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The most common (and weirdest) items found in unclaimed baggage at the airport

close up photo of airport baggage sign
Esther / Pexels

Have you ever wondered what gets left behind at the airport airport? Well, wonder no more! Unclaimed Baggage released its first-ever “Found Report,” giving us a glimpse into the fascinating (and sometimes bizarre) items left behind by travelers in 2023. For the uninitiated, Unclaimed Baggage is a retail store that sells unclaimed and lost airline baggage and its contents (after the airlines make every effort to return the luggage to their owners, of course). So what have they found?

The top 40 most fascinating finds of 2023

group of people walking in airport
Briana Tozour / Unsplash

This list is a wild mix of the wonderful and the weird. Two live snakes slithering around at the airport? Now that’s a travel story most people wouldn’t want to tell!  Luxury finds like Birkin bags and Rolex watches make you wonder about the frantic searches at the baggage claim.  Musicians will be surprised to see a rare banjolele and a 4-foot tall Ethiopian harp lost in the shuffle, while gamers might mourn the misplaced Atari and Nintendo Super Famicom.  

The list even includes historical artifacts like a fossilized fish and an ancient Greek coin, leaving us to ponder the stories behind these forgotten treasures.

  • Two live snakes
  • A voodoo box with the person who opened the bag’s name on the bottom 
  • Two Hermes Birkin Bags 
  • A 49-key Keytar synthesizer
  • 13.3’ women’s vaulting pole
  • A suitcase full of wigs
  • 19 Rolex watches
  • A handmade medieval battle armor vest
  • A funeral casket key
  • A mounted ram head
  • An Atari video game system
  • An Ethiopian Begena (a 4’ tall harp-like instrument)
  • A mounted six-point deer skull
  • A jar full of shark teeth
  • An 11’ paddle board
  • Masks and prop body parts from the movie “Saw”
  • Two water buffalo horns
  • A life-size Winnie the Pooh Bear
  • A German audio meter from the 1940’s
  • A Truly Hard Seltzer beer tap
  • Fossilized fish
  • A book of poems from 1916
  • A wooden fertility doll
  • A banjolele (a rare instrument combining a banjo and ukulele)
  • Motors for inflatables and small boats
  • A coin bank shaped like a Minion
  • A Halloween card signed by President Richard Nixon from the 1980s
  • A golf simulator
  • An unopened bottle of Habushu (this liquor has a pit viper coiled within the bottle)
  • A braille keyboard
  • A hand-painted ostrich egg from South Africa
  • An ancient Greek Athenian owl coin
  • A paper mâché angler fish
  • Hoverboards
  • A Nintendo Super Famicom Japanese gaming console
  • A pair of new-in-box Rick Owens sneakers made of translucent leather
  • A diamond tennis necklace appraised at $35,000
  • A specialty horse saddle by Brighton
  • A D minor hand-pan
  • A DJI FBV Drone

The top 10 most frequently found items in 2023

suitcase with phone sitting on top
Benjamin R. / Unsplash

The most frequently lost items are unsurprising – clothes, electronics, and travel essentials like tablets and headphones. No matter where you’re traveling, you’re probably going to need clothes, so it makes sense that more bags would contain underwear or jeans than a hoverboard.

  • Undies
  • Shoes
  • Tablets and e-readers 
  • T-Shirts
  • Books 
  • Blouses 
  • Blue Jeans 
  • Headphones 
  • Dresses
  • Cellphones

Top top 10 most expensive things found in 2023

man carrying bag smiling
Andrea Piacquadio / Pexels

From designer clothing and handbags worth tens of thousands of dollars to a professional thermal camera, this list is a reminder of the valuable items travelers entrust to airlines. 

  • Jewelry Piece: 14-karat gold diamond ring appraised at $37,050 
  • Handbag: Birkin 25 Bag Rose Azalee Swift Tote appraised at $23,500 
  • Watch: Cartier Panthere watch appraised at $26,500
  • Street Shoe: Louis Vuitton Nike Air Force 1 Mid valued at $12,000 
  • Formal Wear: Silk-Blend Givenchy Gown valued at $9,990
  • Ladies’ Designer Garment: Chanel Black Solid Tweed Blazer valued at $5,450
  • Men’s Designer Garment: Men’s Kiton sport coat valued at $10,000
  • Camera: FLIR T530 Professional Thermal Camera valued at $12,119 
  • Audio Item: Shure H50 QuadChannel Digital Wireless Receiver valued at $6,453 
  • Musical Instrument: Gibson Hummingbird Acoustic-Electric Guitar valued at $4,000

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Kelly Baker
Kelly is a writer who loves good books, baking homemade bread, playing the piano, and spending time with her family.
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