Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Travel&Dining > Travel Products
Reload this Page >

Quality problems with Tumi Alpha luggage

Quality problems with Tumi Alpha luggage

Old Apr 20, 2011, 10:08 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Programs: United, Continental
Posts: 6
Unhappy Quality problems with Tumi Alpha luggage

I purchased two Tumi Alpha bags in Spring 2009. On the FIRST trip for each bag, the monogrammed label fell off leaving ugly metal prongs sticking out. I also lost several of the zipper pulls on each bag. On my most recent trip, just two years later, the zipper has broken on the larger bag making it unusable. I contacted Tumi and was told to send my bag to a repair shop (at my expense). I thought Tumi bags were noted for their durability - given all of the problems I have experienced with my bags, I don't think it is worth buying a box and shipping the bag to the repair facility.

I should note that Tumi did replace the first bag when I complained about the monogram loss on the first trip.

The continuing problems, however, indicate quality issues with Tumi Alpha.

Forgot to add: I am now looking at the Eagle Creek HC Hovercraft as a replacement. Lighter, lifetime warranty, on several lists as best for international travel. Any comments on this bag?

Last edited by Traveler 7077; Apr 20, 2011 at 10:37 am Reason: To add question
Traveler 7077 is offline  
Old Apr 20, 2011, 11:08 am
  #2  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: LAX
Posts: 10,906
Your experience is quite unusual - especially with zippers. Where did you purchase those bags? Could those be fakes by any chance?

IME tumi zippers are exceptionally strong (not sure about monogram stuff - never had one). I've had some issues with telescopic handle locking on one bag but this is somewhat expected after years of use.

Have you had any problems with the replacement bag Tumi sent you?
azepine00 is offline  
Old Apr 20, 2011, 2:22 pm
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Programs: United, Continental
Posts: 6
I bought the bags directly from Tumi so would assume they aren't fakes! The replacement bag has been OK. The zipper has come apart on the other bag so it no longer opens or closes completely.

Per Tumi today, their warranty is only good for 5 years. And I am still stuck with finding a box and shipping it to another state for repair.

They did say that their bags are supposed to last longer than two years. However, the excuse for my bag is that they are not indestructible. Shouldn't heavy flying be the norm for a "durable" bag?
Traveler 7077 is offline  
Old Apr 20, 2011, 4:10 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Programs: United, American, Southwest, USAirways, Delta
Posts: 1,874
Originally Posted by Traveler 7077
I am now looking at the Eagle Creek HC Hovercraft as a replacement. Lighter, lifetime warranty, on several lists as best for international travel. Any comments on this bag?
No comment on the Eagle Creek bag in particular. You have just discovered what many of us already know - there is no correlation between what you pay and the actual longevity or durability of the bag. You're paying for a warranty and a name. If you are OK with that, then expect the EC bag to fail as well, and expect them to tell you the same thing "Ship it to us, and we'll repair or replace, in a few weeks."

The EC bag as you discovered with the Tumi, won't be any more durable than a TJMaxx Delsey. But it does have that warranty... Better find a supplier of large boxes now, so when you need to ship that EC bag, you'll be ready!
pittpanther is offline  
Old Apr 20, 2011, 5:06 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: SFO
Programs: UA MMGold, HH Diamond, Marriott Plat
Posts: 1,263
I have a Tumi Alpha 20" expandable, purchased around 2004. It was ok quality so I purchased another one, a 24" for longer trip, few years later. The 24" was not built as solid as the 20", apparently the quality had gone down since I bought the first Tumi.

For the 20" Tumi, I bought it because I didn't want to check bag so it seldom got checked and abused by the baggage handling. For the few times I was forced to check it, I found it got damaged easily. One recent trip one screw for handle bar got lost when I found my luggage at the belt. Consequently my luggage tag went missing because the handle bar was detached. This is a total surprise the Tumi can not survive a short trip (checked in at JFK, out FRA). There is a luggage repair station at FRA by Lufthansa. They had a look for me and screwed on another screw so I can lift my Tumi by handle bar again.

Beside the baggage handling damages, the bag hold up ok so far but perhaps it is majorly credited to it is rarely bag checked and I don't always bring t the Tumi for my trips.

