Delta Airlines offers several different ways that dogs can travel on its flights, both with and without their owners accompanying them on the same flights. There are certain requirements you must meet, of course, for your dog to travel on a Delta flight, as well as certain limitations and restrictions to be aware of before you book or travel. It’s also important to note that Delta’s travel policies for dogs differ depending on whether the dog is a pet or a service or emotional support dog.
As you read through the details on Delta’s dog policies for travel under all these conditions below, keep in mind that in addition to airline dog policies, there may also be airport dog policies and dog travel policies specific to particular points of arrival and destination to consider.
Ways Your Dog Can Travel on Delta
Your dog can fly on Delta Airlines in cabin with you as a carry-on item, in “hold” as a checked pet and shipped as freight with Delta Cargo. Not all options, however, are available for all dogs on all flights. Read on to learn the specific Delta pet policy carry on dogs, checked dogs and dogs shipped as freight must comply with.
Dogs in Cabin
On most domestic and many international flights, small dogs are allowed to fly with you in cabin through Delta Airline’s Pets in Cabin (PETC) program. A small dog is defined for these purposes as any dog that can fit comfortably in an airline-approved kennel or pet carrier.
Dogs traveling in cabin with you are considered one of your allowed carry-on items. You do have to pay an additional fee each way, however, as follows:
- Between the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico – $125
- To or from Brazil – $75
- To or from the U.S. Virgin Islands or internationally – $200
Again, each of these fees is one-way.
To be approved for travel in cabin, a dog carrier must be small enough for it to be completely stowed beneath the passenger’s seat in front of you without sticking out into the aisle or in your lap without intruding on neighboring seats.
- United Kingdom
- United Arab Emirates
- South Africa
- Republic of Ireland
- New Zealand
- Hong Kong
Dogs in Hold
If you are an active-duty U.S. military member or State Department Foreign Service Officer (FSO) or the spouse of one, your dog can fly on the same flight as you in checked baggage. You must present active transfer orders, however, to be able to do so. For your dog to qualify, it must meet all federal guidelines, including possessing proper documentation according to active Delta policies and procedures at the time. Your dog can also fly Delta in hold as checked baggage if you are traveling with a service dog or emotional support dog that is, for one reason or another, unable to fly in cabin.
To travel with your dog in hold as checked baggage, you must notify Delta Airlines a minimum of 48 hours prior to your ticketed departure time. You may check up to two kennels in hold in any given Delta flight. If a dog must travel in a giant-sized kennel, however, it can only fly as freight using Delta Cargo.
To check in your dog as baggage to fly in hold, Delta charges the following in each direction:
- Domestically inside the US or between the US, the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico – $200
- Between the US and the Caribbean, Canada and other international destinations – $200
- Between the US and Brazil – $150
Once again, remember that these fees are charged in each direction.
Each time you check in your dog at another airport, you are charged another pet travel fee based on the next leg of your flight. No additional fees are charged for dogs of excess size or weight.
If your itinerary includes any layovers longer than six hours, exceptions to fees may apply. Dogs traveling in hold as checked pets are not counted among your free baggage allowance. Likewise, a checked dog does not qualify for the free baggage allowance with the Delta American Express Card.
Delta prohibits certain breeds of dog from flying in hold as a checked pet, namely snub-nosed, or brachycephalic, breeds, including (but not limited to) the following:
- American Bulldog
- American Pit Bull Terrier
- American Staffordshire Terrier
- Boston Terrier & Bull Terrier
- Bull Terrier
- Brussels Griffin (Petite Brabancon)
- Cane Corso
- Chow Chow
- Dogo Argentino
- Douge de Bordeaux
- English Toy Spaniel
- Japanese Chin (Japanese Spaniel)
- King Charles Spaniel (Cavalier King)
- Lhasa Apso
- Mastiff (except Great Dane, aka German Mastiff)
- Pit Bull
- Presa Canario
- Shar Pei
- Shih Tzu
- Staffordshire Bull Terrier
- Tibetan Spaniel
Delta does not accept dogs for travel in hold on routes with more than a single connecting flight. Delta will not check dogs through onto collecting flights when the itinerary is comprised of separate tickets. In such instances, you are responsible upon landing for a connecting flight to collect your dog from the initial flight and check your dog in for the subsequent flight. Anytime you are required to collect your dog from one flight and check in your dog in for another, be certain to allow 45 minutes during your stopover to complete the transfer.
If, however, your separate tickets are issued on DL006 stock and all flights are operated by Delta, an exception could be made. The only other airlines to which Delta can check dogs through on connecting flights are fellow SkyTeam partners. For such itineraries, contact Delta Reservations for assistance regarding transferring your dog between your Delta flights and SkyTeam partner airline flights.
