Delta Increases 2nd Checked Bag Fee To $50

Delta announced today that it’s doubling the fee for a second checked bag from $25 to $50, effective on new bookings starting July 31st for all travel after August 5th. Got a third, fourth, or fifth bag and a lot of money to burn? Fees for those will rise from $80 per bag to $125 each.

Delta is also raising fees on oversized items and heavy items.

First-class passengers, international travelers and elite members of Delta’s frequent-flier program will still be allowed to check two bags for free. First-class and elite travelers can check up to three bags at no charge on international flights; a third bag will now cost a coach-class passenger traveling overseas an extra $150.

Items that are 62 to 80 inches long, including athletic equipment like surfboards and skis, will cost $175 to check after Tuesday on all flights. They now cost $150.

Delta is also increasing its charges for heavy baggage, regardless of whether it is included in a free baggage allowance. A bag that weighs 51 to 70 pounds will cost the traveler $90 to check in the United States, and $150 on an international trip, up from $80.

A bag weighing from 71 to 100 pounds will cost as much as $300 to check on an international trip, compared with $150.

Although a before-and-after chart of the new fees is supposed to be available at, as of July 29th we couldn’t find it (if you do, please post the link in the comments below).

“Delta Raises Fee for a Second Bag “ [New York Times] (Thanks to Ken and Mary!)
(Photo: Getty)


Edit Your Comment

  1. Ein2015 says:

    As requested… I found this in a PDF on their Contract of Carriage page. [] Start at page 31 of 58. :)

  2. RabbitDinner says:

    If you’re checking two bags for a domestic flight, you have more problems than worrying about a fee. I’m guilty of this when I travel to school each fall. Thankfully I have a ton of crap in storage.

  3. Lin-Z [linguist on duty] says:

    At this rate, it’s cheaper to ship your bags. This is getting out of hand. I’d rather see them raise ticket prices a little bit then continue to go crazy with fees.

  4. RabbitDinner says:

    Although I have a feeling my dorm room may be uncharacteristically empty this fall due to my knocking things down to one back. Worth the cost for the second bag? Meh, if I really want it, shipping it up will be around the same cost and save me the hassle of dragging it to the airport.

  5. @Ein2015: Thanks!

  6. RabbitDinner says:

    @Lin-Z: I don’t know, the bag fees actually force me to think before I pack. I’d rather go a little lighter than pay more

  7. Ein2015 says:

    And for international flights… start here on page 75: []

  8. Ein2015 says:

    Also this page has all the fees listed, although not next to each other it does show before and after: []

  9. 11hawkinst says:


    This sucks a lot since I’ll be flying on August 7th with a family of 6! Common Delta! Give me a break.

  10. Imaginary_Friend says:

    @Lin-Z: Pretty soon, it’ll be cheaper to fly in your skivvies and just buy clothes upon arrival.

  11. snobum says:

    I don’t think skis are charged extra. The PDF still says:

    “Items of skiing/snowboard equipment may be accepted as checked baggage and one such item maybe included within the free baggage allowance. One item of skiing equipment is defined as one pair of skis/ski poles or one snowboard, and one boot bag. The combined weight of the ski/snowboard bag and the boot bag may not exceed 50lb or excess weight charges will apply. The maximum outside linear dimensions
    may exceed 80 inches, and no excess size charges apply.”

    Whereas for SURFBOARDS:

    “Surfboards will not be accepted as part of passenger’s free allowance. All surfing equipment will be charged a rate of one excess bag charge of USD175* each way up to 70lbs. Surfboards are one board per bag, additional boards in a bag will be charged, per board, the excess bag rate. Surfboards over 70lbs will be charged the excess weight charge of USD175 in addition to the flat rate fee. The maximum outside linear dimensions may not exceed 109 inches.”

  12. kepler11 says:

    many people, including above, are still not making the right comparison or thinking about the issue in the “new” frame of mind. They do not like being charged for something that was free before. But that is not the point. The “new” point to understand is:

    For a service that gets you up to 50 pounds of baggage at the speed of your flight, at the destination the same time you are, checking a bag is still the cheapest compared to all your other options.

    i.e., if you need something to travel to your destination with you on the flight, you will not find a cheaper way to send it. Compare the price of Fedex/UPS, can they will charge you way more than that.

    Now, for bags/stuff that you can do without for a few days, and you don’t need specifically to bring with you, you may be better off sending it ahead with ground service or your choice of package delivery. Airlines provide fast service, and if your needs are not that critical, then they want you to choose to check less, or find alternative, more appropriate (cheaper) means of doing it.

