Ceramic Industry Blog

Friday Fun: The Island of Unclaimed Baggage

September 12, 2008
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Has an airline ever lost a piece of your luggage? Did you ever wonder what happened to it? It must have ended up somewhere, right? Right!

Has an airline ever lost a piece of your luggage? Not misplaced, as in they sent it to your hotel (eventually), but completely lost, as in you’ll never see it again? Did you ever wonder what happened to it? It must have ended up somewhere, right? Right!

Chances are it was picked up by the Unclaimed Baggage Center (www.unclaimedbaggage.com), which collects unclaimed or damaged luggage and cargo from all around the country and sells it at discounted prices (anywhere from 20-80% off retail). The 40,000-square-foot store, which is located in Scottsboro, Ala., features over 7000 items every day. Most of the goods are clothes, but the store also offers jewelry, books, sporting goods and electronics. Imagine all of the digital cameras that have been lost over the years!

The store’s website features an Interesting Stuff page, which details some of the more surprising items it has found, including a 40.95-carat natural emerald, a full suit of armor, a packed parachute (yikes, hope the traveler didn’t really need that!), a Barbie doll with $500 stuck in its head), and a live rattlesnake.

I’ve not had a chance to visit this store, but it sure sounds like a must for serious bargain hunters. Even if you don’t buy anything, it would be fascinating to wander around and peek at all of the lost treasures. Just make sure you don’t misplace your shopping bags!
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Eurofly stole my luggage

October 26, 2008
For just an instant I felt uneasy as I approached the check-in counter at Naples Airport. There were three hulking security guards standing next to the desk, laughing and pointing at us. I focused my attention on handing our passports and tickets to the Eurofly Airlines representative, and then putting our bags on the scale. Then she announced something I'd never experienced in 40-plus years of air travel: "You only gave me three bags." Now my daughter and I had been lugging two bags each from New York for the whole trip, and obviously had passed all four bags over to the clerk. "No, I gave your four bags!" was my verbal response. In my head I knew it was impossible for her to warn me I'd only given her three bags, unless she knew I had given her more. "Well, I only tagged three." I hurriedly asked her to stop the conveyor so she could tag the bag. She refused, saying it was too late, because the bag had already "gone through". The bag contained a year's worth of my daughter's musical scores, other heavy things like SLR and camcorder batteries, and some precious family hand-me-downs. I then insisted she stop the chute. As if rehearsed, those three security guards marched between me and the clerk, crossed their arms, and shooed me away. Fast-forward by 4 months. I never got the bag. I never got the promised reimbursement. I never got an apology. What did I get? I sent an itemized list of the contents' value to an address Eurofly gave me. It came back in the mail today. "No Such Address" was stamped on the front. The Eurofly telephone representative curtly said the airline probably put my bag in an insecure area and it had therefore been stolen. She said they had no one who could look for our bag in Naples, but instead said they'd do a computer search of all the other airports in the world! She said they'd reimburse me in 6 weeks. Our wonderful American Express representative tried calling them for 21 straight days before finally getting this response: no one knew where my bag was. Naples Airport is a bad place. It has a 50% lost baggage rate. Thus why wouldn't Eurofly have someone at the airport to look for lost bags? My experience must be a common occurrence. I rather think this airport is set up to steal luggage. How could anything else explain what happened? So Eurofly splits the profits after they auction the bags or sell the contents on e-Bay. At best, they turn a blind eye to the problem and care zero about their customers. This message is a warning to anyone who intends to take anything they don't wish to have stolen to Naples Airport...carry it on, or don't take it. And further, if you fly one of these rinky-dink airlines, prepare to be treated like the mile-high piles of garbage in Naples. So after all is said and done, what did I get from Eurofly Airlines? I got railroaded. Don't fly them.



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