Luggage warranties and Briggs & Riley warranties

Most branded luggage sold in the UK today comes with a warranty. This can vary from one year to three, five or even ten years in certain cases.

All purchases are also protected in law under the sale of goods act, which places the retailler and manufacturer under certain obligations to the customer.

You, the customer should be aware that all manufacturer warranties apply only to manufacturing faults and do not include damage sustained in transit. Therefore, most manufacturers will not accept liability for luggage damaged in transit. It is a somewhat grey area and we always advise that the airline should be notified of any damage to the case upon arrival.

At Alba Luggage, we always intercede on our customer’s behalf with manufacturers and many are quite helpful with minor travel damage, but we do stress that they are not obliged to do so.

Briggs & Riley caseWe always recommend spending an extra ten minutes in the baggage hall to get that damage claim form from the handling company or the airline. A little extra time at that stage will save a lot of bother later on.

The only luggage we know of in this country that comes with a no questions asked warranty is Briggs & Riley.

Briggs & Riley say “if it is broken, we’ll fix it free of charge. If the case cannot be fixed, we will replace it with the closest match available”

Yes, it is true, ladies and gentlemen…  If you buy a large Briggs & Riley suitcase, you will never have to buy another one unless you want to own two of them.,,  It is a lifetime warranty…  Their cases are family heirlooms…and not too expensive to boot…

Hard luggage or soft luggage: How to choose

Luggage manufacturing has developed no end since I was a young lad in the 1970s. Yet, the luggage-buying public is still faced with the same dilemma, that being whether to go for soft or hard luggage.

Rimowa Salsa AirTraditionally soft-sided luggage has been more flexible, good for chucking in that extra pair of trousers or blouse and lighter in weight.  But nowadays, some of the lightest luggage is zip around, no pockets and hard sided, made from lightweight polycarbonate, for example the Salsa Air range from Rimowa, or made from CURV, developed originally by Samsonite for their Cosmolite range.

These newly developed, ultra lightweight cases are a response to calls from the airlines to make weight savings. While weight is a major consideration for travellers today, it is not by any means the only factor when choosing whether to go for hard luggage or soft.

If one is going on a shopping trip, say to New York, travelling there with an almost empty case with the intention to fill it up with goodies on arrival, then a soft sided case is certainly a better bet than the ultra light weight cases which tend to rely on them being packed full to the rafters to function as well as they do.

Samsonite S'CureIf security and peace of mind is your main concern, then you may well consider a hard-sided case with locks rather than a zip around case. These cases are typically slightly heavier than the ultra lightweight cases, but not by much…typically no more than a kilo in most cases, often less than that. These provide a more secure environment for your possessions, are often made of polypropylene (which is very hard wearing), and don’t rely upon being full to the brim like polycarbonate cases. An example to look at would be the Samsonite S’cure range.

For lightweight polycarbonate cases built on a frame, you couldn’t do better than examine the Rimowa Limbo range.

Finally, for the ultimate in chic, durability and peace of mind, you need look no further than Rimowa Topas. Constructed from Aluminium, a tool of the trade for so many professional travellers who live out of their cases week in week out, while not cheap, these are certainly worth a good look.

Rimowa TopasTo conclude, nowadays, good luggage is available at all price points. You have to decide whether weight or perhaps security is the overriding factor. You have to consider whether you tend to travel with a full case or whether there is always room for more inside. Lots to think about; I hope this short guide has been a help…

A new handle on a Rimowa suitcase in 8 minutes flat

We have run a comprehensive luggage repair service from our store in Baker St for many years. It is fair to say that we are probably the only walk-in walk-out repair place in Central London.

We get quite a few thank you notes but sometimes one stands out…

Quite often, a manufacturer like Rimowa or Briggs & Riley will direct their customers to us. It was with some trepidation that we waited for this particular customer to arrive.

All we were told was that she was a very important customer and she will be in a hurry…  I will let her tell her story here…

The best travel insurance


So you have deliberated and cogitated and finally gone out and bought a set of super new luggage to use on your travels. Lovely, shiny, with four wheels and TSA locks so that the customs officers can open the cases without forcing the locks…

You have bought new clothes and toiletries, sunscreen, you have your checklist ready, passports… check, tickets…check, money…check, hotel reservations…check, holiday insurance…check.

What have you forgotten…?

You have forgotten the luggage strap!!!!

A seemingly innocuous and unnecessary accessory which, when the poop hits the fan, may well save your holiday upon arrival at your destination.

There is almost no such thing as bad luggage today. Whatever brand you buy, most cases will do the job required of them. Most larger manufacturers perform crash tests on their ranges and meet a certain standard in regard to durability and robustness…  What no manufacturer can factor in is what happens when your luggage befalls an accident in transit or is seriously mishandled or even vandalized.

Imagine a routine customs check where the customs officer uses his TSA key to open a case as he should, but due to pressures of work, he doesn’t re-close the case correctly, or a zip isn’t fastened correctly because the case is a trifle overfilled… the contents of your luggage more likely to arrive before your luggage on the conveyor belt at baggage reclaim.

In addition, a case secured with a strap in addition to the locks on the case will deter the opportunist thief from trying to get into your luggage. Time is of the essence for these people and to have to open a lock and undo a strap may be the difference between having a go and leaving it well alone.

For the price of a couple of coffees and croissants, make sure you have a luggage strap around your case.

The best travel insurance on the market.

Happy travelling…