Telescoping handle luggage is the greatest thing to happen to travel since, well, since travel. Its the most frustrating and infuriating thing also. Yousee, back in the day, you had to be a muscle man par excellence if you wanted to move quickly to your flight; those hefty luggage pieces called for real pecs and biceps. When you factor in the walk from the car (especially far if it was long - term parking), the endless wait in line while you inched your luggage to the representative, and the hoist of each piece up three feet to the conveyor belt, its no wonder Grandma brought her strongest grandson with her to the airport.
That was before traveling bags came along. Telescopic suitcase handles have revolutionized the way airport travelers move along those endless trails (only now the passengers are on conveyor belts also).
A telescoping handle works on a latch - key system, as you hopefully know by now if you've done any traveling at all. The handle ratchets up or down and locks into place; at a touch of a button, it releases or retracts the handle so that the traveler can either put the bag on the conveyor or wheel it on through. It's the greatest feeling in the world to be able to make your luggage a carry - on, since theres no post - deplaning wait for the bag. That is, until you try to latch it down.
The worst failure about these marvelous rolling luggage bags is the telescoping handle. The reason is because, despite the richness of the leather, cloth, fasteners or brand name padding on the luggage piece, the telescoping handle tends to be made of the cheapest, most easily broken material, usually some kind of zinc synthetic.
There have been several cases of luggage rage at airports, particularly at check in. A passenger could not extend, or worse, retract, the handle on his / her luggage, and found it impossible to check in a 22 inch bag with a 16 inch telescopic piece sticking out of it. A few passengers, in the extremity of the moment, snapped the handles off and threw the luggage to the handlers. It's one of the paradoxes of travel that the greatest new invention, rolling luggage, should be crowned by the worst new invention, cheap telescoping handles. So what do you do?
Most travelers, especially those who go any length at all in the air, will advise you to buy the absolutely cheapest rolling bag available. In fact, they recommend going for a bargain basement used version (frequently found on Amazon.com), rather than spending any serious money at all on rolling luggage.
The reasoning is simple: think disposable. If you've picked up a piece of junk for $35 that nonetheless lasts you several flights, its all to the good when you feel its handles snap off, and you can cheerfully throw it in the trash (not at the airport, though get home and unpack it first).
Its not particularly environmentally friendly, but its one solution that seasoned travelers use to overcome the worst thing about the best invention the telescoping handle on their rolling luggage.