Ever wonder what happens to unclaimed baggage?
One place it goes to is Scottsboro, Alabama, to the Unclaimed Baggage Center, where lost or forgotten items find a new home.
After a predetermined period, most major airlines reimburse customers for lost baggage after which any found luggage, including its contents, can be sold.
The same rules apply to unclaimed cargo.
Unclaimed Baggage Center started in 1970 as a part-time business. Born and raised in northeast Alabama, third-generation entrepreneur Doyle Owens was struck with an idea and, using a borrowed pickup truck and a $300 loan, he headed up to Washington D.C. where he bought his first load of unclaimed baggage from Trailways Bus Line. He then sold the contents on card tables in an old rented house, and it was an instant success. With his family’s blessing, he left his full-time insurance job, and Unclaimed Baggage Center was born.
Initially the business opened on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and Doyle, his wife Sue, and their two sons worked to prepare the luggage contents for sale. First airline contract came with Eastern Airlines and, as larger volumes and more unusual items started flowing in, the business expanded its hours of operation to six days a week. Gradually, Unclaimed Baggage formed relationships with all other domestic airlines.
In 1995, the store expanded and is now the size of a full city block, with more than 7,000 new items added every day.
Merchandise there is 60% made of clothing, but can include also cameras, electronic items, jewelry, sporting goods, books, and even the luggage itself, but the shop has also more unique items, such as a full suit of armor, gemstones, a complete parachute, a guidance system for an F-16 fighter jet, and even a live rattlesnake!
The on-site museum is where one can find the more exotic, rare, and valuable items, including a violin dating from the 1700s, Egyptian artifacts, and “Hoggle,” the gnome-like gatekeeper from Jim Henson’s Labyrinth.
And more than one million people visit the store each year, making it one of Alabama’s top tourist attractions.
Author’s note: VISIT OFFICIAL WEBSITE HERE
Images from web – Google Research