Do Airlines Prefer Hard or Soft Luggage?

What kind of luggage should you use when traveling with the airlines? The answer to this question is easy. Just select the one which is soft, durable, and lightweight. This will give you an advantage over others because the hard and stiff suitcases may not always fit in the overhead compartments.

Now, there are two types of suitcases: soft and hard. Soft bags are usually made of polyethylene, which means they have high flexibility and can be used for a long time. While on the other hand, the hard suitcases are made of aluminum and steel and are more durable than the soft ones. Both of these suitcases can be checked by the airline if you want. But what if you want to carry only one bag? Well, there are a few ways to do it. You can choose a soft or a hard suitcase and fill it up to the maximum limit.

Do Airlines Prefer Hard or Soft Luggage – Choose the Right One

Do Airlines Prefer Hard or Soft Luggage
Do Airlines Prefer Hard or Soft Luggage?

We’ve all experienced the annoyance of carrying a heavy suitcase in our arms. It is challenging and tiresome. But what if you could take them with ease on your back? That would be cool! How does that happen? If you’re interested in knowing more about do airlines prefer hard or soft luggage, airline luggage policies and how airlines prefer carrying soft versus hard luggage, read on to learn more.

If you are wondering why airlines prefer soft baggage, let us explain. First and foremost, the luggage is easier to handle. For example, if you are carrying two large suitcases, they tend to get bulky. This can be troublesome when you are trying to lift and bring them into an airplane. Therefore, carrying soft luggage is much more comfortable, convenient, and accessible. You won’t need to handle bulky items, and you can quickly transfer them between cars, trains, and planes.

Which Luggage Is Better Hard or Soft?

I prefer soft luggage, especially when I am traveling. But what if it rains heavily? In that case, I would opt for hard luggage.

The good thing about hard luggage is that it doesn’t matter how heavy it is. It will protect everything inside. It doesn’t even come in contact with your clothes if it rains. And there is no need to worry about the zipper because they are well-protected. The bad thing is that the hard suitcase takes up more space, and loading or unloading is not as easy.

For an average person, both types of luggage are practical, though, for long trips, I would recommend you buy soft luggage. But be careful about its weight, because you don’t want your luggage to be too heavy.

Is Hard or Soft Luggage Better for International Travel?

This is another topic that makes people scratch their heads in confusion. There are so many types of luggage out there, with each kind claiming to be the most suitable for international travel. Let me give you an example. My wife and I plan a European trip, including a long flight, two weeks of vacation, and a train ride.

We bought a suitcase, which is known as a hard case. This is a hard-sided case that will protect the contents. It will also keep the contents dry and clean. On the other hand, it has a limited amount of space. For our European trip, we had to buy a giant suitcase, which is known as a soft case. This will not protect the contents; it will keep them drier and cleaner.

Both of these cases come with their pros and cons. However, when I tell people that I prefer the soft case because it does not make my suitcase heavier or too large, they always look at me like I am crazy. They say I should go for the hard case. I want to emphasize that this decision is all personal preference.

Which Is More Durable Hard or Soft Luggage?

You might have guessed that it depends on what kind of luggage it is. As a general rule of thumb, hard luggage can be expected to last longer because it is more challenging and sturdier. On the other hand, soft luggage is less durable and is usually made up of thin materials and fabrics that tend to tear easily.

A soft suitcase is usually made of fabric and foam, which will eventually tear and disappear, leaving you to replace it. However, a rugged bag is generally made of metal and plastic and doesn’t tear easily. These are the two significant factors in deciding which is more durable. Other features like zipper quality, wheels, handles, padding, etc., will also play a role in determining the luggage’s durability.

Softside Luggage Pros and Cons

Luggage pros include durability, strength, ease of packing, and lightweight. These are the factors that you should consider when choosing luggage. However, some cons include complex side cases and lack of space. So, if you are planning to purchase baggage, you must weigh the pros and cons before buying it.

Most luggage companies manufacture soft-sided luggage. They are usually made from either canvas or nylon material. They are often used by people who love traveling. You can carry a lot of things without worrying about damage or scratches. The most common form of luggage is called roller bags. These are designed to fit in the overhead compartments of buses, trains, and airplanes.

Hardside Luggage Pros and Cons

I am sure you are already aware of the pros and cons of hard side luggage, but let me list them here anyway:

Pros: The hard-side bags have more space inside than soft-sided luggage. These have wheels which can make them easier to move around. These bags are easily stored, and they are great for outdoor trips.

Cons: They are cumbersome. So you might feel tired carrying it after some time. Also, they can be bulky and might not fit in a typical overhead compartment of a plane.

So which should you choose? I am personally a huge fan of the hard side luggage. I own two hard-side suitcases. However, soft side luggage is probably a better option if you prefer soft luggage.


Airlines are pretty picky about what kind of luggage you carry. They will make sure to inform you of it in advance. But don’t fret too much! You can always use a soft suitcase, to be safe. You can try out different airlines to see which has the most stringent rules and regulations. After that, you can choose the best suits your needs. However, make sure to read the fine print. There may seem nothing wrong with carrying a hard suitcase, but airlines may impose additional fees if they suspect you are using it illegally. So, always ask first before you decide to take a risk.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is hard or soft luggage better for air travel?

Hard or soft bags for travel are based on two factors. The first is the weight, and the second is the shape. The lighter the load, the less you will have to pay for the airline ticket, but it will also weigh less. So, if you are looking for a lightweight, cheap travel bag, go for the hard-sided ones. On the other hand, if you need a durable bag with a more elegant look, choose soft bags.

What type of luggage is best for air travel?

The best type of luggage for air travel is a hardshell suitcase, which can be checked, or carry-on. This type of luggage has a solid structure, which allows it to withstand rough handling during check-in or loading and unloading at the airport. It is also designed to hold its shape well, so it can remain closed when packed.

Are hard or soft suitcases best?

It depends. If you plan to travel a lot, you should opt for a hard suitcase to avoid scratches and scuffing. On the other hand, a soft bag is a better option for frequent travel since it can be taken apart and put back together quickly.

Are hardshell suitcases better?

Yes, it would help if you always carried a hardshell suitcase. This type of luggage offers better protection against accidental bumps and scratches and is much sturdier than a soft-sided case. A hard-sided bag is generally made with heavier-duty materials, which are more robust and can withstand the wear and tear of frequent travel.

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