    That is what the airlines are trying to get people to understand and pay for — services that they don’t take for granted and will actually pay the real value for.

  13. magic8ball says:

    @Imaginary_Friend: Which will also get you through security a lot faster.

  14. humphrmi says:


    For a service that gets you up to 50 pounds of baggage at the speed of your flight, at the destination the same time you are, checking a bag is still the cheapest compared to all your other options.

    They’re going to have to get better at keeping that promise, if that’s the argument they (airlines) are going to make.

  15. Christovir says:

    I predict:

    1) Airlines will soon start charging for all checked baggage, including the first one.

    2) Flying without checked baggage will still be considered a red flag on your Terrorist Likelihood Profile (TM).

    3) Profit!!!

  16. humphrmi says:

    @kepler11: And BTW I don’t argue your point that $50 is cheaper than shipping 50 LBS via a shipper. The cheapest FedEx rate for Chicago to SFO via FedEx is $49.43 and that’s 4-day ground. My point is, airlines are notoriously bad at getting people’s luggage to their destinations with them, in one piece, to be making this sort of claim.

  17. SharkD says:


    I predict:

    1) Airlines will soon start charging for all checked baggage, including the first one.

    Ummm… almost all of them do, already.

  18. JN2 says:

    I can see the boardroom discussion now:

    We’re losing money! What should we do?
    ~ Lower prices? Attract new customers?
    Ha ha ha ! Seriously, we pay you guys a lot of money, what you got for us?
    I want ideas like, Raise fares! Charge for baggage!
    ~ Isn’t that just shooting ourselves in the foot?

    We have more than one foot and bullets are cheap.

  19. kepler11 says:

    I agree with the point that the airlines need to work on improving their bag loss statistics, since they are charging people these new fees and you expect something for your money. Currently it is in the range of about 5-10 lost bags per 1000 passengers (depending on airline). Probably the decrease in checked baggage due to these new fees will help improve that (slightly). But you are right, in comparison with UPS/Fedex, they make many more mistakes, and they need to work on that.

    But also, you have to see that they are delivering a very different kind of cargo compared to UPS/Fedex — suitcases packed all different nonstandard sorts of ways, bulky, non-palletizable non-rectangular stuff, that is expected to be at the destination within 15 minutes of landing. This makes it more difficult to optimize the process.

  20. kepler11 says:

    just to emphasize — my point above is to say that despite all the bad stories here and in the news periodically, you have a pretty low chance of losing your bags on any particular flight. Most people are getting their bags without a problem. For nonstop flights and simple itineraries, there is even less chance of losing your bag or having it delayed.

  21. Puck says:

    I may not be a pro surfer, so correct me if i’m wrong;

    But who the hell uses surfboards that weigh over 70 pounds, Godzilla?

  22. DH405 says:

    @kepler11: And once again you’re on the boards defending every policy by the airlines. It’s enough to make one think that you have an interest in them!

  23. Cerb says:

    It’s gotten so expensive to ship surfing equiptment that I just started buying new boards when I travel. Sucks when you are traveling somewhere that doesn’t have a lot of surf shops though (i.e. Nicaragua) – earlier this year I paid 150$ to fly a throwaway board I paid 100$ for.

  24. ARP says:

    Here’s the problem I have: by charging for checked baggage, you’re encouraging customers to stuff everything they have in an inevitably oversized carry-on. This causes the security lines to be longer (since many are inexperienced and don’t know how to pack the things they need to pull out) and causes boarding delays while they fight with their bag for 5 minutes.

  25. yasth says:

    Ummm UPS/Fedex rates aren’t bad at all for depot to depot (assuming you use “business rates”, which you’d have to anyways to get the non retail service, but “retail rates” are a scam anyways, anyone can get business rates, and everyone should)

    I am fairly certain you could ship a 1 ton pallet depot to depot for what Delta wants to charge for two extra > 50 pound bags.

  26. ChrisC1234 says:

    I see what’s happening… it’s all about getting you to buy your ticket on Delta. Joe Blow Average Consumer will shop online for the cheapest ticket. Delta is positioning itself to be the lowest option. Customer buys ticket, but because they don’t fly that much (or read Consumerist), they don’t find out until they get to the airport about Delta’s excessive fees to check a single stinking bag. Consumer is pissed, but has no choice but to pay to check bag at airport. Delta instantly makes more money.

    Now, the problem is that Delta forgets about the people that leave there thinking “I’ll never fly this ******* airline again”. Once enough of them swear off Delta, they’ll be worse off (but then again, companies don’t seem to care if you swear them off forever).

