The store 45 minutes east of Huntsville has been around since 1970, when part-time insurance man Doyle Owens got the idea to purchase unclaimed bags from a local bus station, then sell the contents from tables a couple days a week. Eventually he expanded this practice to airlines, and 46 years later the store is stocking millions of items that Americans have lost on flights.
How does THIS store get MY bags?
First off, the airlines aren’t stealing your shit and selling it wholesale in Alabama. Lost luggage, at least in the United States, is incredibly uncommon. Only one-half of 1% of checked bags fail to make it to the baggage claim, and of those roughly 80-90% are returned within 48 hours. Within a week, that number jumps to 98%. Then, for the next 90 days, the airlines go to painstaking lengths to match bags with owners. Math says you're looking at only 1-in-10,000 odds of truly losing your bag on a US flight. And yet -- there is that slim chance.