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Carry On Luggage - Delta

posts: 115
Carry On Luggage - Delta

Flying out Sunday for Las Vegas via Delta. I don't travel much so I actually just purchased my first piece of carry on luggage (want to avoid the checked bag fees). The luggage clearly states that it's "carry on friendly" and measures 20"x14"x9. Delta's size limit is 22"x14"x9". So in that sense the bags meets the requirements. HOWEVER...when I measure the bag INCLUDING the wheels it's a little over 22". Is this something I should be worried about? Reason to return the bag?

We have a tight connection at DTW, so I'm sure we'll be last on the plane. I don't want to be "that passenger".

Thanks for any advice!

18 replies to this topic
Destination Expert
for Las Vegas, Washington DC, County Donegal, Western Ireland
posts: 33,517
reviews: 50
1. Re: Carry On Luggage - Delta

I wouldn't worry about it. You won't be "that passenger", as it's often the case these days that the overhead bins fill up anyway and people have to hand over their luggage to be checked into the hold.

Since you're already on the plane, they don't charge a fee.

posts: 2,991
reviews: 24
2. Re: Carry On Luggage - Delta

Delta is the world's worst at actually enforcing their carry on policies You will be fine. Steamer trunks routinely get on the plane with me... I am AMAZED at the lack of enforcement.

However, this does bring up problem two... often if you are a late boarder there is NO overhead space. All those folks in front of you with TWO overhead bags used it all (It seems to be against most Delta flyer's beliefs to actually USE the undersea space in front of them!)

So they will have to gate check... they won't charge you but your luggage will get checked once overhead fills up. Make sure you valuables are in a piece that fits under the seat in front of you just in case (camera, money, jewelry,computers etc...)

posts: 115
3. Re: Carry On Luggage - Delta

Thanks for the feedback and advice. I guess I can start packing this bag and stop worrying about it!

Nowy Sacz, Poland
Destination Expert
for Poland
posts: 4,024
reviews: 42
4. Re: Carry On Luggage - Delta

My personal advice would be to comply - airlines can be strict, cabins and lockers can be full meaning space is tight and tightly policed, and I'd hate to screw up a holiday because I bought a bag the wrong size!

In thus case, I had a look at Delta's website and found this in their cabin luggage stuff "Baggage must fit easily in the Carry-on Baggage Check, which is located near the check-in counters and at the gate." This is immediately below the dimension text, if you want to verify ... it means that if you're worried you ought to be able to go to the airport and check your bag against the Check.

Wheels and handles are sometimes ignored, but (a) check-in may be having a bad day, (b) boarding gate ppl may be having a bad day, or (c) the plane may be full and space scarce, so the landside staff are told to cut down on the number of bags going into the cabin.

For me ... regardless of what the shop or manufacturer say, I'd have taken a tape measure with me to the luggage store.

Edited: 2:49 pm, July 30, 2012
Destination Expert
for Las Vegas, Washington DC, County Donegal, Western Ireland
posts: 33,517
reviews: 50
5. Re: Carry On Luggage - Delta

"the undersea space in front of them!) "

That's where I keep my tropical fish during flights! :)

Destination Expert
for Bangkok, Air Travel, Thailand
posts: 13,612
reviews: 71
6. Re: Carry On Luggage - Delta


You don't say what the *exact* measurements are-- and that does matter when we talk specifics... and yes, the numbers that airlines use are total-- so that includes handles, wheels, etc.. In other words, at it's largest points..

That said.. Do I *think* it will be an issue? No.. Rightly or wrongly, US carriers tend to be woefully lax in the consistent enforcement of their stated policies.. Here I totally agree with Carol in #2

But, even then, it *sounds* as if you're either right at the limit or slightly over..

I personally don't think they'd call you on it if you're slightly over.. but again, as it is with all objectively set rules-- if you're over, by whatever amount, they'd be right to call you on it as such.. I just think that from an odds-on basis, that's a low proposition, but can't say it's none... a lot will depend on situational circumstances.

What I DO think is the larger risk is that if you are one of the last to board that there will simply be no space left on board, so all remaining bags would/could then be required to be taken as checked baggage-- and IF so, that would effective negate the whole "is it ok sized? or not" question..

Travel Safe,

Detroit, MI
Destination Expert
for Detroit, Travel Gadgets and Gear
posts: 4,984
7. Re: Carry On Luggage - Delta

I've never seen Delta measure a bag that is anywhere near close. If you are flying most regional jets, it will end up gate checked anyway (and returned at the gate at your destination).

Waupaca, WI
Destination Expert
for Gay Travel
posts: 560
reviews: 80
8. Re: Carry On Luggage - Delta

You can carry a coprse and a John Deere tracter on Delta and they probalby would not say anything

Sunshine Coast...
posts: 1,968
reviews: 13
9. Re: Carry On Luggage - Delta

I've not flown Delta for years so have no experience with their rules and whether or not they are enforced. From other's experience it seems you will most likely be OK.

However are you ever likely to want to fly on another airline where the rules are enforced? If other travel is in your future plans you may want to return this bag now as you have purchased a bag that is not what it claims to be. Many airlines in other parts of the world DO enforce their carry on size and weight restrictions and you will need a bag that complies if you wish to fly with them.

Centerville, Ohio
posts: 85
reviews: 1,212
10. Re: Carry On Luggage - Delta

The Delta Gate Agents are totally oblivious to carry-on luggage size.

There are too many "newbie" travelers who board with huge duffel bags, and it is FUN to watch them huff and puff; however, it is not fun for those who board last!

Delta is fairly good at gate checking (free) carry - on luggage.

Really wish Delta would charge for all carry on luggage_This will stop the nonsense.

Yes, we are frequent Delta Elite flyers.

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