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The Ultimate Guide To Flying Delta Air Lines With Kids [2023]

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Ashley Onadele
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Ashley Onadele

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Ashley discovered a love for travel in college that’s continued as her family has grown. She loves showing parents how they can take their families on trips using points and has contributed to numerou...
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A long-time points and miles student, Jessica is the former Personal Finance Managing Editor at U.S. News and World Report and is passionate about helping consumers fund their travels for as little ca...
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Delta Air Lines is voted one of the best U.S. airlines year after year. So it’s no surprise that the airline offers a comfortable way to travel with your family, including kids. But as with other airlines — such as United Airlines, American Airlines, and Southwest Airlines — you want to know what to expect before booking your tickets.

In this guide to flying Delta Air Lines with kids, you’ll learn about the airline’s unaccompanied minor program, seating, amenities you can expect for yourself and your little ones, and more.

Where Delta Air Lines Flies

Delta flies more than 4,000 flights daily to almost 300 destinations worldwide.

Delta’s main hub is Atlanta (ATL), but the airline has other hubs in Amsterdam (AMS), Boston (BOS), Detroit (DTW), Incheon (ICN), New York (LGA and JFK), London (LHR), Los Angeles (LAX), Mexico City (MEX), Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP), Paris (CDG), Salt Lake City (SLC), and Seattle (SEA).

Delta has many international hubs, making it a great airline for international travel. Its largest hub is ATL, which also happens to be the world’s busiest airport. Delta’s planes frequently connect through this hub on domestic and international itineraries.

Hot Tip:

Delta Air Lines’ main hub ATL is a very large airport. If you find yourself flying from, into, or transiting through ATL, leave plenty of time for security and getting between gates.

As a member of the SkyTeam airline alliance, Delta flyers can travel on codeshare flights with other airlines. You can also earn and redeem Delta SkyMiles with a number of those airlines as well.

Delta Air Lines SkyMiles Loyalty Program

Delta SkyMiles is Delta Air Lines’ loyalty program. You can earn SkyMiles by flying Delta Air Lines or partner flights, spending on Delta Air Lines American Express credit cards, shopping online, and dining out. You can redeem your SkyMiles for flights, upgrades, shopping, and other travel, such as hotels.

Elite Status

You’ll get to experience airline perks by earning elite status. Delta recently simplified how to earn Medallion elite status. You now only need to earn a certain amount of Medallion Qualification Dollars (MQD).

To reach status in 2024 for 2025, you’ll need to meet the following MQD requirements:

You can earn MQDs to get closer to status by spending money with Delta and its partner airlines, on Delta SkyMiles credit cards, and on Delta Vacations packages. You can earn MQDs at a 1:1 ratio with Delta and partner flights and vacation packages. You can earn 1 MQD per $10 or $20 that you spend with a Delta credit card.

Benefits of holding Medallion status include complimentary upgrades, waived same-day confirmed changes, and up to 3 complimentary checked bags (perfect for families traveling with more luggage!).

Delta Air Lines Lounges

Delta LAX Sky Club Deck
It isn’t easy to enter the Delta Sky Club without an eligible American Express card. Image Credit: Delta

There are more than 50 Delta Sky Club locations worldwide, but only select travelers can access the lounges.

The easiest way to access Delta Sky Clubs when flying on Delta or a partner-operated same-day flight is to purchase a Delta Sky Club membership. Only Medallion members can purchase a membership, and an annual membership costs $695 or 69,500 SkyMiles.

Delta Gold, Diamond, and Platinum Medallion members can enter Sky Clubs under certain conditions. Access is granted to these status holders when flying Delta Premium Select internationally or Delta One domestically. The same goes for if they are traveling in the equivalent cabin on a partner airline. Unless you have purchased a Delta Sky Club membership, there is no entry when flying Main Cabin or Delta Comfort+ internationally.

Select Delta credit cardholders get the following Sky Club access:

Those with The Platinum Card® from American Express, The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, and Centurion® Card from American Express will also get complimentary access to Delta Sky Clubs when traveling on same-day Delta marketed and operated flights.

Bottom Line:

There are a lot of requirements to enter a Sky Club, and even with the right Delta credit card, it may not be feasible to try to enter if you travel with more than 2 other people. For example, a family of 4 can’t visit a Sky Club lounge using access from just 1 credit card. Consider a credit card that offers Priority Pass Select membership so you can visit other airport lounges.

How To Book Delta Flights

You can easily book Delta flights online at delta.com or on the Delta app.

As a member of the SkyTeam airline alliance, you have a few other options to book Delta flights as well. Booking Delta flights with Virgin Atlantic Flying Club or Air France-KLM Flying Blue is a great way to save on award flights. Virgin Atlantic and Flying Blue are transfer partners of several major credit cards, whereas Delta SkyMiles is only a transfer partner of American Express.

Flying With Kids on Delta Air Lines

Flying With a Lap Child

Baby 767 Delta One
Delta One 767 business class. Image Credit: Chris Hassan

Delta requires a ticket for all passengers, including children younger than 2 years old flying as a lap infant. Lap infants fly for free on domestic flights and for a reduced rate (usually 10% of the adult fare) on international flights. A lap infant must be younger than 2 years old at the time of travel, even on the return leg of a roundtrip ticket.

