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Delta Follows Competitors, Raises Checked Baggage Fees

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After Alaska, American, JetBlue, and United all raised checked bag fees earlier this year, we knew it was only a matter of time before Delta did, too.

As of Tuesday morning, Delta is now charging $35 each way to check a bag on domestic flights and most short-haul international flights, the same $5 increase we've seen from other airlines, a spokesperson confirmed to Thrifty Traveler. And a second checked bag will now cost $45.

The new, higher fees are for tickets booked March 5 and onwards. So if you bought your flight before then, you'll still pay just $30 to check a bag. Notably, checked bag fees to Mexico remain the same: Just $30 each way for your first checked bag.

In what's always been a copycat industry, all the major U.S. airlines (except Southwest, which still allows two free checked bags on every flight) now charge $35 to check a bag on domestic flights.

 

Delta checked bag fees
An update to Delta's baggage policy as of Tuesday morning, Mar. 5.

 

The charge was quietly made to Delta's site on Tuesday morning, although some customers may see a new tab at the top of Delta's homepage for “Updated Bag & Travel Fees,” which takes you to the baggage policy page where you'll see the new, higher fees.

 

Delta homepage with baggage fee info

 

Baggage fees are a huge moneymaker for airlines whose bottom lines are still missing the pre-pandemic days of change fees. Fee creep like this was inevitable and it's unlikely to stop anytime soon. In 2022, the airlines made $6.8 billion on baggage fees alone. A $5 increase – though it appears modest – will cushion that revenue even more for the major carriers.

Alaska raised its baggage fees at the beginning of 2024, the first major U.S. airline to do so in five years. Other airlines quickly followed suit. Delta was the last to do so, letting the other airlines take the initial heat for the change.

This change also comes as Delta continues to push its very lucrative relationship with American Express and its Delta SkyMiles American Express credit cards, most of which come with free checked bags on every flight.

Read More: How to Avoid Delta Baggage Fees in 2024

 

Bottom Line

Delta Air Lines has raised its checked bag fees to match the rest of the U.S. airlines, now charging $35 each way for a first standard bag and $45 for a second.

The change comes as the airline continues to look for new sources of revenue and pushes its suite of American Express credit cards that offer free checked bags.

 

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