Ever wonder what the airlines do with all that lost luggage? Well, they are required to wait 90 days before doing anything. During that time they are supposed to make every effort possible to locate and reunite luggage and owner. When this fails, it is sent to the Unclaimed Baggage Center. The center was founded in 1970 by Doyle Owens. When he began, it was nothing more than a few tables filled with cardboard boxes.
Today, the center extends one city block. It has three floors totaling 40,000 square feet. There are many different departments, such as jewelry, books, electronics, formal wear, and luggage (of course!). It is one of the top tourist attractions in Alabama. More than one million visitors from every state and 40 foreign countries shop here annually.
Serious shoppers need to be sure to come early and plan to stay all day. There are thousands of bargains to be had! The center is open every day but Sundays. There is a cafe on site that serves snacks, lunch, ice cream, and Starbucks coffee.
At 2:30pm every day there is a “Baggage Experience” presentation. You don’t want to miss this! You will see firsthand how the sorting and decision making process is done. FYI: There are twenty-five different ways a piece of luggage can be sorted.
Here is a list of ten items that have been found in luggage over the years (and this is just a small sample of the kind of stuff they find!)
1. moose antlers
2. live snake
3. 50 vacumn-packed frogs
4. full suit of armor
5. Versace gown
6. aluminized fire suit
7. platinum Rolex ($60,000 value)
8. 5.8-caret diamond in platinum band (hidden in a sock)
9. 40.95-caret emerald
10. shrunken head
To learn more about this store or to visit go to www.unclaimedbaggage.com
509 W. Willow Street
Scottsboro, AL 35768