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Boarding, Baggage & More: A Brief Guide To Delta Air Lines’ Military Travel Benefits

Summary Delta offers perks for US military including free baggage and pre-boarding, benefiting active duty members and veterans.
Military personnel can bring pets on Delta flights, but there are restrictions and fees based on the destination.
Delta provides a special discount for military members through Delta Vacations, allowing savings on flight and hotel packages.
Several airlines offer different benefits for active duty US military personnel, veterans, and their families. While the perks may vary during different times of the year, they can be a big help for those currently serving or who have served regarding their travel plans. Some military personnel may fly home after duty or head to duty. Regardless, Delta Air Lines has a plethora of benefits, including through its all-inclusive vacation branch, Delta Vacations.
The Atlanta-based US legacy carrier offers benefits for active members of the US Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Space Force, and Coast Guard. As the airline’s way of expressing gratitude to those who protect and serve the US, Delta has special policies for military personnel, such as pet travel and early boarding. Most checked baggage is also free of charge, whether on travel orders or leisure trips. The benefits also extend beyond the flight, as the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) allows members of the US Armed Forces to receive expedited security screenings via TSA PreCheck at the airport.
Honoring those who have served or currently serve
Delta allows active duty US military members with an ID to pre-board flights, meaning they can board the aircraft before Delta One or first-class passengers. The perk is beneficial, especially if the flight is completely full. It allows military personnel to settle into their seats and relax before the hustle and bustle of the other travelers fills the cabin.
Photo: Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport
Pre-boarding is also available for passengers needing assistance getting on the aircraft or additional boarding time. Active duty members are also “allowed more free bags than civilian customers.” According to Veteran.com, Delta awards as many as five free checked bags with a limit of 100 pounds each to military personnel when on travel orders. This is incredibly accommodating if they bring a lot of equipment or personal belongings should their duty last several months. If they are traveling personally, two free checked bags are allowed with a limit of 50 pounds each.
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The baggage benefit is undoubtedly a perk, considering Delta recently raised its checked baggage fees to civilian passengers. Following several other airlines increasing their fees, Delta now charges its Comfort+ and main cabin travelers $35 each way for the first standard checked bag under 50 pounds, while one free carry-on bag and a personal item are still allowed.
For passengers checking a second bag under 50 pounds, it will cost them $45 each way. Of course, military personnel, as well as Delta One or first class passengers, are exempt from these charges. Travelers with the Delta SkyMiles American Express Card or Medallion Status are also not subject to baggage fees.
Medical emergency flights
Travel privileges are also extended to war-injured immediate family members or domestic partners. According to Delta, those individuals are classified under its Medical Emergency policy, which offers flight discounts. To book a medical emergency flight, the person must provide their name and relationship to their injured family member or domestic partner. Additionally, they would need to provide the name and phone number of the military hospital where their relative or loved one is recieving care. Delta defines immediate family members as:
Spouses
Domestic partners
Children
Parents
Siblings
Stepsiblings
Stepchildren
Grandparents
Grandchildren
Aunts
Uncles
Nieces
Nephews
Father-in-law
Mother-in-law
Sister-in-law
Brother-in-law
Son-in-law
Daughter-in-law
Photo: Delta Air Lines
The carrier’s website lists more information on the prices of its medical emergency flights. Immediate family members will need to call the airline to book a flight.
Pet travel & Delta Vacations
Military personnel can also travel with their pets. Delta only accepts animals as checked baggage for US military or active duty US State Department Foreign Service Officers and their spouses with active transfer orders. However, checking their pet does come with a fee, and it depends on where the individual is traveling. On flights within the US, US Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico, the cost is $200 to check their pet. I
t is also $200 for international flights to and from Canada or the Caribbean. Travel to and from Brazil is a $150 checked pet fee. All fees are charged each way. Checked pets are prohibited on flights to Australia, Barbados, Hong Kong, Iceland, Jamaica, Liberia, New Zealand, Senegal, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United Arab Emirates.
There is a variety of acceptable pets, but there are some restrictions. According to the airline, military personnel may transport two crates per flight. However, larger crates may only be shipped as cargo, which could result in additional restrictions depending on the aircraft and class of service. Cats are permitted, except for snub-nosed cats. Dogs are allowed as well, minus pug breeds or other snub-nosed dogs. Other acceptable animals only within US domestic flights include household birds, guinea pigs, rabbits, and hamsters.
Photo: Lukas Souza | Simple Flying
Other animals are allowed but must be shipped as cargo. These include reptiles and primates – lemurs, monkeys, orangutans, gorillas, and chimpanzees. The fee is charged each time the pet is checked in at the airport and will be assessed at each stopover point. Delta says exceptions may apply to flight itineraries with connections over six hours. However, animals are not included with the free baggage privileges granted to military personnel or eligible Delta SkyMiles members.
Photo: Thiago B Trevisan | Shutterstock
Lastly, the airline honors military personnel by offering a special discount on Delta Vacations. This perk can allow individuals to save up to $200 per flight and hotel vacation package to any of its 300+ destinations worldwide. Here are the current discounts offered:
$25 off vacations that cost up to $1,499
$75 off vacations priced between $1,500 and $3,999
$125 off vacations that cost from $4,000 to $6,999
$200 off vacations priced at $7,000 or more
All eligible personnel are encouraged to contact the airline for more details about all of its military perks.

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