Delta Pet Transport Policy Change in 2016: Cabin Pets Only

Beginning March 1, 2016 Delta Air Lines will no longer accept pets for transportation as checked-baggage so if you want to travel with Sparky or Fluffy, your dog or cat better be small enough to ride in the cabin. There are a couple of exceptions, though.

LISTEN: Travel expert Rick Seaney on the doggie dilemma.

No Pets as Checked-Baggage: Exceptions

Generally, only smaller animals (roughly 15 pounds or so) that can comfortably fit in a carrier under a seat will be allowed to travel with you but there are two exceptions, according to Delta:

  • Pets for members of the U.S. military and their dependents with active transfer orders.
  • Service and emotional support animals that comply with federal regulations, including proper documentation based on current policies and procedures.

Alternative Transport: Delta Cargo

If you have a bigger animal that does not meet the criteria for the exceptions, and you still want to fly Delta, the pet will be accepted for transport by Delta Cargo. Learn more about Cargo here.

In general, Cargo appears to be a more expensive option, but a bigger hurdle for many pet owners is that there are no guarantees a pet will be on the same flight as its owner.

We’ve contacted Delta for more information and will update as warranted. UPDATE: Delta’s response did not explain why they’re making the change; they simply directed us to their press release.


Updated: December 10, 2015