The other week I wrote a post about smart luggage, suitcases that some companies are hoping to implant with GPS locating devices to make them easier to find. If you didn’t read about it before, click here to learn about how you may soon be receiving texts from your misplaced bags.
There is still going to be a bit of a wait, however, before that will happen. Technologies have to be tested, servers dealt with, patents made, the whole shebang. In the meantime, we all have to deal with our average luggage that can’t communicate with us and, every once in a while, do get lost.
Thankfully, every time my bag has been lost or misplaced, I have always managed to get it back. I know that has not been everybody’s story. At some point, one has to wonder… What happens to all the bags that never make it home?
A couple of days ago I fell upon the answer to this mystery of the ages, and boy, was I surprised!
Airlines are held to a policy that requires them to search for a bag’s owner for 90 days. If the owner can’t be contacted, the lost suitcase and all its contents are shipped to Scottsboro, Alabama. In Scottsboro is a HUGE warehouse (larger than a city block) called the Unclaimed Baggage Center.
At the Center, you can literally find anything. “If it’s packed in a suitcase or left on a plane,” says the facility’s website, “it could wind up for sale at Unclaimed Baggage.” It’s like a high end thrift store, where you can buy clothing, jewelry, electronics, sports equipment, and of course, luggage. With 7,000 new items being added to the stock daily, there’s sure to be something for everyone.
Some of the things you’d find might make you ask a few questions, though. Like, who wouldn’t be looking for their lost Versace gown? Or, how did someone manage to get a full suit of armor on a plane – and then lose it? And the vacuum-packed frogs…just, why?
Despite some of the strange things one might find, the Unclaimed Baggage Center does seem like one giant treasure hunt adventure waiting to happen. I mean, there really is something for everyone. And wouldn’t it be really funny if you happened to find Aunt Mildred’s carpet bag, curtain tassels and all? That would make for a great story.
Now I know exactly where I’ll be spending my free afternoon if I ever visit Scottsboro. Early Christmas shopping anyone?