I’ve had my trusty luggage for years, and it’s always served me well. That is, until the handle broke. I’m not sure what happened maybe something fell on top of it when I was packing? but now it won’t budge. It’s such a small thing, but every time I try to pull on the handle to get my suitcase off the floor or out of storage in an overhead bin, I feel like a small child who can’t open her presents before Christmas morning arrives. The good news is that there are plenty of ways around this problem: You can fix your own luggage handle at home; you don’t have to buy a new suitcase if yours has broken; and there are even DIY options available if you don’t want to wait for an appointment with an expert!

Find another handle.

If you can’t find an identical handle, try to find one that will work with your suitcase. If you still can’t find a handle that works, it’s time to get creative. If a friend has a similar suitcase and has an extra handle they are willing to give up, check their luggage for the right size of handle.

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Try the zipper.

The zipper trick: If the handle on your luggage is stuck, try pulling the zipper. It might not be as effective as pulling on the handle itself, but it’s worth a shot.

If that doesn’t work, try this: If you can manage to get both hands around the top of your bag and pull at the same time, then maybe it will unstick!

If it still won’t cooperate, you can use a paper clip to pull the handle up from inside.

  • If the handle still won’t cooperate, you can use a paper clip to pull the handle up from inside.

  • To do this:

  • Reach into your suitcase and gently lift upward on the plastic piece at the end of your broken luggage handle with your fingers.

  • Slip a thin object (such as a paperclip) underneath it and push it toward yourself until you feel it move past its previous position in the casing, which will cause both sides of your luggage handle to come apart again.

Or, if your suitcase has an interior mechanism for raising and lowering the handle, you can lower it into place that way.

If your suitcase has an interior mechanism for raising and lowering the handle, you can lower it into place that way.

  • Find the handle release button on top of your suitcase and push it inward. This will release the handle so you can pull it up from inside.

  • Use a paper clip or whatever other small, thin item is handy to pull up on the handle until it stays in place. Then close your suitcase lid and go about your business!

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There’s no reason to buy a new suitcase just because the handle is stuck or broken–try these suggestions before giving up on your old friend!

It may seem like just a small thing, but luggage handles can be ridiculously prone to breaking. When you’re traveling, it’s important that your bag can be carried easily–and if the handle breaks off, it might end up being nearly impossible for you to carry.

Fortunately, there are ways you can repair your old suitcase instead of buying a new one that will cost more money and waste resources from the environment. Here are some suggestions for how to fix luggage handles:

  • Use duct tape! This is an easy solution that doesn’t require any tools or skills whatsoever. Simply wrap the damaged area with duct tape until it’s sturdy enough for everyday use again.

  • Try epoxy glue! Epoxy is stronger than duct tape and will provide more durability in high-stress situations such as carrying heavy bags through airports or hiking through mountains on vacation trips with friends (assuming they don’t mind smelling like rubber cement).


As long as your suitcase is still structurally sound and has a zipper, it’s not too hard to fix. If you’re in doubt about whether your luggage needs repair or not, consider taking it to a professional so they can give you an estimate on how much time they think it would take to fix what’s wrong with the bag. If that sounds like too much work (or expense), then try out these tips first! Who knows–you might even save yourself some money if one of them works out as well as expected.

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