What is Delta Airlines’ Drone Policy? In our “airline drone policy series” we are examining the drone policies of different airlines. Next up is Delta Airlines. What is the Delta Drone Policy? That’s the question we going to answer today…
And it’s going to be a short answer.
Stay with me here…
It’s short because there really isn’t a policy. Kind of.
Don’t worry…we will explain.
Delta Drone Policy – do they even have one?
So, as we covered in our TSA Drone Policy article, the Transportation Security Administration leaves drone restrictions up to each airline. And thus, each airline either has or doesn’t have a drone policy.
Take American Airlines, for example, they have a fairly well defined policy for traveling with your drone. You can read all about it here.
But our friends at Delta have no such policy.
Their baggage restrictions have well defined policies on just about everything else. From alcohol restrictions, to e-cigs, to sports equipment, batteries and more.
But nuthin about drones.
Which is odd considering it’s a popular question, many airlines do have policies and oh yeah, drones are freaking popular now – especially with travelers.
Looking for a drone to take on your next trip? You might be interested in our drone review page that examines popular travel drones in great detail.
Zip. Zero. Nada. Nil. That’s the Delta Drone policy – at least as noted on their website.
But let’s dig a little deeper here.
Is there an implied Delta Drone Policy?
What kind of a question is that!? (That’s what I envision you saying right now). Fair enough.
But let’s think about this.
What does a travel drone have that Delta DOES have a policy about? Batteries! If you guessed batteries, you win literally nothing, but that is the correct answer.
Like all airlines, Delta has a policy about batteries – lithium polymer batteries to be specific.
And LiPo batteries have all kinds of special restrictions. And Delta has all kinds of policy lingo for batteries and that affects you traveling with your drone.
First, under their fuel cell systems policy (link at end of article), they note:
“Portable electronic devices (i.e. cameras, cellular phones, laptop computers and camcorders) powered by fuel cell systems, and not more than two spare fuel cell cartridges per passenger are allowed when transported in carry-on baggage.”
This is a common rule on airlines. What it means for you and your drone is you can only bring two batteries. Also common on airlines.
Secondly, they note that with lithium batteries in particular they MUST be carried on and kept in some sort of protective plastic. Basically a plastic bag.
And they can’t be larger than 160 watt hours per battery. This is also a common LiPo battery policy. And most of the drone batteries you will be dealing with will be FAR less than this.
But, if concerned, just check your drone battery and it will tell you. As an example, aforementioned DJI Mavic Pro’s battery is a mere 43.6 Wh.
Ok…so can I bring my drone on Delta even though they don’t have a policy?
That’s really what you want to know, right?
The answer is simple: yes.
You can bring your drone on Delta, regardless of whether they have a policy or not.
Does Delta have a policy on toothbrushes? No. Can you bring one? Yes. Now, if your toothbrush has lithium batteries or is made out of plutonium or something you might run into some issues.
The point is that just because Delta’s Drone Policy is non-existent doesn’t mean you can’t bring it on a Delta flight. It just means Delta doesn’t think it’s big enough of a deal to mention it.
That said, from a practical perspective, if you’ve not yet bought a travel drone you might want to consider other airline’s travel drone policies as a rough guideline. That way you will be prepared to travel on other airlines besides Delta too…
Take American Airlines policy which is fairly practical: drones can be carried on if the drone or the the box it’s in is less than 22 x 14 x 19 inches. If not, check ’em.
And if you look at popular travel drones they are all well within this size limitation (well within!).
Take the most popular and well regarded travel drone, the DJI Mavic Pro, is a mere 9.7 x 8.9 x 4.7 inches (unfolded) in size (readers can check out the sizes of other popular travel drones in our Travel Drone Comparison table, here). When folded, the DJI Mavi Pro is even smaller.
Check the Price on the Most Popular (and best overall value!) Travel Drone: The DJI Mavic Pro
Even with a drone travel bag (like the DJI Mavic Shoulder Bag) which is a mere 7 x 5 x 9 inches (roughly) You will be good to go.
Check the price on the DJI Mavic Shoulder Bag
Can I check my Drone on Delta?
The answer again is yes. Treat it like any other piece of luggage and simply follow Delta’s luggage guidance.
Should I check my drone on Delta?
This is a better question.
As a general rule, we suggest travelers NOT check their drones when traveling on a plane. Given the value of the drone you invested in it’s far too likely it could get damaged or (worse) stolen. Instead, carry it on the plane with you for safekeeping.
If you do check it, we suggest a hard case and a TSA-approved travel lock.
Final Thoughts on Delta Drone Policy
As a quick summary, here’s our final thoughts on Delta’s Drone Policy:
- There isn’t one
- But you CAN bring a drone on a Delta flight
- Just treat it like any other piece of luggage
- But remember it has batteries so follow Delta’s battery policies
- Don’t check it (that’s not a rule…just our advice).
Readers can view the full non-policy (basically just the Delta baggage policy) here.
We hope you enjoyed this short discussion of Delta’s drone policy. Be sure to check back for future airline drone policies! And, please, check out all of our great travel drone related content, including:
- Best Travel Drone – comparison & analysis of the top drones for travelers
- What’s the TSA Drone Policy?
- American Airlines Drone Policy – can I take my drone on an American Airlines flight?
- Top 5 Drones on Amazon.com
- 147 Travel Tips – the ultimate list of road warrior tips & tricks
- 3 Awesome Drones for Travel
- 7 Tips for Traveling with a drone – the experts weigh in
- Spirit Airlines Drone Policy – what is Spirit’s Policy on Traveling with a Drone?
- United Airlines drone policy – what you need to know about bringing a drone on United
- Southwest Airlines Drone Policy – does Southwest Airlines Luv your drone?
- Best Hotel Mattresses – the 11 Best Hotel Beds you wish you owned