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Baggage embargo

I have an upcoming trip on Delta.

There is a notice on my reservation at Delta.com that there is a baggage embargo:

Oh no! We're sorry, but a baggage embargo applies to your trip. There might be a limitation based on the number of bags, size, weight or bag type.

And for the return flight, under "Checked Allowance," it says "Not allowed" for the first bag and second bag.

At https://www.delta.com/us/en/baggage/checked-baggage/embargoes-restrictions it says:

Unless otherwise noted, Delta will accept up to 2 standard checked bags per customer during embargo periods.

I've never heard of this before. Can anyone explain it to me? Does it actually mean that I won't be able to check any bag at all on my return flight? That seems absurd to me, so I'm hoping it just means no extra bags will be allowed. The "unless otherwise noted" has me confused.

If you have specific knowledge about this, can you clue me in? Thanks!

Posted by
7252 posts

Can anyone explain it to me?

If Delta cannot explain, then no one can.

In your situation, I would call Delta. Like you, the wording is not clear to me.

Posted by
21032 posts

Only Delta can explain. What do they say?

Posted by
3664 posts

Tried to call Delta lately? I think people are posting because they can't get through on the phone with Delta. Wait times of 2 + hours

Posted by
282 posts

I wanted to speak with a Delta customer service rep. the other day to do a flight itinerary change for a flight booked on Skymiles. I was put on hold, without the usual option that they offer to put in a call back number.

Not knowing how long I might be on hold, I put my cellphone on speaker, plugged it into an outlet to keep the battery alive, and resumed my workday. I was on hold, listening to that music, for 2 hours and 51 minutes. When the call was finally answered, however, I got great service, answers to all my questions, a quick rebooking, friendly and polite service.

Posted by
7391 posts

Lane is in Mexico, not the US. Waiting on hold would cost him a fortune. Lane, try sending a message through Facebook messenger. They usually answer.

Posted by
2398 posts

try sending a message through Facebook messenger

Twitter usually works, too.

Posted by
3664 posts

Bets, you are so right! I resorted to Facebook messenger with Delta for a flight for my daughter coming from Hawaii. You can't really blame Delta, people are clambering for travel and they don't have the staff. Nevertheless, it is frustrating.

Posted by
2398 posts

Just out of curiosity... is your destination on the list of cities with embargoes on the webpage you linked?

Posted by
2646 posts

The "unless otherwise noted" refers to the list on the website. Find the name of your destination and see how many pieces of luggage are permitted. For example, for Key West, during an embargo the number is 1 and the maximum weight is 100 pounds but for Guatemala City, it is 5 pieces and each can weigh as much 70 pounds. If your location is not on the list but is subject to a baggage embargo, you can bring 2 checked pieces. Generally excess baggage embargoes are put in place on specific routes that are often at the maximum performance of the aircraft or where the customary number and size of bags will be larger or heavier than the airplane could allow. Sometimes, but less frequently than the next two reasons, the embargo is imposed because the airline has sold some of the cargo space. Sometimes, there are issues with the runways at an airport that impose certain weight restrictions on landing flights. Usually though when I have seen it, an embargo is imposed on flights to countries with heavy taxes and import restrictions on goods or shortages of goods to discourage returnees from bringing too much stuff back on the flight.

Posted by
6111 posts

Wow that is wild. It’s really obnoxious that they can’t actually explain what they mean !!!

Hope you can find the answer.

Posted by
290 posts

Could it possibly be because of a shortage of workers..I.e. baggage handlers?

A friend just returned to DFW and he and his family waited 2 hours for their luggage. He was told there were only 2 people unloading 5 planes.

There are shortages of workers across many businesses right now…restaurants are short staffed as well.

Posted by
1400 posts

Thanks for all the responses. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who finds it odd, strange, or annoying.

I'm flying from Guadalajara to Seattle in August. The baggage embargo applies to the return trip (it doesn't specify which leg, but I'm assuming SLC - GDL).

Their website says that there is an embargo on checked baggage to GDL from December 1 - January 15, which doesn't apply to this trip. For those dates, they say you are limited to 5 pieces of checked baggage.

The thing that's tripping me up is where it says, under "Checked Allowance" for my specific flight, "Not Allowed."

I have unlimited minutes for calls to anywhere in North America, so I'm not worried about the cost of waiting on hold for 2-3 hours, but that is not an experience I think I'd enjoy, which is why I was hoping someone reading this post would have some inside info.

I'll try Facebook messenger and Twitter. Those seem like they may be better ways to get an answer. If I do, I will post the response here.

Posted by
1400 posts

I just had a conversation with a Delta representative using their messaging service. I signed in and they said they'd have someone message me back when available. The message came exactly 2 hours and 31 minutes later.

The representative simply went on delta.com and read exactly what I read on the website. He first said that no check bags would be allowed, and then read the other section and said 2 checked bags would be allowed. I asked if I could speak with his manager or someone who actually knows something about baggage embargos, but I was told that his manager would also just read from delta.com.

So asking Delta was an exercise in futility. I plan to travel with a checked bag. Surely they aren't going to turn me away. So we'll see what happens.

Posted by
6111 posts

Dang, now that is REALLY frustrating that the folks at Delta don't know anything other than what is already there on the webpage.

Chris makes a good point about worker shortages, which could definitely affect things. But i wouldn't think they would already know that that will be the case in December/January.

Posted by
644 posts

Translation: "we're experienceing a high volume of calls and your hold time may be lengthy" really means
"we refuse to add sufficient call support staff to answer your call in a reasonable amount of time".

I also love it when they continue to cite the pandemic 15 months later.

Posted by
2398 posts

Check again on Monday. Schedule changes get uploaded Friday night and sometimes cause some quirks and other tomfoolery in the system for the weekend. Maybe it will fix itself. If not, I like joe's idea of contacting the first person on the Elliott website.

Posted by
7 posts

I just booked an awards flight from ATL to FCO (transfer at JFK) for mid November (ATL-JFK segment flown by Delta, JFK-FCO by AlItalia) and got the same baggage "not allowed" block during the booking process, and the "Oh No..." message when accessing the record later and trying to add a bag. I was able to choose seats for both legs during booking.

With the trip that far out, I'm sure things will have changed significantly (and presumably for the better) as the date approaches, so not too worried now. I find it highly unlikely that I won't be able to check a bag for the fights.

I'm a little bit concerned about what the terms might be if I need a cancellation. Their site says "one free change", so sort of assuming if I should have to cancel, that it being an awards flight would mean the miles just go back into my account...Not too worried about what might happen to the $5.60 in fees ;-) .

Now I have to see if I can reach them to link records with my wife's flight. Nether of us had enough miles to book both tickets on the same reservation.

We'll see.

Posted by
7759 posts

Lane, Did you read JHK’s post? I think it helps explain.