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How Strict is Delta on Checked Baggage Size?

Checked bag requirements are one of the most stressful parts of air travel. All airlines have different limits for checked bag weights and sizes, and sometimes the limits vary depending on when you are traveling. 

Today, we’ll look at Delta and how strict they are on checked baggage size. 

Delta is very strict regarding their checked bag size and weight limits. For flights in the U.S. and Canada, your bag has to weigh 50 pounds or less before paying a fee or risk having it prohibited from being checked. 

As for size, here is Delta’s limit:

Baggage size must not exceed 62 inches (158 cm) when you total LENGTH + WIDTH + HEIGHT.

Similar to weight requirements, if the bag is larger than this limit, you’ll have to pay a fee. 

When you check your bag with Delta, they weigh it and measure it at the check-in counter. If it is even the smallest amount over the limits, you will have to take something out or pay a fee. 

The biggest reason larger and heavier bags cost more is that the baggage handlers need to be more careful when lifting the bag and loading it onto the plane.

Bags over 50 pounds usually require two handlers to move them every time it needs to be lifted throughout the airport and onto and off the plane. More people that need to carry your bag means a higher cost. 

Delta Airlines has to be strict; otherwise, so many people would bring bags that are too heavy, and it could compromise the safety of the flight and the workers. 

This article will look at what happens when your checked bag is too big, how strict Delta is with checked bag limits, and whether or not you can get free checked bags on Delta flights. 

What if My Checked Bag is too Big for Delta Airlines?

If your checked bag exceeds the 50-pound weight limit, you will have to pay a fee depending on where you are flying and the weight of your bag. 

According to Delta’s website, for flights in the U.S. and Canada or between the two countries, you’ll have to pay a $100 fee for bags weighing between 51 and 70 pounds and a $200 fee for bags between 71 and 100 pounds.

For international flights, the fees for overweight bags range from $100 to $200, depending on the bag’s weight and where you are flying.

And, if your bag exceeds certain limits, it might not be permitted at all. On flights in the United States, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Canada, you cannot bring bags that weigh more than 100 pounds. On some international flights, bags over 70 pounds are not allowed. 

If you do not want to pay a fee for your excess bag weight, or it’s too heavy to fly at all, you can remove some items until your bag is under 50 pounds. But, this is not a very convenient way to surpass the baggage fees.

The best way to avoid paying the fees is to know your baggage limits ahead of time and make sure you do not exceed the weight limit before arriving at the airport. 

To learn more, check out our article about what happens when your luggage is overweight.

How Strict is Delta with Checked Bag Weight?

Unfortunately, Delta is strict with their checked bag weight, and even by an ounce, you’ll have to pay the excess fees. 

You’ll also have to pay a fee if your bag is too big, regardless of the weight, and if you bring extra bags, you will also have to pay a fee. 

Delta compounds these fees if you exceed multiple limits: 

It’s important to know that there are separate fees for each limitation you exceed: size, weight and quantity. For example, if an extra piece of baggage exceeds the weight and size limits, it will be subject to three fees: one for the extra bag, one for exceeding the weight limit and one for going over the size restriction. Fees are charged for each additional bag, each way.

If your bag is overweight and too big, you’ll have to pay two fees for the one flight. So, if that happens on your way to your destination and you fly home with the same overweight and oversized bag, you’ll have to pay two more fees for a total of four. 

If you want to avoid showing up at the airport with a bag that weighs more than Delta’s allowance, you can weigh your luggage ahead of time. We have an article all about the best way to weigh luggage.

Does Delta Offer Free Checked Bags on Some Flights?

Unfortunately, Delta does not offer free checked bags to most customers. However, there are two exceptions. 

First, Delta offers free checked bags for some of its credit cardholders. You get your first checked bag free if you have a Delta SkyMiles American Express Card with Medallion Status. 

Active military members also get free or reduced-cost bags. To find out the cost of bags, bring your military ID to the baggage counter, and the Delta agents will help you with your reduced bag fees. 

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Hayden Wall

Hayden is the founder of Travel Gear Discounts and tries to vacation as much as possible. He loves finding the latest travel accessories that will make getting out easier and planning the perfect weekend getaway.