Learn how to reapir your own luggage.
If you do any type of traveling, it is likely your luggage will need repair. The airlines damage thousands of pieces of luggage each year. While you may get a refund if your suitcase is damaged, you can also repair your luggage yourself. Here is a list of commonly damaged parts and how to repair them.
1. Vinyl or Fabric Torn
If you have a vinyl suitcase, buy some vinyl cement. If you can, just glue the torn part down. If the tear is larger by some matching vinyl, and cement the patch underneath the tear. Then cement the tear to the new fabric.
If you are working with fabric, use the same methods, just buy fabric and fabric glue instead of vinyl.
2. Leather torn
Leather is hard to match, so if you can rubber cement the tear back down, you are in luck. If the tear is so large there would be a gaping area, you can try to find matching leather. If it's old luggage and you just want it repaired, rubber cement it down. If the look is too tacky for you, it is time to buy a new piece of luggage.
3. Lining loose
Paste the lining back in with some fabric glue. Let the glue dry, and you'll be ready for another trip.
4. Metal dented
Just take your suitcase and tap the inside with a piece of wood. You shouldn't have to pound too hard for the dent to pop out.
5. Leather scuffed
You can polish leather on your luggage, just like you would your shoes. Buy the appropriate polish, and rub it into the leather. If your luggage is dirty, make sure you clean it before applying the polish.
Even if you can repair these damages yourself, you should ask the airline for compensation, if they damaged your bag. This can come in the form of frequent flyer miles, or a coupon if you do not want a new bag.
6. Handle broken
There are two main types of luggage handles, recessed and retractable. Both can be replaced by buying a new handle. Recessed handles are bolted in, while retractable handles are screwed in, on the inside of the bag. In both cases, you will need to open the luggage and find where the handle is screwed or bolted in. Remove the bolts or screws, and take out the damaged handle. The damaged unit really cannot be repaired, so toss it away, and install the new handle. Once you tighten the bolts or screws, it should be as good as new.