TSA Collects $765K in Loose Change from Passengers

TSA Collects $765K in Loose Change

Transportation Security Officer (TSO), Steve Chao, reviews baggage at Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD). (Courtesy TSA)

TSA Collects $765K in Loose Change from Passengers

An agency report from the Transportation Security Administration details the abundant amount of money the TSA collected from people leaving behind spare change.

In Fiscal Year 2015, the TSA collected $765,759.15 in money that was left unclaimed and left behind at security checkpoints across the United States, according to the TSA’s report.

According to the report, “Unclaimed money is money that passengers inadvertently leave behind at airport screening checkpoints. In most cases, this consists of coins that passengers remove from their pockets so that metal detectors do not sound.”

The report details the airports with the greatest number of spare change left behind.  The biggest contributors to the TSA slush fund were Los Angeles International Airport, where passengers left $55,086.39 in change behind at security checkpoints.  Miami Airport came in at second place, with passengers leaving $50,955.58 behind.  Lastly, John F. Kennedy Airport in New York City contributed $43, 715.81.

Not all of the money was American currency.  The report shows that $9,265.25 of the money collected was a foreign currency.  Hopefully TSA avoided the high exchange fees when it turned that in for American dollars.

The TSA says that the money collected will be used to fund civil aviation security.  Specifically, TSA says the money that it collected in 2015 will be used as a means to expand its TSA Pre-Check program.

Details come at an interesting time for the agency, which has faced a high level of scrutiny as wait times in security lines have increased.  Recently, the issue led to American Airlines to announce that it will spend millions of dollars to try to diminish the impact on its passengers of long security lines at airports.  Airlines for America, an advocacy group for the nation’s airlines, recently called on Congress to return billions of dollars in security fees that have been diverted to offset the deficit.


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