Carry-on Bag Sizes & Restrictions for Delta Air Lines

Delta airplane in the sky

The differences between the Delta Air Lines carry-on policy and those of other airlines are subtle but need to be considered to prevent problems at the departure gate. Here is a brief rundown of Delta carry-on weight and size limitations, as well as what you can and cannot pack in your carry-on luggage.

Delta Carry-On Size and Weight Restrictions

Except for Delta Connection flights, Delta allows passengers to board with one carry-on bag and one personal item for free. At least one of your carry-on items must be small enough to be stored underneath the seat in front of you. Delta has both size and weight restrictions for carry-on luggage.

Delta Carry-On Dimensions

The maximum carry-on luggage size for Delta Air Lines is 22 inches X 14 inches X 9 inches (56 cm X 35 cm X 23 cm). These dimensions include wheels and handles, so measure accordingly if you’re traveling with a roll-aboard suitcase or backpack. Delta does make exceptions for passengers traveling with infants-in-arms, which we’ll discuss below.

carry on size restrictions

Delta Carry-On Weight Restrictions

Delta does not have carry-on weight restrictions for the majority of its flights. The only carry-on weight limits that apply to carry-on are for if you depart through the following airports:

  • Beijing Capital International Airport: 22 lbs (10 kg)
  • Shanghai Pudong International Airport: 22 lbs (10 kg)
  • Singapore Changi International Airport: 15 lbs (7 kg)

Delta Personal Item Size

The Delta carry-on policy allows customers to travel with a free personal item in addition to one piece of carry-on luggage. Personal items can include small backpacks, purses, briefcases, handbags, tote bags, camera bags, diaper bags, and laptop bags — as long as the personal item can fit underneath the seat in front of you.

personal item size requirements

Delta underseat dimensions are 20 inches X 15 inches X 11 inches (55 cm X 38 cm X 28 cm) on most aircraft. To ensure your personal item fits these dimensions, choose an item that is 17 inches X 13 inches X 9 inches (43 cm X 33 cm X 23 cm) or smaller.

Delta Gate Checking Fees

If your carry-on bag or personal item exceeds Delta carry-on size dimensions, you may have to check it at the gate. While Delta does not charge a gate-checking fee, you must pay $30 for your first checked bag and $40 for the second. If you already have two checked bags and have to check your carry-on luggage, you will have to pay an excess baggage fee of $85 to $95 per bag, depending on your flight itinerary.

Delta Connection and Carry-On Restrictions

Delta Connection flights tend to be smaller airplanes with limited overhead space. Passengers traveling on Delta Connection flights can only carry personal items which can fit either in overhead bins or under seats. Carry-on bags for Delta Connection flights will be gate-checked without charge and returned as you disembark. Please ensure your carry-on baggage has a pink gate claim tag for identification.

Medically necessary assistive devices are not subject to Delta Connection restrictions.

What Can I Bring In My Carry On?

The Delta carry-on policy determines what you can and cannot bring on board. In addition to your free carry-on and personal item, you can also bring the following:

  • A jacket or coat
  • An umbrella
  • Assistive devices such as crutches and walking canes
  • Child safety seats
  • Duty-free merchandise
  • Food or drink purchased past security checkpoints
  • Strollers
  • Wheelchairs

Delta Carry-On Liquids

Delta abides by TSA restrictions for carry-on liquids, gels, pastes, and aerosols. Containers for such substances have a maximum size of 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) and must all fit into a single, sealable quart-size clear plastic bag. Beverages purchased past security checkpoints do not count towards Delta carry-on liquid restrictions.

Unticketed Infants and Carry-On Baggage Allowances

Unticketed infants (infants who travel on an adult's lap) do not have baggage allowances, so any bags or baggage for the child count towards the adult’s carry-on allowance. You may bring an infant seat, breast pump and associated cooler bag, or bassinet on board for free in addition to your carry-on bag and personal item.

Strollers and car seats are not counted as standard luggage. You may check such items for free at curbside, the ticket counter, or the gate.

Duty-Free Items

If the country you are traveling in has a duty-free program, you can purchase items sealed in clear plastic bags by the sellers. You may then travel with that item in your possession or in your carry-on without penalty.

Not all regions have duty-free programs. If you switch flights in such countries, you may not have a chance to add the item to your checked baggage, in which case it may be confiscated. Check whether your flight takes you through regions without duty-free programs before making purchases.

Special Items and Delta

Delta does allow people to travel with “special items” which do not meet their checked or carry-on dimensions. Such items may include:

  • Strollers
  • Children’s seats
  • Medical equipment
  • Sports Equipment
  • Musical Instruments
  • Perishables
  • Imported Merchandise

Each special item counts as one bag. Depending on the item size, available overhead compartment space, and the Delta carry-on policy, you may be able to board the plane with such items as carry-on. Otherwise, you will need to check the item. Delta may charge additional fees for special items that are oversized or overweight.

Delta Air Lines Prohibited Carry-On Items

The following items are prohibited in carry-on bags according to the Delta carry-on policy:

  • Aerosol products, including anti-static spray and cooking spray
  • Bleach, drain cleaners, and similar household cleaning products
  • Firearms and ammunition
  • Fireworks and explosives of any kind
  • Gasoline, Sterno cans, and other fuels
  • Gunpowder
  • Hoverboards, balance gliders, and self-balancing boards
  • Items containing refrigerants, including air conditioners, freezers, dehumidifiers, and refrigerators
  • Lighter refills
  • Lubricants, including transmission fluid and motor oil
  • Meal Ready to Eat (MREs)
  • Motorized riding suitcases powered by lithium or lithium-ion batteries
  • Paints and stains
  • Pesticide
  • Self-defense sprays, such as mace, pepper spray, and bear spray
  • Sharp objects, including knives and box cutters
  • Strike-anywhere matches
  • Torch or blue flame lighters

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