Pittsburgh International Airport announced their annual auction and I have always wanted to attend. This is what an airport auction is really like.
The Announcement Was Elusive
I follow the airport’s Facebook group, and while I could blame that on my quest for journalism, I am just an airport geek like the rest of us. When I saw that the Pittsburgh International Airport was having their annual auction, I put it on my calendar. The problem is that neither the Facebook announcement nor that on the auctioneer’s site gave the address. As reliable as Google Maps is, the “Heavy Equipment Building” on Cargo Road didn’t show up.
Despite a clear address on the building, requests on Facebook, and numerous internet searches, good old fashioned following the crowd was the only way I found it. For next year, the address is: 300 Cargo Road, Coraoplis, PA. Or you could just drive there periphery of the airport looking for these signs:
A list was put out of auction items and a lot of them seemed like standard forgotten items at TSA checkpoints, some old airport equipment and abandoned vehicles. Honestly, I was hoping for more airline items. Maybe a drink cart, an old TWA sign someone dug out from somewhere, but my hopes were dashed. This was particularly surprising because OneJet was based in Pittsburgh and went under – where’s their stuff?
Turnout and Auction Items
I was amazed to see that 1,000 other Pittsburghers had found the building. By the time the first few lots, which included a variety of gold and silver rings, Apple and Tag Heuer watches had gone, about a quarter of the attendees had left as well.
MacBooks, tablets, e-Readers and computers from airport workstations were also sold for surprisingly high prices since it was unknown if they were even functional. Paying $850 for a likely locked MacBook that may not even function seemed ludicrous to me.
A variety of abandoned vehicles were for sale as well. I was interested in seeing how inexpensively one could buy a 2015 Laramie Dodge Ram ($60-70k) with 35,000 miles, however, after seeing the attendee behavior on much more affordable items, I lost hope.
I had zero utility for any of the airport equipment so I decided to leave before they got to those items. However, I did get to try out the new wide angle lens on my iPhone 11 Max Pro.
The TSA auctioned off lost and found items though most clothing was donated to local charities. Belts were available by the box. Just four suitcases were up for auction and as much as I want to buy someone else’s dirty laundry, I passed on those too. How were there only four?
I was disappointed that the auction was so hard to find, and in the goods up for bid. I would have stuck around for a shot at some airline memorabilia. I enjoyed the auction experience and think my daughter would love it so perhaps I will return next year to show her what it’s like.
Have you attended an airport auction? Do you have any great finds?