Delta also does not accept dogs in hold during certain seasons and forecasted weather conditions. No dogs can travel in hold on Delta flights between May 15 and September 15 and must, instead, be shipped as cargo. Delta also does not allow any dogs to fly in hold to or from Sun Valley, Idaho, Twin Falls, Idaho, or Jackson Hole, Wyoming, between November 1 and March 31. No matter the season or destination, Delta also prohibits dogs from traveling on any flight where the projected temperatures in flight or at points of destination or departure fall below 20 degrees or above 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
For your dog to travel in cabin as a carry-on item or in hold as checked baggage, you are required to provide proof of the dog’s breed and weight and, if you’re military personnel, your dog’s SSR. You must also provide the dimensions of your dog’s travel kennel ahead of time.
Delta Cargo Shipping
Dogs that do not qualify to fly in cabin as a carry-on item or in hold as checked baggage can only fly Delta as freight through Delta Cargo. Dogs are handled with personalized care by specially-trained handlers. They are kept in temperature-controlled holding areas and transported between flights in temperature-controlled vans. Furthermore, Delta Pet Cargo reviews your dog’s whereabouts at all times, tracked by the agents at Delta’s Cargo Control Center.
To ship your dog as freight using Delta Cargo, you must book that arrangement separately from your flight (if you will be flying Delta to that same destination at the same basic time as well.) To ship your dog domestically within the US, you can only book that flight with 14 days of the intended flight. That said, dogs are never guaranteed to be sent on a particular flight or schedule, whether their owners are on that flight or itinerary or not.
To ship your dog using Delta Cargo, you must drop off your dog at a Delta Cargo location a minimum of three hours prior to departure for domestic flights and at least five hours prior to departure for international flights. During this time, Delta Pet Cargo reviews your documentation to make sure you have everything you need to ship your dog. When picking up your dog at your destination, you will also do so at the nearest Delta Cargo location.
The Delta pet cargo cost for shipping your dog varies depending on your points of departure and destination and your dog’s size and weight. Call the Delta pet cargo phone number to find out the specific cost to ship your dog. The Delta pet cargo phone number is 1-800-352-2746.
If the temperature at any point in the flight or on the ground at any point of origin, transfer or destination is expected fall outside of the range of 20 degrees to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, Delta will not ship any dogs will as freight, even with a proper booking.
Only shippers known to Delta are permitted to ship dogs internationally. Therefore, to ship your dog outside of the US or from a foreign country into the US, use an International Pet and Air Transportation Association (IPATA)-approved pet shipper.
For a dog to be accepted for shipment as freight through Delta Cargo, you must present a health certificate verifying the dog’s fitness to travel that has been signed and dated by a licensed veterinarian within 10 days of the intended departure. Certain digitally-signed dog health certificates are accepted.
In addition, the same breed restrictions applying to dogs traveling Delta in hold apply to shipping dogs as freight with Delta Cargo.
The maximum allowable Delta pet carrier dimensions for any air travel on Delta flights varies depending on the aircraft. Call Delta Reservations or Global Sales Support to find out in what type or types of aircraft you’ll be flying on your itinerary to determine the proper Delta pet carrier size under seat.
Another factor of the Delta pet carrier size carry on requirements are that the Delta pet carrier size under seat must still be large enough for your pet to move around and lie down without touching the carrier’s sides or protruding from them.
You may only bring one kennel carrying one dog on a flight. Exceptions to the rule on one dog per kennel are as follows:
- A female dog may travel in the same kennel as her un-weaned litter of any number, as long as the litter is between 10 weeks and six months old.
- Two dogs of the same size and breed between 10 weeks and six months of age can fly together in a single kennel, as long as the dogs are compatible with one another and can both fit comfortably together in an allowable kennel. In such an instance, the passenger would be charged as if traveling with just one pet.
In each of these cases, however, the Delta pet carrier size carry on requirements still apply.
Moreover, not all Delta aircraft can accommodate dogs in cabin, so be sure to check with Delta before you book your flight to make sure you’ll be flying in an aircraft that can accommodate a dog.
While you and your dog are in the Delta boarding area, your dog must remain in the carrier at all times. That includes while boarding and deplaning. Your dog must also remain in the carrier at all times while in any Delta airport lounge and throughout the entire duration of the flight.
Delta Cargo Restrictions
Only dogs at least 10 weeks old are permitted to travel on Delta’s domestic flights. Dogs must be at least 15 weeks old to travel to or from the European Union and 16 weeks old to travel from outside the U.S. into the U.S.
Under no circumstances does Delta allow any dog on a flight lasting longer than 12 hours uninterrupted.