United crew luggage on sale to the public!


The "U" suffix on the model number marks that these bags are the version built by TUMI specifically for United Airlines crew
The "U" suffix on the model number marks that these bags are the version built by TUMI specifically for United Airlines crew

There’s an old adage about looking the part if you want a job and for those aspiring to be a United Airlines flight attendant the bags are part of the uniform. And it turns out that they’re on sale to the general public now, assuming your local TJ Maxx has them in stock.

One of the United/Tumi bags in stock at a TJ Maxx in New Jersey
One of the United/Tumi bags in stock at a TJ Maxx in New Jersey

In August 2017 United Airlines announced new uniforms and a new official crew luggage provider, Tumi. That deal included custom United-branded bags from the company, sold at a discount to crew. It seems, however, that the luggage company had some extras. A few of the models are now available at TJ Maxx outlets across the United States. And they’re highly discounted from standard Tumi pricing.



The expandable 2-wheel carry-on is down to $199 (MSRP $645) and the shoulder bag is pricing at $99. The bags are definitely the custom United SKU and include the blue bag tag with the United name on them, too. That’s actually the only difference between these bags and the normal Tumi product line. So if nothing else this is a nice way to find the bags priced 65% off MSRP. And if you take the blue tag off it would be mighty hard for anyone to know it was a crew version.

I have a 20″ TUMI that I’ve traveled with for a 13 years now and I’m pretty happy with the overall quality, though I know it is a very different model from these. I also know that other folks love the Briggs & Riley stuff. And there are plenty of other decent brands, too. But not many of them come airline-branded this cheap.

The "U" suffix on the model number marks that these bags are the version built by TUMI specifically for United Airlines crew
The “U” suffix on the model number marks that these bags are the version built by TUMI specifically for United Airlines crew

I know that they’ve been spotted in stock near Atlanta and Central New Jersey. None in the store by me, however, so YMMV in finding them available.



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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

18 Comments

  1. Any idea which stores around Atlanta? I’ve been in the market for a new carry on and the price is right.

  2. Tj max home office store, they usually get high end items (Gucci) but no dice on these bags tho

    Common to see tumi here but odd colors mostly

    I found mint green samsonite shell 28” 2 in each store around Boston for a family set of 6, no need for a red ribbon on these lol I’ll keep looking for these United bags, me WANTS em

    Framingham MA

  3. My local TJMaxx in San Diego had 2 in stock as of this morning, plus a whole bunch of discounted Tumi c omputer bags in black ballistic nylon

  4. Thanks for the hint! Went to TJ Maxx in Fairfield CA and they had one, which I got for $199.99 + tax. Headed over to Tumi outlet in Vacaville and the non-United version was $476 – 20% off = $380.

  5. Thanks for the tip! Found it in Palos Verdes. Question though: Tag says the bag is 22 x 16 x 9 in, while the regular Alpha 2 has a listed measurement of 22 x 14 x 9. The real measurement is 22 x 15.5 x 9 in. Anyone have the actual measurements of the Alpha, or Alpha 2? The SKU on the tag is 0220211D2U. A search of 0220211D2 yields nothing, but 022021D2 shows the Alpha (original). Just curious if United made the custom crew bag bigger than their official carry-on size on purpose, or if all Tumi Alpha bags are really 15.5 in wide. Also, I don’t see any United logo on the blue tag.

      1. The SKU matches what UA crew were buying according to a FA colleague. I’m not too surprised they’re a different size from the official carry-on spec, though.

        1. Interesting! Maybe the one they are issued is blue, and these are the ones they can buy “at a discount.” Curious if the FA prices were lower than $200.

    1. Correction: Looks like the dimensions are consistent with the Alpha 2 Continental (22 x 16 x 9)… which unfortunately doesn’t fit most airline carry on requirements or sizers, if they are being strict. Also found some pictures that had a TUMI x United tag with this model number. Maybe these were prototypes for the partnership that ultimately United rejected and went with the bag in their press release?

  6. I saw one Saturday TJ Max Delray Beach, did not buy, it may be good for crew, but I could see United, other airlines making me check it for $50, will stick to 22 x 14 Travelpro, more pockets anyway, or my all aluminum Chinese Rimowa knockoff, $200, nicest case in any airport, better than Rimowa.

  7. Chatted with Tumi:

    Based on the information provided, your style number is listed as the United FC Expandable 2 Wheeled Carry-On which is specifically offered to united employees.

    Your item is our continental size. United does not offer an international size with the United blue luggage tag. They provided the continental size for their employees, which is 16″ wide. If you are interested in the international size, please check with United directly, as this item is not deeply discounted. I apologize for the inconvenience.
    Is there anything else I may assist you with today?

    1. I called the Salem NH Tj Maxx, they looked for me but none available, maybe they just sold ?

      It’s now a mission to find it, what a shame was going through NH to Maine tomorrow

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