Sunday, February 5, 2012

Loose Change Forgotten at TSA Checkpoints

(image credit: The Dallas Morning News)
According to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), $409,085.56 in loose change was forgotten or intentionally left at airport checkpoints. As reported by the Gannett Washington Bureau, this is how it breaks down: $376,480.39 in dollar coins, quarters, dimes, nickels and pennies, plus foreign currency worth $32,605.17.

Those who leave loose coins at the airport are likely rushing for a flight or foreign travelers returning home who may feel they no longer have any use for U.S. change. The Gannett report adds that it may be because coins are no longer appealing in an increasingly cashless society and it weighs down pockets and purses.

By airport here is where passengers left the most change in 2010:

  • John F. Kennedy International Airport (New York)   $46,918.06
  • Los Angeles International   $19,110.83
  • Hartsfield Atlanta International   $16,523.83
  • San Francisco International   $15,908.02
  • Miami International   $15,844.83

It's like those plastic bowls at security checkpoints have become TSA tip jars. But a TSA spokesperson indicated they should make every effort to reunite passengers with items left at checkpoints. Money that cannot be returned is used to finance the agency's operations. Republican Representative Jeff Miller of Florida is proposing the money go the United Service Organizations to help operate their welcome centers for U.S. military personnel around the world.


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