24 May Making a Claim to Some Unclaimed Baggage
Making a Claim to Some Unclaimed Baggage
We’ve all seen luggage from previous flights that are still on the belt come out and just lay abandoned off to the side. Will they be reunited with their owner again? Sometimes they are not. As the saying goes, another person’s lost luggage is someone else’s gain. Well, that’s not quite how it works but gain you will.
The Unclaimed Baggage Center was started by Doyle Ownes in 1970 in Scottsboro, Alabama after he had heard about all the luggage left behind at the bus terminals. He borrowed a pickup truck and $300 and drove to Washington DC. When he returned, he and his wife rented a house and sold the items from there. This small business that started in a one room display on card tables now spans the length of a city block. Unclaimed Baggage is also the only lost luggage store in the US. The store is just like any other department store. You have women’s, men’s, children, jewelry, home goods and electronics section. You can even find unopened hair color, hair weaves, and toothpaste.
I’m sure the biggest question that people ask is how do they get all this stuff. Don’t worry your belongs do not end up here right away. The airline makes every attempt to return the luggage to its owner. Anything not claimed in 90 days will be sold and shipped to the center. Then when it arrives at the facility, it is sorted, cleaned, appraised or trashed depending on its condition
We got to see the process demonstrated by Cayla who works in the Unclaimed Baggage Center Marketing Department. Customers get to experience the sorting process every Monday thru Saturday at 2:30 pm. With the assistance of a volunteer from the group, she inspected the luggage and each piece in it. For the demonstration, there were four basket categories: Sell It, Clean It, Give-It-Away, and Trash It. Usually, there are up to 25 possible selections; one includes calling the authorities. Brenda, Brand Ambassador, shared with us there is one confirmed case of someone buying back their own stuff.
Just for Fun
While we were finding out the history we so one of the sales associate carrying wedding dresses. Someone had said jokingly we should try on one. We all got separated, but I did at least take a look and took a picture. I shared it with my friends on Facebook, and they want to know when I was getting married. Unfortunately not anytime soon. A friend did say she knew where she was going for her next wedding dress purchase.
I have to admit I wasn’t that optimistic I would find anything. Either it wouldn’t fit or I’d just not like anything. I’ve never been that big of a shopper. The team at Unclaimed Baggage made it fun.
I bought a Coach purse, Rose Gold Fossil watch, three scarfs and two tank tops (not pictured) for $120. The items are authenticated and appraised before the go up for sale. I did a quick search online to see for myself. The Coach purse originally retailed around $130, and the Fossil watch is around $100. I think I got some pretty good deal. I probably would have bought more if I had the time and space. Some people bought luggage. I’m glad I didn’t think of that.
A stop at Unclaimed Baggage Center makes a perfect combination along with your visit to Mentone Lookout Mountain. You can pick up everything you need for your stay. You can also make a visit if you’re passing through to another destination.
I had never planned to visit Alabama, but it is a place I would visit again and recommend.
Thank You to Unclaimed Baggage Center for hosting me. All opinions expressed are my own.