Unclaimed Airline Baggage Auction – Bargain Deals

November 11, 2010


Avoid Losing Your Airline Luggage

Are you traveling this Veteran’s Day? Ever wondered what happens to unclaimed lost luggage? In Scottsboro, AL, there is an Unclaimed Baggage Center (www.unclaimedbaggagecenter.com). They have exclusive contracts with all major U.S. airlines to buy luggage declared lost for 90 days. When it arrives in Scottsboro, much of the contents are thrown away or donated to charities, but the rest are placed on the store’s retail shelves. Things like diamond rings, designer shoes, surfboards, and even wedding gowns are put up for sale. The center has processed more than 1 million such pieces annually since its start in 1970.

Good news! Lost luggage reports have declined by almost 21% in the past year, but that’s little comfort if you’re bags were misplaced. Under the Department of Transportation (DOT) rules, if your checked belongings are lost, damaged, or delayed, you may qualify for up to $3,300 in compensation on domestic flights. The best thing to do is avoid losing your baggage in the first place. Here are some things you can do…

Before you leave

  • Book a direct/nonstop flight, which will minimize the chance of losing your bags.
  • Choose an airline with a good baggage record. Compare at www.airconsumer.dot.gov.
  • Pack your carryon wisely just in case you have to live out of it for a few days.
  • Don’t forget to remove old luggage tags.
  • Label your suitcase well. Lack of ID tags is the reason luggage ends up in Scottsdale.

At the airport

  • Check in early. Late check-in may not get your luggage onto the plane on time.
  • Be sure the desk agent places a destination tag on your luggage.
  • Don’t lose your baggage claim ticket. It’s often attached to your boarding pass.

After landing

  • Be at the carousel when bags are loaded off.
  • File a report immediately at the airport if your bag is lost or delayed.
  • Ask at lost luggage counter for airline’s contract of carriage, which spells out your rights.
  • The DOT recommends following up with a certified letter to the airline’s customer service department restating the details of the incident.

What’s the best way to avoid lost luggage? Fly with a carry-on only, if possible. The airlines haven’t found a way to lose that, yet…

By the way, I purchased my Palm One organizer from Uncaimed Baggage website for about 50% of its value, and I think I got a great deal :-)

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