People who travel and check bags regularly are probably most familiar with witnessing this unclaimed luggage phenomenon. You know — those bags that circle the luggage carousel again and again and never get claimed, where eventually an airport worker hauls it off to some mysterious closet or office. Apparently unclaimed luggage is more frequent than one would imagine, as Travel Channel turns its cameras on what they deem a “very profitable business of bidding, buying and reselling unclaimed property” in their new original series Baggage Battles.
Baggage Battles debuts on Travel Channel on Wednesday, April 11 at 10pm ET/PT with a special one-hour season opener that features two back-to-back episodes. The premiere episode takes place at Miami International Airport, which is home to nearly 100 airlines and services 35 million passengers a year where as many as 10,000 bags a year are unclaimed. The series follows three teams of “auction specialists” — think A&E’s Storage Wars — who go to these “important and unknown” auctions in order to bid against each other, as well as many other buyers on the lost luggage from all over the world. In the second episode, the auction pros travel to London where nearly half a million bags get lost or left behind in London airports. All the items that go unclaimed for six months get sent to one place: Greasby’s Auction House, one of the largest collections of lost property in all of Europe. Cameras follow the auction specialists inside the walls for the bidding wars.
The auction specialists include: Laurence and Sally Martin, a married couple, have been in the antique business for over 20 years co-owning Studio Antiques in El Segundo, California. Mark Meyer is a young entrepreneur and owner of Long Island, New York’s The Nifty Thrifty store. And, Billy Leroy is the owner of the iconic Billy’s Antiques and Props, one of the last eclectic props and antique stores in New York City.
Photo Credit: Digital Vision