Are you allowed to take a soft suitcase on Qatar airways I have heard that some airports are starting to ban soft suitcases but I am not sure if this is true or not

  • 2
    Which airports are you referring to? And where have you heard that rumour?
    – Traveller
    Sep 3, 2019 at 10:41
  • 7
    Could you link to the source? I doubt there is a general ban of soft suitcases, but maybe it is a mistranslation of "soft" or just some items could not be stored in soft suitcases (fragile, liquids, etc.). Sep 3, 2019 at 10:44
  • You have heard some airports or airlines? Sep 3, 2019 at 19:10
  • Why do you ask this question online instead of emailing/phoning them?
    – minseong
    Sep 3, 2019 at 21:18
  • Not an outright ban but at certain airports soft bags may need a piece of cardboard (or similar material) clingwrapped to the bag to create a “flat” surface on at least one of its sides. See my answer below..
    – mccdyl001
    Sep 5, 2019 at 6:08

2 Answers 2


In these situations the best thing you can do is check the company rules


Baggage allowances may vary according to route and cabin class; please check the exact baggage regulations printed on your ticket.

Baggage guidelines:

Maximum dimension = length + width + height;

A single piece of checked baggage should weigh no more than 32kg (70lb). Any bags weighing more than 32kg (70lb) must be broken down so that each piece weighs less than 32kg (70lb).

So only weight and dimensions are taken into account for your baggage, not materials


Whilst Qatar Airways might not have restrictions on luggage materials, at least one of the airports they fly from/to does:

OR Tambo Airport (aka Johannesburg Airport) in South Africa has recently (25 May 2019) implemented a "no irregular shaped checked baggage" restriction for passengers departing from OR Tambo Airport. This includes bags without at least one flat side and bags with long straps. There is a infographic floating around which also includes soft bags, but I am yet to find the official source so will not link to it just yet.

The reasoning behind it is apparently to do with the airports automated baggage handling systems getting jams from errant bag straps and from bags which continuously roll back on the sections the conveyor belts go uphill.

Passenger baggage will be screened at check-in and passengers with bags that the check-in agents deem not to qualify as "regular shaped" will be guided to the "cling-wrap" stands where for the approx price of ZAR90.00 (about USD6.00) their bag will have a "flat insert" cling-wrapped to the side of it (or will have the long straps cling-wrapped out of the way).

So in answer to your question, Qatar Airways might allow you to fly with a soft suitcase, but depending on the shape the airport you're flying through might not (without a temporary cling-wrap modification).

EDIT: In trying to find the infographic, it appears Dubai Airport implemented the same rule in 2017. Having not flown through either airport since 2017, I cannot personally vouch for these restrictions. But if you think your bag might possibly be classed as "irregular", I'd budget some spare cash for check-in time in case you need to get a "flat insert" cling-wrapped to your bag.

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