Airlines are famous for bringing people together but infamous for separating them from their possessions. Airlines make a good faith effort to reunite lost luggage with its owner by searching the contents for clues and holding the luggage for at least 90 days, but after that they must get rid of the bags.
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Unclaimed Baggage Center
The Unclaimed Baggage Center in Scottsboro, Alabama is the superstore for unclaimed luggage in the United States, thanks to long-term contracts with major airlines. Over one million items move through the store annually. Most of the merchandise is unclaimed airline baggage which remained unaccounted for after an exhaustive, 90-day search for the owner. The store also handles unclaimed cargo. The centre offers discount prices on luggage, clothing, jewellery, sporting goods and electronics. The inventory changes daily and includes anything that might be found inside a suitcase. Since travellers usually take their best, newest clothing on trips, shoppers find many items are like new. The Unclaimed Baggage Center has been in business since 1970 and has taken over an entire city block and includes a cafe serving ice cream and coffee. A concierge desk is available to help shoppers navigate the store and locate specific items.
Luggage that goes missing in London's Heathrow Airport finds its way to Greasby's auction house in Tooting, South London, according to the article "Lost luggage auctions: where to find your bag" in the Aug. 19, 2007 edition of The Sunday Times. At Greasby's, appraisers go through the luggage and remove electronics, shoes, and valuable items and jewellery. These items are sold individually. The suitcases are then sealed and sold at auction. Buyers can inspect the luggage, but the contents remain a mystery until after the purchase is complete. The auctions are advertised on Greasby's website. Shoppers can view the items at the announced time, usually one day before the auction.
Kentucky Division of Surplus Property
The state of Kentucky collects items confiscated at some TSA security checkpoints, including the Orlando International Airport, which confiscates 12 tons of restricted items annually; according to a Nov. 12, 2009 report by WOFL FOX 35 television in Orlando. The Kentucky Division of Surplus Property will put some items on eBay, using their eBay store "kysurplus". Other items will be sold in auctions announced periodically on their website, finance.ky.gov/internal/surplus. The confiscated items usually include knives and tools but are often unusual items like dumbbells and even saw blades. Both the auction and the eBay store mingle TSA confiscated items with surplus property belonging to the state of Kentucky.
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