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The thought of Thanksgiving and the holidays conjures up so many wonderful ideas – turkey roasting, falling leaves or snow, spending time with family and friends.
Do not wrap any gifts traveling with you, as they may be inspected at security check points. Gas up the night before you travel; no one leaves enough time for buying gas on the way to the airport.
We hope these tips will help you navigate the harried holiday travel season with comfort and ease. With thousands of bags lost at Heathrow's Terminal 5, some people will never see their luggage again. In a small warehouse filled with furniture, electrical goods and clothing hanging from the ceiling in clear plastic bags, a battle of egos is under way. About 40 people are assembled in the cramped room where everybody is seeking the perfect bargain. Virtually every object - from televisions to trainers, cupboards and even the seats people sit on - bears a small white sticker with its lot number. Greasby's, along with a number of other auction houses in the UK, sells luggage once airlines have given up attempts to return bags to their owners.
Gary Marshall, from Enfield, north London, is a regular at these auctions, which he has attended weekly for more than a decade. Last week he bought four cases - a modest haul compared with his average of between 15 and 20 each week. The 46-year-old former engineer says buying at these auctions, which started out as a source of extra money, has become his "livelihood" as he sells the cases and their contents online and at a market stall he runs. Their contents provide snapshots of holiday hopes: short-sleeved shirts and t-shirts are mixed in with denim miniskirts, bright beach towels, swimming trunks and several photographs of a young man in Hastings.
At the auction house, regulars face increasing competition from a new breed of buyers who have heard about the potential bargains on offer. As Gary explains his recipe for auction success, a woman nearby explains that she and her boyfriend are first-timers who have travelled from Telford on their day off "to see what we get".
Recent problems with the baggage system at Heathrow's Terminal 5 (T5), which has caused a backlog of up to 28,000 items, has thrown the issue under the spotlight. The terminal's difficulties have been so pronounced that two senior executives at British Airways have said they will leave the company. The airline said about three months is spent using a "manual tracing process" to identify owners, which means none of the bags currently being sold at auction would be from T5. A BA spokesman, who explained that all proceeds from auctioned luggage goes to charity, said: "The vast majority of bags are reunited with their owners. All major airlines use the World Tracer system to assist in the recovery of lost baggage, says a BMI spokesman. After a three-month period of trying to reunite a lost item with its owner, the item may be auctioned with proceeds going to charity, he adds, but the majority of lost bags are returned to their owner within 24 hours.
However, this doesn't mean that the chef from Battersea, south London, has no interest in the contents of his new acquisition. Regulars at Greasby's said the clothes inside the cases were usually mixed up a little to provide a balance of ages and gender in each case. The throng of bargain hunters at Greasby's appear to be keenly awaiting the influx of bags expected at the auction house in the coming months, courtesy of T5's teething problems.
Two small holdalls, two cameras and six prints for ?32 make up the day's haul for Louise Moore, a customer service officer, but she plans to return in a few weeks to try and get T5 luggage. Miss Moore, 27, from Grove Park, south London, is quick to point out that there is nothing wrong with what she and her fellow entrepreneurs are doing, stressing that they "aren't doing anyone any harm".
Article by Dom Joly this week mentioned he had bought 15 cases and found personal details in three so he was able to reunite them with their owners! When British Airways has a surplus of unclaimed baggage in storage, it sells the cases at auction. The thing is, there are plenty of bargains up for grabs, and it can be fun – many people describe it as being like a treasure hunt. There’s no national directory of airport auctioneers, but if there were, Wellers Auctioneers would certainly appear, taking the lost and lonely bags from Gatwick. After viewing the auction collection, go home and think about the prices of likely individual items to see how much of a profit you can make up to a certain bid.
A good way to get an idea of how much cases will sell for is to search for similar items that are already listed on eBay. Given that in 2006 BA auctioned off 730 lost laptops and 1,460 mobiles (and that number has risen drastically since Heathrow’s Terminal 5 fiasco), there are plenty of luxury goodies to be bought on the cheap.
Alternatively, you can bid for suitcases and hope there are some good clothes, shoes, books etc. Once you’ve successfully bid and paid for unclaimed luggage bargains, take them home and begin your online selling to make money. I had a little look at this and reckon it’s a viable way to make a bit of money in the spare time.
BA Lost one case for two months then paid me compensation and found my case too it was around the scottish airport attack so they were fair.
I have worked for a lost luggage company delivering luggage right across the uk and europe out of heathrow with a couple of hundred cases coming in a day . Yes someone is making a profit from this, potentially adding incentive for the airport to confiscate and find more items to sell but this is most likely minimal and is also the case with every institution that exists in a monetary system that intends to make profit. I LOST ALL MY IRREPLACEABLE ITEM LAST YEAR… YOU WILL HAVE BAD KARMA RUNNING THROUGH YOUR GREEDY VEINS! If you are traveling in China and you want a local number and the ability to make a few calls while you are there or even use the internet for email or Google maps, let’s say, it is quite easy to buy a Chinese SIM card. Be sure your phone works in China; GSM phones should have 900 and 1800 Mhz frequencies or bands.
