The Island Of Lost Luggage

On the way up I-59, I just HAD to check out the Unclaimed Baggage Center in Scottsboro, Alabama. You can’t beat the appeal of rooting through interesting stuff people left on airplanes, but everything is just worthless (or easily replaced) enough that people never bothered to make an effort to find it when it was initially lost. Not too different than slogging through any other thrift store, only the UBC is immense.

There were some odd things that you never see in a typical Goodwill – dozens of lost PDAs, cabinetfulls of portable CD players, even MiniDisc recorders, shortwave radios, and GPS receivers. Priced to move too. the MiniDiscs recorders were $49, Crate & Barrel flatware sets for $30. Luggage itself for $30-$40 apiece. Didn’t buy anything, and I certainly wouldn’t make a special trip to go there unless you were already on I-59.

Hilariously, the success of the UBC has spawned off imitation “Unclaimed Baggage” shops up and down Route 35 in Scottsboro. The UBC has warning signs about them, and they appear to be just normal rural thrift stores that are all too common in this part of the country along with check cashing and straight-up pawn shops.

Unclaimed Baggage Center

Author: Chris Barrus

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