About 2 million people fly on airplanes every day. A tiny fraction of passenger bags are delayed, misplaced, or damaged. While nearly all wayward bags are reunited with their owners, some owners cannot be located or bags are never claimed by passengers.
Unclaimed Baggage Center
Most unclaimed bags now eventually end up at a clearinghouse in northeastern Alabama. Unclaimed Baggage Center (UBC) in Scottsboro, Alabama receives. sorts, prices, and sells much of this merchandise. UBC is a popular shopping destination for people from all over the world. On the day of my visit, the parking lot was filled with cars from various states.
In fact, during my recent visit, a UBC employee opened a new piece of luggage, drawing quite a crowd.
She demonstrated the UBC process to identify sale-able items.
Just like any large store, UBC has several departments.
Large section of mens clothes.
An even larger section of womens clothes, including minks and formal wear.
This is about 5% of the jewelry section.
Several tables of DVD movies.
A wall of sporting goods.
A wall of headphones.
Tables of miscellaneous sorted goods.
The biggest draw for many is the electronics section.
UBC has specialists to help customers select the right electronics and an area to try items.
Of course, UBC also sells used luggage items.
Unclaimed Baggage Center has a satellite “last chance” center (across the parking lot) with drastically reduced prices.
In this area, there are sections for children’s clothes and toys, household items, and food.
I worked my way to the lowest level not expecting much but found some great travel trinkets.
So, how did I do? I bought 6 new shirts, 2 used shirts, 4 books, 4 shot glasses, 3 sealed card decks, and a few more items. Most of the new tshirts were less than $3. The nearly new books were $2 each. My purchases totaled about $70.
Unclaimed Baggage Center also has a sit-down cafe, museum, and a large screen TV—on which I watched a World Cup game during shopping breaks.