Buying a SIM card at Beijing International Airport: I bought mine right past immigration while I was standing at the belt waiting for my luggage. China Unicom offers a 3G phone card for 150 yuan, which includes a balance of 50 yuan on the account. You can make international calls with this by first dialing 10193 plus 00 and the country code and then the number. Rather than swapping SIM cards in and out as you travel, this company allows you to keep the same SIM card when abroad.

Typically these plans can be pre-purchased and may be costly or a gamble if you are not sure you’re even going to use it. Go to either a China Unicom phone store or most convenience stores and buy the recharge card for China Unicom.
Seems to get worse every year.The resellers are selling at 2-10 times their actual cost, take 12-24 hours to answer an email, and have no phone numbers that are ever answered by humans. To China Traveler, It is true that price may be 2 – 10 times of acutal cost when you buy from online resellers, especially from overseas resellers. Hi Kevin, I think the vendor provided you some wrong information either by accident or on purpose at that time. If it accepts SIM cards and it is a GSM phone not a branded CDMA phone (does iPhone even do that??) tied to a phone company, you should be fine. China Mobile works better than Unicom, but as Ben pointed out, it may be cheaper to head to Unicom shops.
Do these SIMs work all over China, with the possibility of adding credit in different cities?
Will have the brand new Minnesota's Best Beer Guide and Wisconsin's Best Beer Guide as well as the Michigan beer guide on hand. Travel insurance is highly recommended if you plan to engage in mountain climbing, skiing or extreme sports. The decision on what type of travel insurance to buy for your trip to Bulgaria depends on your personal health situation, the value of the items you plan to bring along, as well as your personal tolerance for risk.
Note that the EHIC coverage is only valid at hospitals and doctors who have a contract with the Bulgarian Health Insurance Fund (BHIF).
Purchasing medical insurance for Bulgaria to supplement your EHIC coverage is still a good idea. Visitors who are not citizens or permanent residents of an EU country are not eligible for free medical treatment in Bulgaria, except in life threatening situations. We strongly recommend that you buy medical insurance or you will have to pay out of pocket for medical care. Travelers with pre-existing medical conditions, make sure your insurance will cover any medical bills related to your pre-existing condition. If you plan to head to the mountains, we strongly recommend that you purchase a separate ski or mountaineering, walking and trekking travel insurance.
For additional trip insurance in Bulgaria look into a quote that will cover flight cancellations, lost baggage and emergency replacement of essential items, lost or stolen items and flight delays. Keep in mind that the auctioneers will take out things of real value to sell separately so you may just end up with a bag of dirty laundry!But, with suitcases normally going for anywhere between ?5 and ?50 and previous finds including wedding dresses, expensive toiletries and designer clothing you are bound to get something that you can resell on eBay.
To make sure you have plenty of time despite heavy traffic and slow security lines, be there at least two hours early. Tasty items like jams and jellies, salsas, sauces, syrups and dips are all subject to the 3-1-1 rule, as are those fancy bath oils, perfumes and other beauty items we often give as gifts. Either leave gifts unwrapped and accessible, or ship them to your destination ahead of you. Print your boarding passes at home and sign up for text alerts or download your airline’s app, if they have one, so you can easily monitor your flight status and plan for any delays. Belligerent behavior, inappropriate jokes and threats will not be tolerated, and will result in delays and possibly missed flights. WheelerZika is still all over the news and is obviously a big concern for people, including those headed to the Olympics this summer. If you are new here, you might want to subscribe to the RSS feed for updates on this topic. Patrick Leano, 28, bought a small shell suitcase because he and his girlfriend travel frequently and they wanted a strong, durable case. It's all legal money," she says, adding that she would sell the clothing inside the cases too. I believe that in France they would have to wait one year and one day before they can legally claim rights on the luggage and hence sell them. How would these people like to see their possessions on Ebay, or a market stall, having no control over them. If I lost my case it would make me feel better that the contents were helping some person in need rather than making a quick buck for someone.
Seems to have a bad taste about it and symptomatic of society's values where people relish in picking over someone else's misfortune for personal greed. All you need to do is head down to the auction house and bid on what you think you can sell on for a profit via eBay.
It’s here that British Airways (one of the world’s biggest baggage losers) sells its lost luggage. Or you could sign up to their mailing list, which will let you know when they’re going to happen.
It’s hard to tell when cases are sold closed, but the posher the case, the more likely it is to contain beautiful booty. The auctioneers take very valuable items out of the suitcases first and sell them separately. Take some photos, write a good advertisement and then post it on eBay and wait for the bidding to begin.
The valuable items sell very cheaply – a ?500 snowboard recently sold for ?75, for example. And before anyone asks yes we do work, we work full time but need to make an extra bit of cash so we are gonna give it a go!! These people are not to blame they are making money from luggage that years ago would have been put in the incinerator. The fact is people leave their items at airports and it is better for them to be sold for cheap by the airport that just incinerated and wasted.
It is not soulless to buy these items, it is simply logical for the buyer and is in fact much more resourceful considering business and profit is built upon selling as much product (using as many resources) as possible and so buying new items from shops would only add demand from the shop and so the supplier and so from the factory and so from our mother earth.