  27. Anytime I have actually needed a second bag I have always shipped it. Whether it’s been mountaineering equipment, golf clubs or scuba gear it was always too important for that stuff to arrive at my destination so I ship it rather than trust the airlines to deliver it. Lose some stuff and there goes your vacation.

    Working in a hotel I see lost luggage EVERY day. I do not trust the airlines to deliver my luggage. Now with a $50 fee, there is NO reason to check a second bag.

  28. TheBovaEffect says:

    I don’t mind a baggage fee if I can be assured that my bags will actually get there!
    Seriously, these carry-on regulations are ridiculus and I refuse to pay for a checked bag:
    1) Cologne is forbidden
    2) Razors are forbidden
    3) I can’t wear a belt or shoes, so I must use rope and birkenstocks.

    The government is turning me into a dirty hippy.

  29. AvatarZ says:

    Hey – what does it take to be a frequent flier – it seems from their website that you simply need to have a frequent flier card. But I’m sure its not that simple to get a 2nd bag free.

  30. VeiledThreats says:

    50 lbs really is a LOT of baggage for one person. I’m constantly amazed by how much crap some people try to bring on a plane. Airlines are meant to carry your personal luggage for your trip, not become your u-haul for the move from CA to TX. I can go to Europe for 2 weeks in a large carry on or small checked bag. Laundry while on vacation isn’t that hard to do. It’s way easier on the body than dragging around carts full of huge suitcases to just use the hotel’s service for a few bucks, especially if you’re not going for a LONG trip. Is it really that big of a deal to only get one checked bag? Baggage weight is the second largest factor in fuel load…

  31. @yasth:

    Shipping Rates for 2000 lbs (1 ton), NMFC Class 92.5, commercial dock to commercial dock with no accessorials services required, high volume shipper’s tarriff, from Dallas to Chicago: $525.

    Just thought you might want to have some real numbers.

  32. LittleEnosBurdette says:

    Next up, gas will still be $4.25/Gal, but they’ll charge you $50 extra for the hose and the nozzle.

    Ech.. Thank God I don’t/won’t fly anywhere. My last big trip was NYC to Chicago for work. Amtrak baby! My own sleeper, my own toilet. Dinner. Newspaper under my door when I woke up, coffee in the car, then off to breakfast. Arrived in Chicago and walked to my hotel. No BS! Ready to go when I got there. I’d do it again in a heartbeat!

  33. LittleEnosBurdette says:

    Hmmm… is mental baggage considered carry-on or checked?

  34. bagumpity says:

    I swear, the next time I have to fly I am bringing a fifty pound bag of gravel and a bunch of styrofoam blocks with me. When I put my bag on the scale to be weighed, I am going to add gravel until it’s .001 pounds under. Then I’m going to duct-tape styrofoam blocks to the outside until it measures exactly the number of linear inches listed. If they’re gonna nickle & dime me to death, I’m gonna get every gram of my size & weight allowance.

    Then I’m gonna hand the gravel to the next guy and say “hi, here’s some gravel.”

    (Well, no I’m not really going to do any of that, but it makes me feel better to think about it.)

  35. sean98125 says:

    Why not just charge per pound of all luggage including carry on?

  36. @sean98125:

    Actually not a bad idea.

    BUT in reality the airlines are trying to cut down on ALL luggage. { Quicker loading and offloadings, less baggage handlers needed, less fuel needed, or they can haul more packages for air freight companies. ) And charging by weight just encourages some bags to still enter the system.

  37. thewriteguy says:

    Well at this point, they should start charging passengers themselves by their weight.

  38. @thewriteguy:

    Please NO. I weigh more than you.

  39. @thewriteguy:

    They would actually like to do so.

    But with all the tickets bought online and via telephone, there is no easy way to classify customers prior to ticket sales and I would lie and say I weighed 125 lbs if I got a cheaper ticket.

  40. BMRFILE says:

    they’re raising the fees on checked bags, good! Maybe the twits I see that travel with their entire living room sets will think twice about what they pack. The whole purpose of a vacation is to get away from all the crap you deal with daily, this includes excess crap you own. Travel light. You’ll be happier.

    You know how you can spot a Japanese tourist by seeing hinm snapping pictures away, even at the baggage claim? Well, you can spot an American traveler by the baby grand piano and the China hutch that she’s lugging around, totally clueless about where to find the right terminal.

  41. BMRFILE says:

    @numberoneasa: nice to know that there’s a logical traveler out there.

  42. @BMRFILE:

    You must have met my sister.

  43. ckaught78 says:

    Why not charge the fat beast sitting next to me an extra $50.

  44. synimatik says:

    This past weekend Delta lost my brothers luggage. LOST! After 4 days, still no luggage and still arguing with him about getting some sort of comp.

