How to Get Discount Baggage Fees on Delta

Packing lightly, with only carry-on luggage, is an option to consider when flying Delta.
Packing lightly, with only carry-on luggage, is an option to consider when flying Delta. (Image: Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images)

When flying with Delta Airlines you will face fees for checked bags, as of Spring of 2011, of $23 for the first bag and $32 for the second bag. International flights to Latin America and Europe typically allow one checked bag for free while charging around $20 for a second checked bag. These fees can add up on a round-trip flight, and you may be trying to figure out how to discount baggage on Delta flights.

Things You'll Need

  • Delta skymiles number
  • Delta skymiles credit-card


Register for a Delta Skymiles number and card. You can do this online, via mail or by telephone. Delta will mail you a frequent flyer card with a 10-digit number.

Claim your miles after each flight with Delta. You will not be able to discount your flight right away. Keep in mind that you can also earn miles flying with Delta's code-share partners. Airlines such as Kenya Airways, Alaska Airlines and China Eastern. Delta also has hotel, car rental, dining and cruise partners. Purchases of these or at these establishments can also earn you miles. And these miles, once added up, can discount baggage fees.

Obtain enough miles to achieve silver, gold, platinum or diamond member status with Delta Skymiles. Silver status requires 25,000 miles; gold requires $50,000 miles; platinum requires $75,000; and diamond requires $150,000. Achieving these statuses grants you the right to check two pieces of baggage for free. The weight can be up to 70 pounds for each bag. 25,000 miles can also get you a free domestic flight within the United States, excluding Hawaii.

Delta Skymiles Credit Card

Apply for a Delta Skymiles American Express credit card via mail, online or by phone. There are three different types: gold, platinum and reserved. Choose one that suits your style, budget and spending habits.

Receive your credit card from Delta and make a purchase with it. Your first purchase with this card will also earn you thousands of miles. Amount varies according to time of year, promotions and purchase amount.

Provide the number of your credit card when booking the flight with Delta or a Delta code-share partner. This will enable you to check your first bag free. If you use your credit card to pay for the flight, you will earn double miles as a Skymiles member.

Tips & Warnings

  • Just using the Skymiles plan will take quite some time, but is the only option to discount baggage fees if you are unwilling to make purchases with a credit card. Use of a Delta debit card is another possibility to obtain miles quicker as purchases using that card can get you miles.
  • The quickest and most convenient way to save money on checked bags is to apply for a credit card with Delta. It allows you to double up on miles and earn a lot more miles by making purchases with the card.
  • All purchasers of first-class and business tickets are entitled to checking bags for free as well. However, this method will not save you money overall.
  • Keep in mind that having a credit card requires that you keep up with its payments. Bad credit may prevent you from successfully applying for a card.

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