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Which seat works best with an in-cabin dog? [Delta 757-200 (5500 Series)]

Delta has a variety of 757-200 planes, and the seat pocket card only identified our plane as a 757-200(N). I can tell you, though, that it had eight door exits and no window exits, which narrows the field down a bit. We were in row 28, and there were 4 rows behind us to an exit door — and that indicates to me that we were in a 5500 Series plane.

As on other 757s, you enter from the side, behind First Class, so all I can tell you about the First Class under-seat measurements is that they didn’t look impossible for an in-cabin dog. Economy Class has three seats on each side of the aisle, except for a couple of odd rows at the front (which are also exit rows, so you wouldn’t be able to sit there anyway).

On this plane, you’ll want to choose a center seat or a window seat. All of the seats have a thick bar running underneath them which limits the height of the under-seat space to 11 inches (though there’s a bit more height available — an inch or so — on the inner side of the bar). The center seat space is 19.5 inches wide, and the window seat space is 19 inches wide. The aisle seat space is defined by one of those rails — what purpose do they serve? — and is only 14.5 inches wide. From front to back, you have about 17 inches of space.

This post is part of an ongoing series recording under-seat measurements of the various planes we fly on. Keep in mind that most domestic and international airlines have rules about the maximum size of in-cabin pet carriers they allow on board (see Dog Jaunt’s handy charts under the “Taking your pet on a plane” tab above).


  • marsha

    I am booked on a delta flight from Paris to Pittsburgh. My Shih-tzu Freddie would travel in a Mdeium Sturdibag. However the Airline declined my request to travel with him, stating that the under-seat measurements are too small – they stated – 38 cm by 25 cm by 25 cm. Whereas I can see from this post, that they are certainly larger. How do I get them to confirm my dog? Do I just tell them that the carrier will be smaller?

    Pleaase advise

  • Hi, Marsha — No airline has ever turned down a medium Sherpa. (No doubt that’s an overstatement, but it’s the bag, and size, that made the whole soft-sided carrier thing possible in the first place. If Chloe fit in a medium Sherpa, I would fall on my knees and thank God.) It sounds as though the Delta rep asked you over the phone for your carrier’s size and your pup’s weight? That’s unusual, but I hardly ever fly on Delta. I would tell them the official line over the phone, and show up with your medium Sherpa and your pup that fits comfortably in it. While the person on the phone has to hew to the party line, the ticketing agent is likely never to look twice at your carrier.

  • Marsha

    Hi Mary Alice
    I’m not carrying the medium sherpa – but the small sturdi bag – anyway both are the same size.
    I actually booked with Air France, but the flight from Paris to Pittsburgh, is a code share, hence operated by Delta. Yes I had to give my pet’s weight as well as the carrier size to confirm his reserveration, and was denied, although approved for the Air France flight from Mumbai to Paris.
    I understand that the bag will probably fit, but am really nervous about taking the risk, as I will be just transiting through Paris and would be kind of stranded if Delta refuses to board my pet.
    Do you have any advice about confirming beforehand that the slightly larger size is acceptable. I called multiple times and spoke to different representatives but they all just give me the standard answer of the under seat dimensions and say that if the carrier is bigger, then I might be denied boarding.

  • Hi, Marsha — I would have NO hesitation about using the small SturdiBag (heck, I’d use the large, since I have to). It’s small and it’s so flexible that you can show anyone who’s concerned how much the top and sides adjust to fit the available space. In fact, now that I’ve had my coffee, I’m remembering that Delta has a branded Sherpa carrier (we own it, and there’s a post on the blog about traveling with it on a Southwest flight) that’s significantly larger than the small SturdiBag. The fact is, the folks you talk to on the phone HAVE to tell you the same thing that’s on the airline’s website. So would the folks at the ticketing counter if you made an advance trip and showed them the bag and pointed out how it doesn’t comply. But on the day of travel, if you show up with a small dog in a small SturdiBag, and radiate calm confidence, NOT volunteering your concerns, I would be astonished if you didn’t sail on through. Re transiting CDG — I too am coming up blank on the post you have in mind, but the big point is that you do not need to meet France’s paperwork requirements if you do not leave the secured area. Stay at the gates (that means you’ll have to take your pup into a bathroom stall with a bunch of pee pads to do his thing).

  • Marsha

    Thanks so much for the advice Mary Alice. Turns out that delta had put in the dimensions of the bad in inches, instead of centimeters (which I had given them in) . After many frustrating phone calls and lots of time on hold, I got Freddie confirmed on the flight. I’m only flying in August, but I am moving to the US, and it’s my first time flying with Freddie, so I have been totally stressed out about it. Thanks for your re-assuring advice.
    Turns out Air France was also wrong about me having to go through customs, I will have to stay at the gates as you said, and yes, get cracking on the pee pad training. The post I had read about transiting through CDG, was on Montecristo’s travel blog, not your’s, I guess I have been opening so many links and checking so many sites in the past few days, that I got confused.
    As of now Freddie is booked on both my Air France and Delta flight, and I do hope they go off without a hitch.

