Next time you fly, you might want to keep a close eye on your coins. It was revealed today that airline passengers left nearly $400,000 in change (pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters) at airport checkpoints in 2010.
According to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), $409,085.56 in coins, including foreign currency, was recovered at security checkpoints in 2010, mostly because travelers forgot the money or just left it behind.
In this day in age, coins are often seen as a nuisance, and passengers travelling to other countries may not see a need to carry American change.
“Many people aren’t carrying change these days. It just weighs down in their pockets and purses,” said David Stempler, president of the Air Travelers Association.
New York’s JFK International Airport collected the most raw coinage in 2010 – $46,918.06, followed by the major airports of Los Angeles, Atlanta, San Francisco, and Miami.
Thus far, the unclaimed change has been used to help finance TSA operations, but Rep. Jeff Miller of Florida has proposed donating it to the USO to help operate their worldwide welcome centers for U.S. military personnel.
- TSA Makes $400K Annually In Loose Change (tech.slashdot.org)
- TSA collected $400,000 in spare change left by passengers in airports in 2011 (thehill.com)
- TSA Collected $400,000 In Change Left Behind By Travelers (outsidethebeltway.com)