Getting excited about your next adventure trip with Delta Airlines? Don’t let your worries about flying with sports equipment weigh you down! This guide to Delta Airlines Sports equipment policy will help you prepare.
Delta Airlines will let you check most sports equipment if it meets the size and weight requirements of the checked luggage you’ve paid for. They won’t accept luggage larger than 115 linear inches (292cm), and you’ll need to pay extra fees for luggage heavier than 50 lbs (22.6kg).
But with so many rules for different types of sports equipment, how do you know if yours will be okay to bring? Keep reading to suss out what you can and can’t take and how much it’ll cost you.
Checked luggage prices with Delta Airlines
Delta Airlines provides a rough overview of what they charge for different checked luggage on domestic flights. The true cost can vary based on the route, your frequent flier status, and the class of seat you’ve booked. For domestic flights, you can redeem air miles from your checked baggage.
|Bag||Price||Maximum weight||Maximum size|
|First checked bag||$30||50lbs (22.6kg)||62 inches (157.5cm)|
|Second checked bag||$40||50lbs (22.6kg)||62 inches (157.5cm)|
|Third checked bag||$150||50lbs (22.6kg)||62 inches (157.5cm)|
|Fourth checked bag||$200||50lbs (22.6kg)||62 inches (157.5cm)|
For a more accurate price, check the official Delta Airline website. You can look at the cost of adding baggage through the “My Trips” portal. Or for an estimate of baggage costs for a trip you haven’t booked yet, you can use the baggage calculator.
Overweight and oversized checked luggage with Delta Airlines
Remember if your baggage exceeds its size and weight limit, Delta Airlines will charge you extra for the special handling of your bags. You’ll be charged for each limit exceeded for each leg of your flight. For example, if your bag is oversized and overweight on a return flight, you’ll be charged four fees- an overweight fee and an oversized fee on your outbound and inbound journeys.
This is a breakdown of the fees you may be charged on a domestic Delta Airlines flight and a USA/ Canada flight. International fees can vary depending on the route and you can find them here. Keep in mind when exiting Canada and the EU, you’ll be charged in local currency.
|Bag||Price||Maximum weight||Maximum size|
|Overweight bag||+$100||51-70lbs (23 – 31.75kg)||62 inches (157.5cm)|
|Overweight bag||+$200||71-100lbs (32 – 45.36kg)||62 inches (157.5cm)|
|Oversized bag||+$200||50lbs (22.6kg)||63-80 inches (161-203cm)|
Bags heavier than 100 lbs (45.36kg) and larger than 80 inches (203cm) won’t be allowed on the plane. On flights outside of the USA and Canada, bags can’t be heavier than 70lbs (31.75kg)
Checking sports equipment as part of your Delta Airlines baggage allowance
Before 2019, Delta Airlines would charge an extra $150 for large sporting equipment but now it’s the same price as regular luggage. Standard checked baggage fees will apply, but you can check most sports equipment at no extra cost. All sports equipment must be packed in a specially designed protective container.
This still contributes to your overall luggage allowance though. So, you’ll need to either fit everything into one bag while keeping it within the size and weight limits, or pay to check a second bag.
Rules on different types of sports equipment
It’s fine to fly with most sports equipment on Delta Airlines flights if it’s packed correctly and meets the general size and weight standards. But there are some restrictions in place to keep staff and passengers safe.
Non-motorized or single-seat bikes can go on most Delta Airlines flights if they meet the general size and weight requirements. Some Delta connection airlines may have different policies.
It’s better to pack your bike in a hard-shell protective container. If you have it in a soft-shell case or the staff feels you haven’t packed it well enough, you’ll need to sign a limited liability release form.
Canoes and kayaks
Most canoes and kayaks aren’t allowed. You can bring a folding kayak if it meets the general size and weight restrictions. You’ll need to sign a limited liability release form when you check it in.
You can check fishing poles up to 115 linear inches if you store them safely. You can also bring fishing poles on as hand luggage if it meets the carry-on standard of 22 inches x 14 inches x 9 inches (55.9cm x 35.6cm x 22.7cm).
If a golf bag meets standard requirements, you’re allowed one golf bag per passenger as checked luggage. It should be packed in a hard-shell case. If you’ve packed it in a soft-shell case, you’ll need to sign a limited liability release form. In one golf bag you’re allowed to pack:
- One golf bag
- One set of golf clubs
- Golf balls and tees
- One pair of golf shoes
You won’t be able to claim damages from Delta if your bag is overpacked. For a more detailed look at using Delta for your golf travel, check out this article on Delta’s golf clubs policy.
You can only put firearms in checked luggage and you must declare it to a Delta member of staff at the main ticket counter. It must be unloaded and in a specially designed hard case. You’re responsible for knowing and abiding by all firearms laws for the destination you’re traveling to and must have the correct permits.
There are various rules for different types of firearms and different destinations so we recommend checking the most up-to-date information on Delta Airlines’ firearms policy.
One piece of ski or snowboard equipment is classed as:
- One ski and pole bag or one snowboard bag
- One boot bag
As long as the combined weight of these is within the luggage limits, there are no extra charges.
Windsurfing boards and surfboards
If the boards meet the baggage allowance, they’ll be accepted as checked baggage. You’ll be allowed up to two boards per bag. If your surfboard is longer than 72 inches, it won’t be allowed on a Delta Connection carrier flight.
What sporting equipment does Delta Airlines not allow?
Some sporting equipment falls under Delta Airlines’ prohibited or restricted items list. For example, you can only take parachutes in your hand luggage, and only if they don’t use pressurized oxygen cylinders.
Double-check anything self-inflating or containing compressed gas cylinders. Avalanche rescue packs are usually allowed if the gas cylinder is empty and there’s no explosive charge, but they often get flagged by security.
Any kind of balance glider, hoverboard, powered skateboard, or self-balancing board won’t be allowed on a Delta flight. They use a specific type of lithium-ion battery that can be a fire hazard.
What about scuba equipment?
You’re allowed to check scuba diving tanks if they’re empty and meet checked luggage standards. The regulator valve must be completely disconnected from the cylinder. Official guidance for traveling with scuba equipment is available on the TSA website.
What if my luggage is lost or damaged?
It’s a lot easier to claim back money on damaged items if it was stored in the correct travel container. Delta Airlines does offer limited compensation for lost and damaged items, which you can check here. As always, having good travel insurance is essential for peace of mind when traveling with valuable items.