So THAT's what happens to your unclaimed baggage...

If you've ever lost your luggage, or left a treasured item on a plane or at an airport, look away now.

Because we've just discovered what happens to lost property and unclaimed baggage - and it ain't pretty.

The Unclaimed Baggage Centre may sound like a glorified lost property cupboard, but in fact it's a discount warehouse store, where customers can come and buy your stuff at bargain prices.

When airlines in the US can't locate the owner of a suitcase, they sell them on to the UCB, which is based in Scottsboro, Alabama.

Shoes, samurai swords, iPods and even underwear are just some of the second-hand items that are available a a fraction of their original price.

All rather infuriating for anyone who has lost their luggage - but it's a bargain hunter's paradise, and spending a few hours here has even become a popular tourist activity.

'It is a sport,' says Clayton Grider, a fan of the shop, in The Sydney Morning Herald. 'You never know what you may find.'

Last year 68,000 suitcases in the US still hadn't been returned to their owners after 24 hours. After 90 days of trying to reunite the luggage and passengers, the ones that remained were sold to the Unclaimed Baggage Centre.

The shop now puts out 7,000 new items each day, and has become popular with locals and curious tourists alike.

Airlines including American, Delta and United choose not to disclose where their customers' belongings end up. Other,s including Virgin America, Hawaiian, Alaska and Frontier, say they donate them to charity, but JetBlue luggage manager Bill Race admitted the company sells items to the shop.

'It's not something that we make money off,' he said in the Sydney Morning Herald. 'It's probably less than what you paid for lunch.'

Do you think airlines should sell your lost or unclaimed belongings?
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