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Lost luggage ends up here

[ 2012-03-06 14:16]     字号 [] [] []  
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Lost luggage ends up here

Millions of Americans return from long-distance trips by air, but their luggage doesn't always come home with them.

Airline identification tags can come loose.

Amazingly, some people never pick up their luggage at airport baggage-claim carousels.

And passengers leave all kinds of things on planes.

The airlines collect the items and, for 90 days, attempt to find their owners. If they have no luck, they don't keep them, since they're not in the warehouse business. And by law, they cannot sell the bags, because the airlines might be tempted to deliberately misplace luggage.

So once insurance companies have paid for lost bags and their contents, a unique store in the little town of Scottsboro, Alabama, buys them - sight unseen.

Lost luggage ends up here

It is called "Unclaimed Baggage Center," and it is so popular that the building, which is set up like a department store, is the number-one tourist attraction in all of Alabama.

Each day, clerks bring out 7,000 new items, and veteran shoppers rush to paw over them. You can find everything from precious jewels to hockey sticks, leather jackets, surfboards, even half-used tubes of toothpaste.

Lost luggage ends up here

That's right - used toothpaste.

The Unclaimed Baggage Center has found guns, illegal drugs - even a live rattlesnake - inside bags.

The store has a little museum where some of its most unusual acquisitions have been preserved. They include highland bagpipes, a burial mask from an Egyptian pharaoh's tomb, and a medieval suit of armor.

Less than one-half of one percent of luggage checked on US carriers is permanently lost and available to the store. Still, that's a lot of toothpaste and wedding dresses that never made it home.

carousels: 行李转动机

highland bagpipes: 高地风笛

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(来源:VOA 编辑:Rosy)