Charities have profited from the misery of Brisbane Airport’s travellers, after $25,000 worth of lost belongings went under the hammer.
Brisbane Airport visitor information centre manager Jenni Greaves, who ran the airport’s ambassador program, said there was always variety among the items that turned up in the lost property collection.
“Nothing surprises us anymore, and while there isn’t much of a second hand market for false teeth or prosthetic limbs which do sometimes get left behind, we find that second hand laptops, mobile phones, cameras and jewellery are bought at auction very quickly,” she said.
The latest lost property auction brought in $25,000, which would be evenly shared by Airport Rotary for Angel Flight, Hummingbird House, MS Queensland, Youngcare and the Property Industry Foundation.
A Brisbane Airport lost and found spokeswoman said while every effort was made to return lost items, on some occasions it was “virtually impossible” to find the rightful owners.
“When a connection cannot be made, rather than destroying valuable lost items, they are given a second lease on life via a public auction with all money raised going directly to charity,” she said.
“Valuable items such as jewellery and electronics are kept for a period of two months to ensure enough time to reunite misplaced belongings with the rightful owners, while other items such as clothing, books and toys are kept for a period of one month before being collected by the Salvation Army.”
The spokeswoman said lost property could be collected from international and domestic screening points, with unclaimed items sent to Pickles Auctions to be sold off.
Auctions occurred six times a year, she said.
Some of the more unusual items found at Brisbane Airport have been:
- A one metre tall statue kangaroo with koala on its back.
- Dentures and hearing aids.
- A full-sized glass and timber door.
- Ironing boards and irons.
- Cremated remains (which were reunited with the family).
- A stove top.
- Prosthetic limbs.
- Walking sticks.
- A bag of ‘exotic dancer’ items (including tassels, lingerie, shoes and toys)
Airport visitors who had lost property were urged to first contact their airline, before contacting the visitors’ information desks at both terminals.