    Best of all, refusing to refund the baggage fee as well. Wow. So he basically paid them extra money for the pleasure of buying new clothing.

    Delta, We Love To Screw You… And It Shows!

  45. wcnghj says:

    Gas is going down Delta!

    $3.69 some places in Maine!

  46. mike says:

    Wasn’t there an artical about how shipping your luggage to your destination is cheaper than checking it in the plane?

  47. Scuba Steve says:

    $125 Each? Might as well use UPS.. at least they lose less luggage.

  48. Jubilance22 says:

    @RabbitDinner: Check on sending your things to school using Greyhound. I did this and it was cheaper than any othe option, my stuff made it there ontime and in perfect condition.

  49. MoCo says:

    If don’t have any carry-ons for a flight, can I get a credit for the unused carry-on on the next flight, so that I could take 2 for free?

  50. festivus802 says:

    Are tickets retroactive? Meaning, if I bought a ticket before the fees increased or were even announced, can they still charge me once I show up at the airport after the fees go into effect?

  51. cpt.snerd says:

    @MoCo: Definitely not – they’ll say “You’re lucky we’re not charging for your body weight!” See “Derrie Air” =D

  52. FLConsumer says:

    @BMRFILE: Some of us have to travel for our jobs, not because we want to. And yes, when you’re working out of town for more than a week, you tend to carry more than 1 bag.

    Delta: Congrats, you’re officially off my company’s travel list. Permanently. I could care less if you come up with $30 fares w/no surcharges in the future. If you’ve forgotten that your passengers are your customers, you’ve lost this customer for life.

  53. chauncy that billups says:

    The question is: when gas goes back down to $2.50/gallon or lower (for us, and a similar amount for jet fuel), will they continue with these customer-raping practices? My guess is yes.

  54. mariospants says:

    So, is there now some kind of luggage-delivery guarantee? For these prices, I’d expect my luggage to show up and ON TIME.

  55. pianos101 says:

    @FLConsumer: And you’re going to use…. which airline (assuming you still have to fly)??? If southwest doesn’t fly where you need to go what is your better option? US with it’s first checked bag fee, $2 cups of soda, no in-flight entertainment, and disgustingly old planes?? Hmmm At least DL still does not charge for the first bag. There are still MANY more people that only check one bag than two, so DL is still better than most of other big-sixes, and B6, so yeah.

  56. FLConsumer says:

    Fortunately I work in NYC, live primarily in Florida, so JetBlue (B6) it is for me. Having friends who work for B6 & TSA makes the whole trip much sweeter, almost like pre-9/11 flying. Unlimited sodas, snacks, and entertainment on-board, no security hassles at most of the airports.

    As an aside, I got to see the interior of the new T5 @ JFK last week, looks like it’ll be on-time for their September opening. Hell, with the exception of the shops & restaurants it looked like you could almost open it now. The new T5 is nothing compared to the SE Asia airports, but still a huge improvement for JFK. Now if we could just get the ATC out of the 1950’s (read: fix the eternal delays) at JFK, we’d have something. With T6 closing, I believe that leaves Delta with the oldest, rattiest terminal still going at JFK.

  57. pianos101 says:

    @FLConsumer: That’s good for you. I used to live outside NYC and with B6 going to all 4 area airports (well 5 actually) it was always great. Just the T6 terminal at JFK is the BIGGEST shi**hole anywhere. Ugh what a disgusting place. But it’s great to hear that T5 is almost open! That will be a GIANT improvement over shuttle buses and trailers for gates.

    As for the ATC issues, we all know what’s been going on, but if the airlines don’t schedule 5 flights to take-off at the SAME TIME we’d be in a much better situation without any infrastructure improvements. And remember, B6 is JFK’s worst offender in this respect (they have the most daily movements). B6 is still the best (with DL my only choice here in PHL; screw US they can go into Ch 7 right now for all I care).

  58. kepler11 says:

    @Corporate-Shill: @yasth: Shipping Rates for 2000 lbs (1 ton), NMFC Class 92.5, commercial dock to commercial dock with no accessorials services required, high volume shipper’s tarriff, from Dallas to Chicago: $525.
    Just thought you might want to have some real numbers.

    thanks for bringing real information into the topic. Seems like most of the time, people here just like to guess about everything they have no experience with, and then pass blame/bitterness around without a shred of knowledge.

    @SMSDHubbard: @kepler11: And once again you’re on the boards defending every policy by the airlines. It’s enough to make one think that you have an interest in them!

