What happens to things is always a difficult to understand if you had no first hand experience. Questions like where do the other half of a pair of socks go to will never be resolved. Or how to avoid the buttered side from facing the ground.
I had a first hand experience of where lost luggage bags go to. At least I had a small part of the story in November 2000 when passing through Changi International Airport.
I was passing through the Singaporean iconic airport when my own bag malfunctioned right when I was abouit to check-in close to mid-night. I had spent three months in the island city state and had shopped a lot of things for my family. All the contents of my bag were there for inspection by strangers.
Within a few minutes my whole world was upside down. My first attempt and saving face was to ask if I could buy a bag from one of the shops. I was informed that the shpos were closed as it was past mid-night.
Singapore is a humidy and hot place so sweating would not be a surprise, but drenching in sweat could be explained by climate alone. The check-in officer calmed me as much as she could and immediately told me that everything would be sorted out ‘according to procedure’. I had no way of what procedure she was referring to if shops were closed. Were I to use my neck-ties to tie up the damned suitcase?
I was informed that I would get a bag from lost and found section and transfer my clothes and airport personnel were in hand to help me cart my wares to the back-office.
After I transfered my clothes and closed the case I was relieved and I profusely thanked everyone. Still I had no idea how I would return the suitcase or pay for it. I politely asked about how I would pay for the bag or have it returned. It was then that I was told that I the bag was mine to keep for free, in return for the damaged one. Oh, so I traded my poor quality bag for the lost and found one, hwo wonderful.
I understand also that from time to time bags are auctioned but I have no first hand experience with that process.
So in case you were wondering about lost bags, that is one of the solutions. I have no idea what they do with the items, but I suspect that some are send to charity and others maybe auctioned off.
Today’s suitcases have a traceable functionlity and next time I buy a bag I will insist on such a facility.
Have you ever lost bags at airports?