Airline baggage fees affect a North Alabama business

By Robyn McGlohn - bio | email

SCOTTSBORO, AL (WAFF) - Increased airline baggage fees are having an effect on the unclaimed baggage business in the valley.

If you've ever been to Scottsboro, chances are you've made a pit stop at the Unclaimed Baggage Center.

Tucked away in the foothills of the Appalachians, it's the Mecca for the land of lost luggage and its contents.

You can find anything from jewelry to clothes. CD's to hot item electronics like Ipods.

You can even the luggage itself.

Striking interest in many from around the U.S. and the world, the store opened 40 years ago.

It's grown, despite a recently down turned economy.

"One thing that's thrown an unexpected kink into the unclaimed baggage business is the increased baggage fees for travelers," said Brenda Cantrel with Unclaimed Baggage.

"We are seeing a decrease. Obviously travel is down and baggage fees are up and it's affecting the number of bags people check," said Cantrel.

Cantrel said they still get in a good bit of luggage.

Because most folks are trying to avoid those $15 to $30 baggage fees, more travelers are opting to carry on and keep track.

The idea is supported by figures from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

They report a July mishandled baggage rate of 3.98 percent.

That's down from June's rate of 4.17.

While the track record for luggage returns is improving, customers may have to dig a little deeper.

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