Lost Travel Treasures: Unclaimed Baggage Center Is a Shopper's Gold Mine

By Hamilton-Wright, Kimberly J. | Black Enterprise, January 2004 | Go to article overview

Lost Travel Treasures: Unclaimed Baggage Center Is a Shopper's Gold Mine


Hamilton-Wright, Kimberly J., Black Enterprise


Droves of consumers, from as far away as Russia and Australia, are flocking to a little-known treasure chest, called Unclaimed Baggage Center. It's a clearing house for lost and unclaimed airline baggage, nestled in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in Scottsboro, Alabama, where shoppers can swoop up quality, secondhand items at 50%-80% below retail price.

Margaret and Vernite John son, also of Scottsboro, have shopped at UBC (www .unclaimedbaggage.com; 256- 259-1525) since it opened in 1970. "I have to come every day to see what's her because you can find great bargains:' says Margaret. "My husband bought a brand new, gray, full-length leather coat for only $50. You can't beat that price!"

While only .005% of all checked baggage is permanently lost, airlines make every attempt to reunite unclaimed items with their owners. At Southwest Airlines, for example, if the owner is not located within three to four months, the merchandise is sold to a service like UBC, says spokesperson Angela Vargo. …

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