Think either the un-destroyable titanium ones that sharks can hurt their teeth if bite on or the cheapest and replace frequently will be my next buying considerations.
wendySFO is offline  
Old Apr 20, 2011, 8:20 pm
  #6  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: NY Metro Area
Programs: AA 2MM Yay!, UA MM, Costco General Member
Posts: 49,025
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPad; U; CPU OS 4_3_2 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8H7 Safari/6533.18.5)

Originally Posted by Traveler 7077
I bought the bags directly from Tumi so would assume they aren't fakes! The replacement bag has been OK. The zipper has come apart on the other bag so it no longer opens or closes completely.

Per Tumi today, their warranty is only good for 5 years. And I am still stuck with finding a box and shipping it to another state for repair.

They did say that their bags are supposed to last longer than two years. However, the excuse for my bag is that they are not indestructible. Shouldn't heavy flying be the norm for a "durable" bag?
As I have posted before I have dragged B&R bags up and down steps and given them all sorts of abuse. I even froze one at -80C for a month. Some of the stuff inside disintegrated from the cold but the bag was fine. During some of that time I was traveling weekly for years and I have had the bags for more than a decade in most cases and nothing has broken except on one occasion when the TSA apparently cut the zipper pulls off with a bolt cutter. Wheels, handles, zippers no problem over years of heavy use. I think Eagle Creek is the same. Companies don't stay in business with lifetime warranties if their stuff breaks all of the time.
GadgetFreak is online now  
Old Apr 20, 2011, 8:34 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 1,048
EC Hovercraft has the "no matter what" warranty. Good quality bag that will be fixed or replaced for free, no matter what.
SaigonCyclo is offline  
Old Jun 5, 2011, 12:37 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Programs: AA EXP 3MM, UA 1K 2MM, CZ Gld, VS Gld, SPG Lifetime Plt, IC PltAm, Hilton Dmd, Shangrila Diamond
Posts: 189
Tumi bags are beautifully designed .... but not to last. I'm thinking back... since October I have had the following problems with Tumi bags:

- Tumi Vapor extended case - lining falls off (repaired with superglue and eventually returned to Tumi store for exchange - after 3 months of use)
- Tumi Arrive extended case - wheel assembly falls off on trip to Beijing (after less than a month) (this plus other issues -- broken suiter, crack on case -- lead me to try to get it repaired -- Tumi was simply awful but did repair it -- it was really difficult to deal with them)
- Tumi packable bag -- rip in seams of bag (after 3 months or so)
- Tumi T-tech hardcase carry on -- crack in case.

I think some of the older Tumi bags were better made than the new ones but the new ones look much cooler. With Tumi, you are paying for the looks of the bag and the excellent sizing/design and definitely not the build quality. In terms of repairs with Tumi it is hit or miss, I've had bags repaired and exchanged but it is easier if you bought from a Tumi store and keep in mind that it is tricky to get anything repaired by Tumi outside of the US.

I like Tumi and in fact just bought another bag. *BUT* if you want build quality, I'd look elsewhere. It depends on the type of bag you want. I had a lot of build quality issues with Victorinox but have not used them for at least 4 years so things may have improved. Eagle Creek does make solid stuff but the sizing/design is imperfect.
ghfatw is offline  
Old Jun 5, 2011, 12:41 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Programs: AA EXP 3MM, UA 1K 2MM, CZ Gld, VS Gld, SPG Lifetime Plt, IC PltAm, Hilton Dmd, Shangrila Diamond
Posts: 189
Originally Posted by azepine00
Your experience is quite unusual - especially with zippers. Where did you purchase those bags? Could those be fakes by any chance?

IME tumi zippers are exceptionally strong (not sure about monogram stuff - never had one). I've had some issues with telescopic handle locking on one bag but this is somewhat expected after years of use.

