During my time in Huntsville recently, I had the opportunity to learn about a really cool spot called Unclaimed Baggage, located in Scottsboro, Alabama – just 45 minutes outside of Huntsville.
The name Unclaimed Baggage is exactly what you think it would be – a place filled with lost and displaced bags! The true beauty of this place is that all of the unclaimed baggage is for sale! (Keep reading about how to shop online!)
The store welcomes one million shoppers through their doors every year, making it one of the top attractions in the state of Alabama!
While I haven’t visited (yet!), I am fascinated by this place and can’t wait to explore there one day.
Here’s the scoop on everything I learned about Unclaimed Baggage –
Where Do They Find The Unclaimed Baggage?
The folks at Unclaimed Baggage bring in suitcases and carry-on items – by the truckloads – that have been left behind at airports from across the country! If you’ve left something in a taxi, train, ferryboat or elsewhere – it will, more than likely, end up at the store.
Is the Unclaimed Baggage Cleaned?
Yes! There is an entire team at Unclaimed Baggage dedicated to cleaning, inspecting and preparing all of the individual items for sale. After items arrive at the store, they are classified into three categories — Resell, Repurpose and Recycle.
When items are chosen for resell, they go through a cleaning process, preparing them to go out on the sales floor. I was surprised to hear that Unclaimed Baggage is home to the largest dry cleaners in Alabama! Everything that comes in, goes through a vigorous process of cleaning and cataloging.
Ways Unclaimed Baggage Gives Back to the Community
With so much inventory, it only makes sense that Unclaimed Baggage would give back to its community with their Reclaimed for Good program.
Unclaimed Baggage is the top provider of eyeglasses to the Lion’s Club providing 1.25 million prescription eyeglasses in just the last year!
Wheelchairs and walkers are donated throughout the world to the ‘Wheels for the World’ organization.
And probably my favorite initiative they have at Unclaimed Baggage is the ‘Love Luggage’ event where they paint and restore hard-sided suitcases to foster children so that no child has to carry their belongings around in a trash bag. May is National Foster Care Awareness Month. In honor of that, Unclaimed Baggage is hosting the ‘Love Luggage’ painting event in the store May 19-20, 2023. Guests to the store are invited to paint suitcases that will be donated to foster children in the North Alabama area.
Visit the Unclaimed Baggage Museum
New to the store, is the Unclaimed Baggage Museum filled with oddities and interesting things the staff has run across over the years. A few favorites include a basketball autographed by Michael Jordan, a camera from the Space Shuttle and probably my favorite item – Hoggle from the movie, Labyrinth. His condition was deteriorating, so they restored him back to a beautiful puppet and he’s on display at the store.
Unclaimed Baggage on Disney+
If you can’t visit in person, don’t worry! There is a fantastic National Geographic show on Disney+ called “Airport: Lost and Found” that features Unclaimed Baggage. It gives an inside look at how the business works, what they sell and some really cool things that you’ve got to see to believe.
I watched this tv special a few weeks before I discovered Unclaimed Baggage and it was a great introduction to the store. And, of course, now I want to visit even more!
Ready to Visit Unclaimed Baggage in Alabama?
You’ll find Unclaimed Baggage located in Alabama’s Northeast corner in the city of Scottsboro – in between Chattanooga, Tennessee and Huntsville, Alabama.
Check out their website at www.UnclaimedBaggage.com – don’t forget you can do some online shopping there too! For the latest news on the store and to see what’s new, follow the Unclaimed Baggage Facebook page and check them out on Instagram too.