Checkpoint Change: What Passengers Are Leaving Behind

Jan 12, 2012 4:24pm

There was considerable change at the Transportation Security Administration last year.

To be exact, there was $409,085.56 in loose change left behind at security checkpoints by fliers. The figure was first reported by USA Today.

To put that in perspective, that’s enough quarters, dimes and pennies to purchase two full body scanners, with some change leftover.

And in fact, the TSA tells ABC News that in 2005 Congress gave the agency permission to use unclaimed cash for security operations.

“TSA makes every effort to reunite passengers with items left at the checkpoint, however there are instances where loose change or other items are left behind and unclaimed,” the agency said in a statement.

“Unclaimed money, typically consisting of loose coins passengers remove from their pockets, is documented and turned into the TSA financial office,” it said.

New York’s JFK International Airport saw the biggest chunk of change left behind, $46,918.06. Enough to buy a nice luxury car and drive to your destination.

The smallest haul came from American Samoa’s Pago Pago International Airport where $5.51 was left behind. Enough to pay for about 20 percent of your checked bag fee.

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