Have you had any problems with the replacement bag Tumi sent you?
No it is not unusual. *SOME* Tumi zippers are strong -- but many are not and on average I do not think Tumi has particularly durable zippers. I have busted Tumi zippers. I think the glue they use on attaching the zippers to the cases is particularly a problem.
ghfatw is offline  
Old Jun 5, 2011, 12:44 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Programs: AA EXP 3MM, UA 1K 2MM, CZ Gld, VS Gld, SPG Lifetime Plt, IC PltAm, Hilton Dmd, Shangrila Diamond
Posts: 189
Originally Posted by GadgetFreak
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPad; U; CPU OS 4_3_2 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8H7 Safari/6533.18.5)



As I have posted before I have dragged B&R bags up and down steps and given them all sorts of abuse. I even froze one at -80C for a month. Some of the stuff inside disintegrated from the cold but the bag was fine. During some of that time I was traveling weekly for years and I have had the bags for more than a decade in most cases and nothing has broken except on one occasion when the TSA apparently cut the zipper pulls off with a bolt cutter. Wheels, handles, zippers no problem over years of heavy use. I think Eagle Creek is the same. Companies don't stay in business with lifetime warranties if their stuff breaks all of the time.
I have only ever had to get one Eagle Creek bag repaired and it was easy to do (no asking for receipts, no shipping costs, no questions at all). They ended up replacing the bag rather than repairing it. It was probably around 7 years ago but the experience was better than with any other company.
ghfatw is offline  
Old Jun 5, 2011, 8:15 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: PHL/BUE
Posts: 45
I purchased a tumi briefcase 4 years ago and I love it. I went to the tumi store this past week to see if anything would catch my eye and found my exact bag; I checked it out and immediately noticed that they are now using a different leather. A much softer and thinner leather.

I asked the clerk and he said it was for "weight issues" customers had with the older bag due to the thick leather. The bag felt cheaper all the way around. The extra half pound or so is not that big of a difference and I'd rather have a more durable bag than a lighter bag. Just my .02.
_ABB_ is offline  
Old Jun 28, 2011, 10:59 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 4
Buyer beware on Tumi

I have had numerous issues with damage to the large rolling garment bag and Tumi now claims every single item is wear and tear and therefore not their responsibility. This includes internal tears in the fabric, breakage of the outer wheel casing, large internal plastic frame snapped in several places, zippers, outside tearing etc.. I understand the zippers and some outer tearing of the fabric, but not the other items. They offered a refurbished bag for $450, 30% off a new bag or $350 to fix the damage on a bag that has had significant damage from poor workmanship. How in the world is the internal plastic frame piece broken deemed wear and tear? Very upset with Tumi not backing their product as I felt the "lifetime" warranty was worth a significant part of the incredibly high price of this bag. And, yes, I had a lifetime warranty when I bought this bag. I don't care that they have cut their warranty to 5 years now, they should honor the initial warranty. Don't make the same mistake I made!
Derby is offline  
Old Jun 29, 2011, 9:08 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: PBI, ATL
Programs: Delta Skymiles
Posts: 49
I have many Tumi products. I will say that the older stuff, like back in the Gen4 days, was much better made.

My Tumi 26" 22026 had multiple zipper pulls fall off. Either that or someone stole them. The expanders or whatever you want to call them also break, so that they collapse and won't stay expanded and lock in.

These do get repaired by Tumi but its inconvenient. Tumi use to have a very good warranty, and they made things better. Now they don't make things as well and have lowered the warranty. I believe B&R, EC and even TravelPro are solid contenders to look at.
bfeeny is offline  
Old Jul 3, 2011, 5:40 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 47
I am surprised to hear this as my understanding was that Tumi's primary focus is build quality. You don't buy them for the flashy good looks. But there will always be exceptions - I think you may have just been unlucky.

Mine seems to be built like a tank so no problems so far. But if something happens I will be back on here complaining also!
Chatterbocks is offline  
Old Jul 3, 2011, 7:36 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Programs: BA silver, Hyatt PLT, AA EXP, US silver, ICH RA, CO PLT
Posts: 957
I too purchased a Tumi alpha 22 and all I can say is that I am extremely disappointed at the quality, and the bag itself it has a bad balance (falls over all the time) pockets are not practical for me, and to top it off no life time warranty.
I also have a victorinox 22 (their top of the line model) and although heavy it is the best I have ever owned by far the lifetime warranty is great (tried it once), customer service awesome, and the built quality of the bag is on a different level then TUMI...
david-alexis is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

This site is owned, operated, and maintained by MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Designated trademarks are the property of their respective owners.