits but is still large it will take the abilities of others to have a carry-on.

In terms of the number of items allowed in Delta Airlines' carry-on policy, they are quite strict as well. You will never be allowed to bring on multiple carry-ons or personal items. There simply is not space for everyone to have three or more bags, so you are only allowed two bags. Attempting to push this limit could result in you leaving the extra bag behind. It also could mean you will not be allowed on the plane.

However, the weight limitations of Delta are a bit more flexible than the size limitations for carry-ons. You likely will not come across as a scale to measure the weight of your carry-on, so it does not necessarily need to be under 50 lbs. Of course, this is still highly recommended because you will be required to lift the bag over your head to store it during the flight.

What Is Allowed In a Carry-On For Delta Airlines?

Delta Airlines largely outlines what you are not allowed to bring on your carry-on, rather than what you can  As long as you do not have any dangerous explosives, lighters, drugs, weapons, or flammable items, you should be fine.

However, accidents can happen! Some travelers forget there are possible dangers in their bags. Simple items like a screwdriver, corkscrew, mini hairspray bottle, or lithium batteries in your carry-on will get flagged at TSA and be confiscated. These honest mistakes will not get you in trouble with TSA or your flight!

Typically, the carry-on is filled with clothes and toiletries to be used at the final destination. Some travelers fill their carry-on with personal entertainment for flights or equipment for a job they choose to bring with them. As long as it is nothing dangerous, Delta Airlines will not micromanage what you place in your carry-on luggage.

What Is Not Allowed In Carry-On For Delta Airlines?

Delta Airlines follows the TSA restrictions for carry-on liquids, gels, and aerosols. These substances are only allowed in containers with a maximum size of 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters). All containers also must fit into a single, sealable clear quart-size plastic bag. Anything over these restrictions is not allowed in their carry-on.

Drugs such as tobacco, alcohol, marijuana, or e-cigarettes are not allowed in your carry-on. Other more obvious items such as firearms and explosives will not make it through TSA and onto a Delta Airlines flight. Some lesser-known items you can not bring are pepper spray, hoverboards, lithium batteries, bleach, or any form of lighters.

Since these items are not allowed in your carry-on, they are also not allowed in your personal item. It is always best to make sure your liquids are in TSA-approved bottle sizes and that there are no potential weapons in your luggage (such as a corkscrew or a screwdriver).

If you happen to pack one of these banned items, you will likely get flagged at TSA and they will confiscate the items. Delta Airlines baggage restrictions align with those of TSA. So even though the airline itself does not take these items from you, TSA will do so on their behalf. Accidents do happen, so if you forget one of the minorly banned items in your bag you will likely not be punished.

How Many Carry-Ons Can I Bring On Delta Airlines?

Regardless of your ticket, you will only be allowed to bring on a single carry-on item with you onto the Delta Airlines plane. This is due to the limited space on the plane as well as general safety. Too many carry-ons stuffed into the overhead bins on the plane could cause them to suddenly open during the flight and fall onto the heads of other passengers. So never plan to bring more than one carry-on item per passenger.

However, you are still allowed to bring a personal item on the plane. This includes small items such as backpacks, purses, pillows, laptop bags, or anything else you would like to have with you in your seat. The personal item must be small enough to fit underneath the seat in front of you, so it can not be another small suitcase.

Beyond the carry-on item and personal item, you will not be allowed to bring anything else onto the plane. If you have special items like strollers or wheelchairs, those will need to be checked. But you can often check them at the gate rather than at the ticket counter so you can use them at the airport. Be sure to communicate at the ticket counter or review the Delta website to understand these special cases better.

Can I Bring a Purse And a Backpack On Delta Airlines?

Generally speaking, you can absolutely bring a purse or backpack onto Delta Airlines! This would usually qualify as your personal item, so you could have it at your feet during the flight. So long as it is not too large that it will not fit under the seat, you can certainly bring these bags along with you.

You will run into problems if your backpack or purse is too large to fit under the seat in front of you. A typical school backpack fits perfectly in this space. But if you are looking to bring an extremely large backpack, such as one made for long hiking trips, that will have to be checked.

If you are looking to bring a traditional purse or backpack with you on your Delta flight, you will have no issues. Even larger than average backpacks and purses as be brought as a personal item, but if it gets too large you could run into some problems.

Tobi Miles
Article updated:
March 28, 2024
A nomadic wordsmith savoring the world's flavors and penning stories that turn every journey into an epic.
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