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EXPLORE AMERICA: Unclaimed Baggage Center

Have you ever wondered what happens to all that baggage that goes around the carousel unclaimed after a flight? Imagine no more. There’s an entire store devoted to it. The Unclaimed Baggage Center is a store where designer clothes, appliances, even Egyptian artifacts that were once unclaimed baggage are now for sale. Think of it like a thrift store for the sky. One part voyeurism, one part treasure hunter, the Unclaimed Baggage Center satisfies the human needs for a good bargain and a good snoop.

Founded in 1970 on a hunch, the concept has grown to a store that is over 70,000 square feet. Nestled in the Appalachian Mountains, Unclaimed Baggage has a Costco feel complete with a Concierge Desk and an espresso bar that serves Starbucks. And there is an enormous selection with over 7,000 items being introduced daily. People who work here also find it exciting, especially when they never know what they will find in a lost bag. Items found include a 4.5 diamond carat, a loaded parachute, a suit of armor and a Barbie doll with $500 dollars stuffed inside. The store is open Monday through Saturday and is closed on Sundays.

The Unclaimed Baggage Center is located at 509 West Willow Street in Scottsboro, Alabama. Telephone 256-259-1525 http://www.unclaimedbaggage.com/

Photo credit: ©Rand McNally/Brett Gover

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