Lost property at BNE raises $25,000 at auction for charity

One traveller’s lost property is a charity’s treasure as Brisbane Airport Corporation (BAC) donates $25,000 to good causes with money raised from lost property auctions.

The recipients of this year’s auction, Airport Rotary for Angel Flight, Hummingbird House, MS Queensland, Youngcare and Property Industry Foundation, will each receive $5,000 from the proceeds.

Reuniting lost items with owners from around the world is a daily challenge for the Airport Ambassadors at Brisbane Airport and, while every effort is made to return lost items, in some cases it’s virtually impossible to locate 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.

Jenni Greaves, of Southern Queensland Tourism, who manages the Airport Ambassador program at Brisbane Airport, said it was always surprising to see what turns up in lost property at the airport.

“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,” Ms Greaves 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.

Lost property is collected from the International and Domestic Terminals screening points and the Transfer bus and car parks, with unclaimed valuable items sent to Pickles to be auctioned six times a year.

Enquiries regarding lost property at the airport should, in the first instance be directed to the airline, before contacting the Visitors Information Desks located at both terminals.

Travellers can also email DTB.ambassador@bne.com.au.