When we think of travel baggage, we often think of fees, checkins, carry-ons, overhead storage and the hope that it arrives with us at our final destination. We watch video of baggage handlers misbehaving at work and wonder why we pay so much to check it. When soldiers returning from war are charged extra for it, we’re outraged. But what about when baggage goes missing? It’s a topic that is often infuriating and sometimes mysterious.
On the Travel Channel’s new reality series “Baggage Battles,” we get a peek behind the scenes into the world of auction specialists earning a living off bidding, buying and reselling lost luggage.
Sort of along the lines of A & E’s Storage Wars, they travel to different airport auctions around the world where we see what happens to the 70,000 pieces of luggage that go unclaimed or get lost every year.
“Baggage Battles” features three teams of auction specialists that compete to see who buys baggage filled with valuable treasure or worthless junk.
- Laurence and Sally Martin, a married couple from California has been in the antique business for over 20 years.
- Mark Meyer, 25, still lives at home with his parents and is a young entrepreneur from Long Island, New York.
- Billy Leroy, also from New York, was 25 when he bought a $200 painting and sold it for $18,000.
They visit more than airports too, stopping at customs auctions, police auctions and freight auctions bidding on seized merchandise in different venues.”With dozens of auctions to visit, thousands of bags to explore and millions of dollars at stake, these auction specialists need both skill and luck to hit the jackpot,” says the Travel Channel on the “Baggage Battles” website. “They don’t know if it’s junk or a jackpot until they win the bid and open the suitcase.”
[Flickr photo via Canolais]