Interview With Luna Laboo: Is This Your Luggage?

Travel Interviews: Michael Yessis talks to the voyeur and good Samaritan behind

04.09.09 | 9:43 AM ET

Photo by Luna Laboo

So this is where some lost luggage ends up: Luna Laboo buys it, takes photos of the contents and puts the images on the internet in an effort to find the owners. The London resident started collecting lost luggage six months ago; Is This Your Luggage? went live last week. The sparse site currently houses five pieces of luggage in need of their owners. Of her project, Laboo writes: “It’s a little odd but not as odd as stamp collecting. Just a little harder to find storage space.”

To find out more about Laboo’s project and how the search for owners is going, I asked her a few questions via email.

On your website you call this your weird voyeuristic passion. What gave you the idea for the project?

Laboo: I had the idea for the project after watching a news report on all the luggage going missing at Heathrow’s Terminal 5 in London. I began to wonder where all the lost luggage was going.

I found the auction where the luggage was being sold off and went along to buy a case. I thought I’d maybe buy one just to see what was in them, but there is something incredibly intriguing about other people’s things. Especially personal things like their dirty clothes. So I bought another, and another and so it went on. I took the photos as I thought this would be the best way to appreciate the contents as a whole.

I noticed it’s all clothes on display, not much else. Are you only displaying the clothes? Are there things you’re keeping offline?

I display everything that I get in the case. Some items are removed from the cases before they are sold, liquids and metal items, I think it is an airport security measure.

Tell me a little bit about the auctions where you get them. Where do they take place and how much does it usually cost to buy a bag of lost luggage?

The auction I go to is in London but I assume they have them near every major airport. The cases cost between 20-50 so I try to get the cheaper ones.

I have to bid for them so it depends whether anyone else wants it or not. You can’t see inside the case until you have bought it so you don’t know what goodies you have till you get home and open it. It’s a bit like opening a Christmas present. (Maybe I need help.)

What’s been the reaction so far?

Amazing, I am a bit soppy but some of the nice things people have said in their emails have made me want to cry. It’s really lovely that people will email you just to say “I like that.”

Has anyone recognized their luggage yet on the site?

Unfortunately not yet, but I live in hope.

Thanks, Luna. Good luck.

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