The Adventures of Django and Arya

Delta Airlines

The Delta Airlines pet policy 2023 includes options for flying with dogs or cats in the cabin. Only military dogs can travel as checked baggage, but you can use Delta Airlines pet cargo for larger cats and dogs. However, there is currently an embargo on Delta Airlines pet cargo, due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. For puppies and kittens to fly in the cabin, they must be at least 10 weeks old on domestic flights, and 15 weeks on Delta international pet friendly flights to Europe. Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) are no longer accepted under the Delta Airlines ESA pet policy 2023 due to changes in US laws. However, trained and registered Assistance & Service Dogs may fly in the cabin free of charge. If you’re importing a dog to the USA, your dog’s age and vaccine requirements depend on the risk of rabies where your trip starts. At present, there is a ban on dogs arriving in the USA from more than 100 high risk rabies countries. Check out pet travel reviews for Delta Airlines, or leave a Delta pet travel review! Read on for the full Delta Airlines pet policy for 2023.

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Delta Airlines
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Dogs & Cats in the Cabin of the Plane
Dogs & Cats flying as Checked In Baggage
Pets flying as Cargo
Assistance Dogs in Cabin
Psychiatric Service Dogs in Cabin
Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) in Cabin
Delta Airlines Pet Policy 2023

Does Delta Airlines Allow Dogs & Cats in the Cabin?

The Delta Airlines pet policy 2023 accepts dogs and cats to fly in the cabin within their travel bag.

As well as cats and dogs, Delta allows small, domestic birds to be transported. However, birds are only permitted on domestic flights, except Hawaii, US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Guam.

The travel bag or kennel must meet the Delta Airlines specifications outlined in their pet travel policy.

On the flight, the travel bag will be stowed underneath the seat in front of you, you can’t remove your cat or dog during the flight for safety reasons.

The pet trave bag counts as your carry-on item, so you can also take one small personal item into the Delta cabin.

One pet is permitted in each travel kennel, except in the following circumstances:

  • One female may travel with her un-weaned puppies or kittens, if the litter is between 10 weeks to 6 months of age. There’s no limit on the number of youngsters within the litter.
  • Two pets of the same breed and size, between 10 weeks to 6 months may be allowed to travel in one kennel, as long as they’re small enough and have enough space, in a single kennel. They’ll be charged as one pet.

The maximum pet carrier dimensions permitted by Delta Airlines depends on the aircraft used for your flight. Therefore, you must check this with Delta at the time of booking.

In addition, the following rules apply when flying your pet in the cabin with Delta Airlines:

  • Pets must be able to stand and sit up, turn around normally and lie down in a natural position in their kennel, without touching any side or the top of their travel bag.
  • Maximum carry-on kennel dimensions are determined by your flight. Delta recommends a soft-sided kennel with maximum dimensions of 18” x 11” x 11” since this fits most aircraft.
  • Kennels also have to be secure, padded, made of water-repellant material and have nylon mesh ventilation on two or more sides.

IATA Regulations for Cats & Dogs Flying in the Cabin

While you need to ensure that your pet’s travel crate meets the maximum dimensions set by Delta Airlines to fly in the cabin, remember that you must also adhere to the Live Animal Regulations (LAR) set by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). This includes calculating the minimum inner crate dimensions allowed by the IATA LAR for your cat or dog to fly in the cabin. In addition, the airline pet travel carrier must adhere to the criteria set by the IATA LAR, in terms of ventilation, design etc.

If you’re new to pet travel, check out 8 IATA Compliant Airline Pet in Cabin Carriers.

Cost of Flying a Pet in Cabin with Delta Airlines

US/Canada/Puerto Rico $125

US Virgin Islands/International Flights $200

Brazil $75

The laws in your destination country may not allow pets arriving in the cabin.

In addition, due to the current travel ban on dogs arriving in the US from rabies risk countries, your dog can’t fly with you on Delta Airlines flights to the US from Belize, Brazil, Colombia, China, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ghana, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Peru, Philippines and South Africa.

Does Delta Airlines Allow Pets in the hold as Checked Baggage?

Unfortunately, Delta Airlines doesn’t allow pets, except those belonging to US Military personnel, to fly in the hold as checked baggage.

However, if your pet is too large to fly in the cabin, they can still travel as cargo in the hold with Delta Airlines Cargo.

Delta Airlines Pet Cargo

In some cases, your pet may have to fly as cargo, rather than checked baggage. For instance, if you’re travelling on a different flight as your pet, or you’re flying to a country that doesn’t permit pets to arrive in the cabin. For example, all animals, including cats and dogs must arrive in the United Kingdom (UK) as cargo, they can’t enter in the passenger cabin or in the hold as checked baggage.

