This Is What Happens To Lost Luggage That Never Gets Claimed

Photographed by Jessica Nash.
Lost luggage is a traveller's worst nightmare. If you've ever arrived at a destination to find that your bags haven't, you'll know the stress of trying to get it back.
It happened once when I was on a family holiday to Portugal - we arrived at Lisbon airport and waited patiently at the baggage carousel for two suitcases that never came, then traipsed sulkily to our hotel wondering what on earth we were going to wear for the next seven days. Fortunately, the airline soon relocated the suitcases and sent them to our hotel a couple of days later - crisis averted! But to this day, my mum still ties a bright pink ribbon around her suitcase handle when she travels because someone told her it helps the lost luggage people identify your bag more quickly.
Sadly, some travellers never manage to recover their lost luggage, which leaves airports facing a problem: What do they do with a load of unwanted suitcases? Well, the Daily Telegraph reports that by law, UK airports have to keep hold of lost luggage for 90 days. After that, they're free do donate unclaimed suitcases to a local auction house. Greasbys in south London apparently receives a lot of unclaimed luggage from London airports - and the contents aren't especially glamorous. "It's dirty clothing and bags, mainly," an employee told the Daily Telegraph.
Other auction houses who regularly sell off unclaimed lost luggage include Wellers in Surrey and Bristol Commercial Valuers and Auctioneers. If you have a nose for a bargain, and don't mind sifting through someone's clothes to find one, they're surely worth a visit.
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