Americans who have ever wondered where their lost luggage ends up might not expect it be a store in Alabama.
Scottsboro, Alabama, is home to the Unclaimed Baggage Center, a 40,000 square-foot warehouse filled with items gleaned from luggage lost all over the country.
The store got its start in 1970, when an entrepreneurial-minded part-time insurance salesman had the idea of selling luggage that was left behind at a bus station in DC. He started buying bags from the station and selling their contents on tables outside a few days a week.
He then expanded the practice to airlines, moved back to his hometown, and UBC was born.
Brenda Cantrell, brand ambassador at UBC, estimates that the store is home to over one million items at any given time.
The 40,000 square-foot warehouse gets stocked with 7000 new items daily.
No, airlines aren’t just selling your stuff and making a profit off of your misery. Lost luggage is pretty rare these days, and airlines go to great lengths to reunite you with yours.
Only once they fail does the UBC come in. As the nation’s largest purchaser of unclaimed baggage and freight, it also buys bags from train stations and car rentals, as well as the occasional surplus cargo.
You might be wondering how they do any business when so many bags get reunited with their owners, but the trick is that airlines aren’t liable for your carry-ons, so if you leave that behind, chances are you’ll find it in Alabama.
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