BA have to pay compensation to people who loose baggage so why they would not put an effort in contacting anybody does not make much sense.
While there may be an adequate amount of free WiFi here and there, having instant access when you are lost or looking for information or even translating symbols with your translation app is really convenient. Getting ready for my next trip to China and I am very frustrated with all of the rip-off deals that I am finding in Google, so-called discount offers which while being far less costly that roaming on my home carrier, are still a total ripoff compared to unicom prices.

Of course the disadvantage will be not having my China number assigned before I depart from home, but it’s going to be well worth it for the satisfaction of not giving a stupidly large profit to no-value-added resellers. So I cannot confirm or deny that the price is so much higher at the airport or if it has recently changed, but as of April it was quite reasonable and easy. I agree it is not easy to top up at the convenience store where they only sell recharge vouchers (many types) but they don’t know which one is right for you and no English speaking. This will allow you more flexibility in the choice of doctors and hospitals and may pay for any additional expenses not covered by the EHIC, like medical repatriation and others.
If the items aren’t something that you want for yourself (and I know it is tempting to keep everything) then write up a good advertisement, upload some pictures and let the bidding war begin – there’s no reason why something you bought for ?50 couldn’t go for ?200 online.Be careful when you go to the auction – go with a budget and stick with it. That means we may be spending time before the holidays traveling to be with our loved ones, and we all know that holiday travel isn’t always as easy as (pumpkin) pie.
If you live in a busy metropolitan area, be sure to account for congested roads in your travel time. Increased volume at the airports means a higher likelihood for delayed or lost luggage, which means you should have a change of clothes, valuables, and required medication with you at all times. Not to mention, they put up with a lot of volume and cranky travelers this time of year, so a little bit of courtesy will be appreciated. The money from the original sale goes to charity and that price is higher if people are buying the cases to resell the case and content. Everyone has different standards I suppose and some willing to ditch their morals for a few pennies. In fact, that somewhere is usually some form of auction house that sells unclaimed baggage to people like you and me. At least you were in the top 10% of the worlds population that are able to afford a ticket for a flight.
Everything is kept hold of for 6 months and can be claimed after that time if not claimed it all goes to auction . Also, after they have paid a parties compensation claim, some of that money is recouped via selling off the goods at auction. One route to go is to get an international SIM card (such as One SIMcard, see below) while another possibility is your phone company at home (see below also). In fact, if you walk up to the information desk as you enter the luggage area and ask the nice person where to find it, she may blush and tell you to turn around – it’s right behind you. Unicom shops seem to be the way to go and the re-charge stations at the convenience stores didn’t happen for me and the clerks often had no idea what I was talking about or how they worked. Even you buy the correct one, you have to top up by yourself but it is also hard things to do since all in Chinese on the voucher paper. I would hate to think someone might be rummaging through my smalls or putting my vintage 1950s gear up for sale on eBay!! When I travel, I put an A4 sheet with name and address and flight details in the inside so it should always be traceable if intact regardless of what is lost on the outside.
In America, the Unclaimed Baggage Centre in Alabama receives 800,000 visitors per year and is, incredibly, the state’s biggest tourist attraction.
Auctioneers only give the vaguest details about what is in each suitcase so you won’t know exactly what you are buying.
Even if the case is just full of clothes you should be able to sell it all for more than the price you paid for it. Get real, there are much bigger problems in this world then airlines selling luggage that they couldn’t reunite with their owners.
It’s up to the customer to chase there lost luggage every airline has one so does every airport . The people you need to blame apart for the airlines are yourself, If you had just sharpie markered your telephone number on the suitcase, it would not be at the auctions in first place. However, many look to purchase a proper Chinese SIM card and there are two primary companies in China: China Unicom and China Mobile, the largest one in the world, by the way. When your balance runs out, the cell company stores and most convenience stores offer top up cards. But occasionally there is a good deal for travelers, and for Americans, I must recommend my own phone company, T-Mobile.
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And FYI it costs more to compensate someone who lost their luggage then the amount they make at these auctions!
There is a law and systen the companys have to abide by after6 months they can do as they please with goods.
There are many types of topup cards but only one topup card (Yikachong) works outside Beijing.
The reviews are good with everyone saying they are reliable and give good service when in China. Packing for hols at the mo, so I shall price everything up for them--Bless just in CASE it ends up at Greasbys saleroom!
Plus I can receive local calls in the US and no one knows I’m on the other side of the planet. That may sound pretty good, but I plowed through mine just using Google maps and downloading some web pages.
That seems crazy to me, but I have thus far used this plan in over a dozen countries outside the USA. And if your phone is getting push notifications from some apps or email and then downloading automatically, this will also eat it up. Word of warning: before you go dumping your phone company, check how strong your coverage is at home. Ironically, I have unlimited data in Sri Lanka and on a mountain top in Thailand, but I am roaming one hour north of my hometown in Wisconsin. Still worth it for me due to the enormous amount of traveling I do, but an irritant when I want to check email while visiting my parents’ house.

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