Picking up my luggage from the JFK baggage carousel on my last trip, I discovered Alitalia had managed to rip off an entire wheel from my 5+ year old suitcase. I didn’t even bother to file a claim with the airline, as it’s a Briggs & Riley, with one of the best luggage warranties in the business. I took it to Manhattan’s Modern Leather Goods (an authorized repair center) and five minutes later, my bag was as good as new. I filled out a short form with my contact information and walked out with my repaired bag, free of charge.
My other bag, a Swiss Gear four-wheeler purchased at Target two years ago, is also showing some wear, with a few tears in the nylon exterior after a few big trips. However, since the receipt for that bag is long lost, I fear, so is my chance of getting it repaired free of charge. Depending on the collection, some Swiss Army bags are covered with a free warranty for several years or even a lifetime, under certain conditions, but only with the original sales receipt.
If you are shopping for some new luggage, here’s a look at some of the easiest, most comprehensive luggage warranties to help you decide. They won’t cover regular wear and tear or the contents, but if a wheel or handle breaks, you’ll be covered. And don’t forget to save that receipt!Boyt: The “Best Luggage Warranty” covers their Mach 4, 5, 6 and Edge bags for lifetime damage, with all bags covered for life from defects. You simply ship the damaged bag to an authorized repair center (at your own expense). It only covers the original owner, and you’ll need proof of purchase.
Briggs & Riley: Their “Simple as that” warranty truly lives up to its name, covering any breakage or damage, including by an airline, for the life of the bag. You can either take it to an authorized repair center as I did, or ship it to them for major repairs. Even if you purchase a newer Briggs & Riley, they’ll keep fixing the old one outside of cosmetic wear or cleaning.
Eagle Creek: The “No Matter What” warranty covers about half of their collection from any damage, while all of the bags are covered just from defects for life. If your bag is damaged, you’ll just pay to ship it to Eagle Creek for repair and get it back in a few weeks. You can also order spare parts if you’d like to fix it yourself.
Osprey: The “All Mighty Guarantee” is totally comprehensive: you can return to Osprey for “any reason, any product, any era.” So whether you inherited your dad’s trusty backpack or got a wheeled pack for your own Grand Tour, it’s covered. They aren’t allowed by law to repair a pack that is too dirty or “odiferous,” so give it a good clean before shipping it to the California company.
Travelpro: The makers of the original Rollaboard know about luggage damage, though just the Platinum collections are covered by the “Worry Free Warranty.” Be sure to register your product, but you won’t need any pre-authorization for repairs, just check the website for authorized repair centers.