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Where Does Your Lost Luggage Go?

Lost Baggage
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Where in the world does eternally lost luggage go?  I’m asking myself this very question after returning home from a vacation a day later than planned due to cancelled flights and bumped attempts to fly standby.  As for my suitcase… is it hanging out with the airline I originally intended to use for transportation or is it on the other airline that actually got me home?  Will I ever see it again or will it end up in Scottsboro, Alabama at the Unclaimed Baggage Center, the Official Home of Lost Luggage?

Luckily, according to the Department of Transportation only 2 percent of luggage mishandled by airlines is unclaimed and lost forever.  98% of lost bags are happily reunited with owners within five days. Will I be one of the lucky ones? Only time will tell.

When bags are truly lost, the airline at fault pays a claim to the owner, usually within 100 days of the reported loss. If the baggage is found after the claim is paid, it then belongs to the airline to sell and it’s likely to end up at the Unclaimed Baggage Center.  The UBC sells the contents from lost bags, everything from cameras, guitars and paintings to wedding dresses, watches and bicycles.

About 500,000 shoppers per year are attracted to the bargains at the Unclaimed Baggage Center, where prices are slashed 50 to 80%

If you can’t make the trip to the little town of Scottsboro, Alabama never fear, you can shop the Unclaimed Baggage Center online at

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