  • Margaret

    Hi Marsha,

    I am in a similar situation. I am about to move back to the US from France with my French Bulldog (who is right up against the limit weight-wise of what’s acceptable in-cabin but thankfully looks lighter than he is and is squat so he can fit in a bag comfortably). I’m not headed to Pittsburgh but it looks like they use the same type of plane (Boeing 757-200 Transatantic).

    I’ve contacted Delta to find out the in-cabin pet carrier size restrictions, but I’m curious what they told you in terms of max size just so I can compare notes. I suspect I’ll get about 12 different answers from Delta to this question and will get yet another at the gate when I try to check-in.

    Also, did they mention any weight limit? There’s none posted on the website.


  • Lorena Beckley

    Hello, Im traveling with my two chihuhuas from Guatemala to Los Angeles with Delta. Even though the aircraft is a 757 they are giving me this maximum measurements 13″ long x 15″ width x 10″ hight. They told me my girls can travel in the same carrier as they don´t weight together more than the approved 16 pounds. Can you advise me where I can purchase the carrier. I refuse to travel without them 🙁 Thanks for your help. I´m really worried because Delta hasn´t been of any help.

  • Hi, Lorena — I’m just hideously late in responding, and I’m so sorry. You may already have arrived here with your girls! Argh — if I’d been timely, I would have suggested the same large SturdiBag that Chloe uses for herself. It’d work well for two wee pups like yours (presumably they’re buddies, but if they prefer their own space, I’d get the divided large SturdiBag. I hope that helps….

  • Nancy

    Thanks, as said may times, Delta is not very caring about anyone traveling with their beloved pets. They have called me three time with three different measurements, very, very confusing! I have been to the pet store twice and looks like I will being going back tomorrow. My husband just passed a month ago, and just can’t bear the thought of leaving our dog behind, but this has me really worried. The latest measurement are 15 long, 13 wide, and 10 high, I’m praying I can find it tomorrow. I’m so scared when I get to the airport, Delta won’t let him go with me. Sure hope I can find what they want, never in my life did I ever think this would be so hard. Don’t really know if all airlines are like this?

  • Gail C.

    We’re traveling for the first time with our 13# miniature poodle, Jake, to Key West, Florida on Delta. When I called to add Jake to our reservation (because we didn’t have the carrier at the time we made our reservations), they just asked what carrier we were using and the combined weight of our dog and the carrier. As it happens, we’re using the medium Delta Sherpa. I did notice that on the first leg of our flight to Atlanta, it looked as if the plane’s coach section would not accept the medium Sherpa. I was panicking! I called Delta and the agent (Amanda) actually looked up our assigned seats on each of the four flights and confirmed that the carrier would fit on each plane under the seat. So, so glad! For those of us who are traveling with a pet in cabin, if you have any doubts, calling ahead of time and having them check your actual seat assignment might help allay any fears. HOPING all goes well on our trip.

  • I am so sorry for your loss, Nancy, and for being this dreadfully late in responding. I hear you about Delta — their system is confusing. I think it’s because they have so many different planes and plane configurations, and they must be prone to changing the equipment for upcoming flights. I don’t know what kind of dog you have, but Chloe (12″ tall at the shoulder, and 16″ long from back of neck to base of tail) in her large SturdiBag has fit in every space Delta has handed us. I have had to fib, sometimes, telling Delta my carrier is a different size that it in fact is — but I’m comfortable doing that because the large Sturdi is so flexible that it fits in awkward spaces (and there’s enough “headroom” around Chloe that I know she’ll be okay). If your pup is Chloe’s size, I’d get the large SturdiBag, assure Delta that your carrier is whatever size they’re currently telling you is required, and proceed. I hope that your travels go more smoothly than you fear, and that you find peace. (And no, not all airlines are like Delta. I strongly recommend Southwest, the airline we end up flying most often.)

  • Gail

    We are traveling to Key West in July with our 13# miniature poodle on Delta. This will be our first time flying with Jake. We will have four flights and different types of planes. I bought the Delta Deluxe Carrier by Sherpa in medium. I figure with their logo on the carrier, it should make things easier. I spoke to two Delta agents and both of them checked our seat assignments to be sure the carrier will fit under the seat in front of us. It is able to be squished. Because their Air France planes have less room, I wanted to be sure the carrier would fit as one site said it wouldn’t. Both agents confirmed that all of our seat assignments would allow the carrier. The key, I’m told by Delta, is not to check the actual plane configurations but your seat assignments. I’m hoping this is true (I’ve documented who I spoke with but it really is up to the gate agent). Fingers crossed. I really think if you’re going to fly Delta you might consider the carrier with their name on it.

  • Julia

    This site was helpful as I planned our trip so I want to add an update. In October 2020 we flew round trip on Delta 757-200(s) with a PetsFit expandable carrier (18″x11″x11″) which exceeds the max dimensions Delta gave me. Just in case I also carried a much smaller carrier if we had to swap the big one out. The check in counter didn’t measure, the gate person didn’t measure. The issue is that you have to be able to fit the carrier under the seat and we were able to scrunch the top down on one end in a window seat and push it in. The aisle seat space is much smaller. Carriers are not allowed under middle seats because that’s even smaller.

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