If your pet is unable to fly inthe cabin, they may travel as cargo with the Delta Airlines Pet Cargo company. But, from 1 April 2021, due to government restrictions, and the current COVID-19 pandemic, Delta Airlines has suspended all pet cargo transport.

IATA Requirements for Pets Flying in Hold

For the safety of your pet during air transport, the airline travel kennel must meet the legal requirements of the Live Animal Regulations (LAR) set by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Therefore, in addition to ensuring that your cat or dog in their travel crate adheres to the maximum weight and dimensions set by Delta Airlines, the minimum inner kennel dimensions defined by the IATA LAR must also be met.

You can calculate the minimum inner space permitted by the IATA LAR, in addition to learning about the required construction, design etc for the pet in hold travel crate.

IATA dog crate calculator pet kennel dimensions formula airline approved cat dog carrier

Should you need a new travel kennel, check out 4 Popular IATA Compliant Pet in Hold Crates.

Delta Airlines Assistance & Service Dog and Emotional Support Animal (ESAs) Policy

As of 11 January 2021, the Delta Airlines pet policy no longer recognises Emotional Support Animals (ESAs), therefore no new ESA reservations will be accepted. Emotional Support Animals are now subject to the standard Delta Airlines pet travel policy.

Only professionally trained Assistance & Service Dogs (SVAN) can fly in the cabin free of charge in a Delta Airlines cabin if they meet the requirements. A service animal is defined as a dog that’s individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a qualified individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability, including but not limited to:

  • Visual impairments
  • Hearing impairments
  • Seizures
  • Mobility impairments
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder

Trained Psychiatric Service Dogs (PSVDs) are therefore permitted to travel with Delta Airlines.

Pet Travel Documentation & Vaccines

Delta Airlines is an American international pet friendly airline, so for flights to the USA, your pet must meet the requirements of the US Pet Travel Scheme. Note that Hawaii has different pet travel requirements to the rest of the USA. Also, be aware that there’s currently a dog import ban in the USA from high risk rabies countries. The same rules apply if your dog has visited one of these destinations within six months of their travel to the US.

For flights to the EU, your cat or dog has to meet the EU Pet Travel Scheme criteria. This means that you’ll need to arrange either a Pet Passport or Animal Health Certificate, and ensure that your cat or dog is microchipped and vaccinated against Rabies.

You can also check out the pet travel laws for other worldwide destinations in 2023.

Delta Airlines Excluded Pet Flight Routes

Due to government pet travel rules, you can’t fly your cat or dog in the cabin to certain countries. These rules are in place in some pet friendly destinations that are currently rabies free, in order to protect their borders. For example, when flying to the UK (Scotland, England, Wales & Northern Ireland), all pets arriving on a plane must travel as cargo in the hold.

As previously mentioned, only cats and dogs are permitted in the cabin on flights to Hawaii.

Are Pets Safe on Planes?

If you’re worried about your furry travel companion’s wellbeing when flying, check out our comprehensive post regarding pet safety on planes.

In the USA, a monthly report is provided for pet incident rates for each airline. The US Department of Transport (USDoT) defines an incident as the loss, injury or death of a pet during airline transport.

In 2021, Delta Airlines transported 18,943 pets, the third highest behind Alaska Airlines (107,042) and American Airlines (80,817). However, Delta also had an incidence rate of 1.06 in 2021, which was the second highest of all pet friendly airlines.

The incidence rate is calculated by US DoT per 10,000 animals transported by each airline, and refers to either the injury, loss or death of a pet.

Be sure to purchase a strong, safe pet travel crate for your cat or dog to travel in the hold.

No doubt, at some point your trip will involve a car ride, so have a look at our 12 Essential Pet Car Safety Tips too. Should your cat or dog suffer from motion sickness, we’ve also compared some of the treatments, strategies and medications for pet travel nausea.

It’s important to be aware that you can’t sedate or tranquilize your cat or dog for their flight, whether your pet, or pets, are travelling in the Delta Airlines cabin or hold.

In addition, to protect your pet’s health and wellbeing in a new country, be sure to keep your cat or dog safe from vector-borne diseases. In particular, Heartworm from mosquitoes and Leishmaniasis from sandflies in Southern European destinations pose a serious threat.

You might also want to check out 10 Pet Friendly Airlines in the EU and Pets in Cabin from the UK and 7 Transatlantic Pet Friendly Airlines.

And don’t forget the all important Essential Pet Travel Accessories!

Prior to booking, always view the Delta Airlines pet travel policy on their website for any recent changes. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, some airlines are frequently amending their rules for pets on planes.

Have a safe and wonderful trip, and remember to leave a pet travel review for Delta Airlines if you fly your pet cat or dog, in the cabin or hold!

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