I have been purging things recently and after getting rid of my Samsonite luggage, it was time to get rid of my Skyway luggage as well. While I think of the Samsonite as my first luggage, it was originally my mothers, while this Skyway was purchased for me.
The last time I used this luggage for flying was obviously on a trip to Zurich. It’s also interesting that it has GVA inspection stickers on the slide locks, for when it went through Geneva Switzerland.
This was very nice luggage that I was probably given as I went off to university in 1985. It was the first generation with four wheels that you pulled behind you instead of the two wheel style of the earlier Samsonite. Two wheels rotate, while two wheels stay straight. It had a leash that connected to a hook on one end and could be snapped to the top for storage, or as was generally recommended, disconnected entirely so it wouldn’t get pulled loose in transit.
This design was not a hardside like the Samsonite, but had a sturdy outer fabric. It wasn’t as moisture resistant, but was generally nicer. It had a stiff outer frame, and the sides were softer and somewhat flexible.
I carried this luggage back and forth to Europe with me many times in the early 1990s. A nice feature of this design is the ability to open it on a luggage rack and rummage through the contents. The style of the Samsonite required double the space to open it. Both of these were before the modern habit of luggage that’s designed to be carried on in the passenger compartment. When I was flying with this I could also carry on a garment bag and have it hung in the closet in the airplane.
The heavy use of this bag over the years has obviously bent the frame around the wheels, causing one to come off entirely, and the others not to sit straight. Having a combination lock was nice because it could be secured without worrying about having the right key to open it. This was all in the days before TSA. Back then, the only time your bag would be opened for inspection would be in your presence, usually as you were going through international customs.