To add a lap infant to your reservation, you can add the infant after purchasing your ticket online or by calling Delta Reservations at 800-221-1212. When adding a lap infant online, go to Special Service Requests under the My Trips page. Choose Open under Infant in Arms and click the plus (+) sign to add your infant to your reservation.

Be sure to click confirm before closing your browser.

Priority Boarding for Families

Delta flight attendant with woman and baby
Delta Air Lines offers family boarding after Delta One customers, Diamond Medallion Members, and Delta Premium Select customers. Image Credit: Delta

Delta allows those traveling with car seats and strollers to board early after Delta One customers, Diamond Medallion members, and Delta Premium Select customers. Delta Comfort+ and Sky Priority (those with elite status with SkyTeam partner airlines) board after.

Like other airlines, you can check your car seat and stroller at the gate for no extra charge.

Unaccompanied Minors

Children between the ages of 5 and 14 can fly alone as part of Delta’s unaccompanied minor program. The fee is $150 each way for up to 4 children and includes a Delta employee escort and special amenities. Kids between 15 and 17 can also request to fly with this service.

Children 5 to 7 years old can only fly on nonstop flights.

Delta gives unaccompanied minors a wristband with a barcode for tracking purposes and allows access to Delta Sky Zones, kids-only lounges in select airports, during layovers.

Seating

Unlike United, Delta doesn’t have an airtight policy that guarantees families will be able to sit together. In this case, it’s important to find flights with seats next to each other and secure those seats at check-in.

If you’re unable to find seats together, Delta recommends contacting Reservations at 800-221-1212 to review the available seating options.

Snacks and Beverage Service

Kid-friendly meals are available under special meals on international flights to all classes of flyers and first-class flyers on domestic flights.

Kids’ meals include a French toast breakfast and cheese tortellini with marinara sauce for lunch and dinner. All meals are served with fruits and vegetables.

Delta kids meal
You can preselect kid-friendly meals for your children. Image Credit: Delta

In addition to special meals for its youngest flyers, Delta offers complimentary sodas, juices, coffee, and tea to all guests, along with a small snack. Alcoholic beverages are available for purchase to Main Cabin customers and complimentary for those flying in Delta Comfort+, first class, and Delta One.

Onboard Amenities

Aside from kid-friendly meals, Delta Air Lines does not offer additional children’s amenities onboard.

Inflight Entertainment

Delta mother daughter using IFE
 Seat-back screens are on most long-haul international flights and select aircraft. Image Credit: Delta

Delta continues to increase the number of its planes that have free Wi-Fi.

Your kids can look forward to plenty of movies and TV shows just for them on select aircraft. Entertainment includes Disney and Pixar hits like “Luca” and “Encanto,” as well as cult classics like “The Karate Kid (1984).” TV series include “Peppa Pig” and “Mickey Mouse Funhouse.”

Delta Air Lines Credit Cards

No guide about Delta Air Lines would be complete without discussing its many Amex co-branded credit cards.

There are 4 personal and 3 business Delta credit cards. In order from basic to premium, starting with the personal cards, they are as follows:

The annual fees on each of these cards vary from $0 on the Delta Blue card to $650 on the Delta Reserve card.

Like any credit card, consider how often you plan to fly with this airline to take advantage of perks like free checked bags, complimentary upgrades, and priority boarding. Other considerations are whether or not access to Sky Club lounges is important to you and your family when you travel.

The Delta Reserve cards offer complimentary access for the primary cardholders and 2 1-time guest passes per year. But if you travel with more than 2 other people more than twice a year, this may or may not be worth it to you.

On the other hand, a card like the Delta Gold card is great for those who fly Delta but aren’t interested so much in the luxury or premium perks. This card earns 2x miles on Delta purchases, restaurants worldwide and takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets. It’s a card for the casual Delta flyer who is more likely to make lifestyle purchases than big-ticket travel purchases.

To make it easier to decide which Delta Air Lines credit card is right for you and your family, check out our guide comparing the airlines’ portfolio of Amex credit cards.

Final Thoughts

Delta Air Lines is a top-rated airline; it was even named the most on-time airline in 2022. That’s something parents can appreciate on hectic travel days. We hope this guide answers all your questions about what to expect about flying Delta Air Lines with kids.

The information regarding the Centurion® Card from American Express was independently collected by Upgraded Points and was not provided nor reviewed by the issuer. 

For rates and fees of Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, click here.
For rates and fees for the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card, click here.
For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does Delta do for kids?

Delta does not offer child-specific amenities on board, but the airline has kid-friendly meals for order where a full meal service is available. Its unaccompanied minor program is available for kids 5 to 14 years old traveling without a parent or guardian.

What do kids need to fly on Delta?

Kids flying on Delta may be required to show proof of ID such as a birth certificate when flying domestically. A passport is required for all travelers regardless of age when flying internationally.

Does Delta require car seats for kids?

Delta Air Lines does not require that children fly in car seats. However, the FAA strongly encourages that all children travel in FAA-approved child restraint systems.

Does Delta let kids board first?

Delta doesn’t let kids and families board first. Families traveling with strollers or car seats are welcome to board after Delta One customers, Diamond Medallion members, and Delta Premium Select customers.

Ashley Onadele's image

About Ashley Onadele

Ashley discovered a love for travel in college that’s continued as her family has grown. She loves showing parents how they can take their families on trips using points and has contributed to numerous publications and podcasts.

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