The date has finally been set – Flight attendants at United Airlines are to start using new designer carry-on cases by TUMI from March 16 after a delay in issuing the luggage saw the date pushed back from the start of February. The airline’s flight attendants will soon be seen sporting either a two or four-wheeled rollaboard in a dark navy blue colour at airports around the world.
United first announced it was partnering with TUMI in late July 2017 as part of a wider uniform refresh that will see a new look for the airline’s 70,000 frontline employees. Around 24,000 flight attendants at United have received new TUMI cases and will soon start sporting new Brooks Brothers designed uniforms.
The union which represents flight attendants at the airline described the TUMI cases as “durable” and “high-quality products”, saying they will “hold up under the rigours of our travel schedules.”
Staff have been given the option of choosing between a 2-wheel or 4-wheeled carry-on which appears to be based on the Continental Expandable case. These normally retail at $675 before tax although will be given away free to flight attendants with a five year warranty.
United has even negotiated a discount that can see flight attendants purchase additional luggage for between $172 – $177 and staff can also get their luggage monogrammed for free. A tote bag is also available for purchase at a significant discount as well.
However, with the new luggage comes new rules – flight attendants have been told that they must now only use the TUMI luggage when on duty and will no longer be able to accessorise their cases with garish luggage tags. They’ve also been banned from displaying “pre-merger insignia” on their cases or from making any other modifications.
This is certainly a nice upgrade from the old TravelPro rollerboards that United’s flight attendants have been issued with in the past and probably the most luxe designer luggage brand to have partnered with an airline so far. It’s certainly a far cry from the usual choices of Samsonite and Delsey opted for by many airlines.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.