    I really don’t care who you think I am. I don’t particularly defend the airlines — I just state facts and why things are the way they are, and you take them to be anti-consumer. I’m the one actually adding useful information for people to use and read, both from passenger and airline perspectives, in my posts, while you do nothing. Who’s worse?

    @FLConsumer: Delta: Congrats, you’re officially off my company’s travel list. Permanently. I could care less if you come up with $30 fares w/no surcharges in the future. If you’ve forgotten that your passengers are your customers, you’ve lost this customer for life.

    oh please, do we have to have this melodramatic kind of tantrum? What are you going to do when other airlines match? Not travel anywhere? Eat your words? How many times have others had to back down from similar statements? Do you not buy gasoline now because you swore not to pay more than $2 per gallon and boycotted any station that would charge that much? Learn not to overreact like this.

    The point I wish people would get, is that you can have two approaches to life. You can 1) sit around angry at fees, surcharges, and things that used to be free but are no longer, or you can 2) understand the reasons/mechanisms for why these fees can be/need to be charged now, and succeed within the system while others stand still. I post the stuff I do because I hope more people can learn why things happen, and use it to their advantage. Sometimes the mouth-breathers here make me not even want to bother.

  59. jamar0303 says:

    I’m glad I mostly fly international, where the 2nd checked bag is still free. Not everyone is vacationing- I thought I was but a 2-week vacation ended up in me getting my diploma in said “vacation spot” so don’t be so judgemental (well, that and I’m sometimes treated as “cheaper than FedEx” shipping for stuff- I don’t mind because it’s reciprocal).

  60. RabbitDinner says:

    @Jubilance22: Thanks for the tip, I’ll look into it

  61. BMRFILE says:

    @FLConsumer: I travel primarily for my job, and I travel very often. There’s a way to not kill yourself by lugging around all that stuff. Take the time and take a tally of all the stuff you NEED. I just got done with a two month stint away from home and all I needed was a medium sized suitcase, a backpack, and my laptop bag. No one cares if you don’t have a different shirt each day.

  62. Carencey says:


    From the NYT article —

    “The increased second-bag fee, and the other fees, will apply to passengers who book tickets on or after Thursday for travel after Tuesday.”

    So you are good.

    Still trying to see if I can get Airtran to not charge me the second bag fee for my Labor Day trip though — I booked my ticket before the fees were announced, and according to an article here, the Transportation Sec’y said they can’t impose those retroactively. They’re trying though, and I can’t see who if anyone is actually enforcing that.

  63. illflux says:

    I guess I can understand the extra fee (fuel prices and all that), but the traveling public (and consumers in general) have been so conditioned to assume that any airline (or any company, for that matter) is going to screw their customers as much as possible to wring the maximum possible number of dollars out of them that we automatically assume the worst, every time. I, however, try to be sympathetic to the airlines (read Patrick Smith’s “Ask the Pilot” column on or book of the same name for an airline pilot’s perspective – it’s great).

    The sad cumulative effect of all these extra fees and surcharges lately is that most people (at my income level, anyway) are just not going to travel. We’ll stay home and think about what we’re missing out on and be jealous of the people that can afford it (maybe that’s just me). As mentioned by JN2 above, I think they’re just shooting themselves in the foot with things like this. It seems to me that more profits would come from making flying more attractive and accessible to more people, but maybe they’re trying to weed out the “riff-raff.”

  64. FLConsumer says:

    @pianos101: T6 was nice in its day. It still would be now if it was maintained and wasn’t as crowded. Not a terrible design overall, just terribly over-capacity compared to what it was designed for. Not sure what’s worse, T6 in its present state or the trailer park annex. At least the air con works in the annex. AGree on the flight scheduling. I’m surprised the airlines haven’t realized that they’re just wasting fuel out there on the taxiways.

    @kepler11: I do the only thing I can do — vote with my $/£. For now that means avoiding Delta, which is easily done since B6 is doing it right for now. Go back through the Consumerist archives and you’ll see me BEGGING the airlines to bring back good customer service and just raise their damn prices and stop this hogwash. Deliver what you promise/advertise and the price you advertise. Is that too much to ask?

    And no, I wasn’t one of the people protesting gas prices. Demand’s up and speculation on the commodities markets is driving the price to insane levels. It’s not the local stations who are profiting off the increases. I just did all that I could — I cut back my consumption.

    @BMRFILE: No matter how I try to get around it, I’m stuck with at least my suitcase and a Pelican case. I could (and have) FedEx’d the Pelican case to hotels and home, but I certainly prefer to have it with me when possible. For shorter trips I usually just pack a carryon and carry as little gear with me as possible.

  65. xkevin108x says:

    Do we need any more reasons not to support airline companies?