The TSA isn’t just confiscating your cupcakes, its also stealing your change. The TSA reported that airline passengers left more than $400,000 in change at security checkpoints during 2010.
So where does that money go? Well, since no one really goes back to security to reclaim their change, the money goes to the TSA. In 2010, the TSA earned an extra $409,085.56 from loose change.
The Hill reports that a Florida lawmaker is trying to pass a bill that would require the TSA to donate the loose chance to United Service Organizations. Rep. Jeff Miller filed the bill in 2009. Miller said:
“TSA keeps travelers change accidentally left at checkpoints as an appropriations backfill for agency activities… There is no incentive for TSA to try to return the forgotten change to its rightful owner… $400,000 annually is nothing to sneeze at. Travelers’ lost change should be put to good use, and there is no better organization to use this money wisely than the United Service Organizations.”
Passengers at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York were the most careless with their change. The New York airport collected $46,918.06 in change during 2011. Los Angeles International Airport found the second most change with $19,110.83.
David Stempler, president of the Air Travelers Association, said that many people tend not to carry change, and when they do, they quickly forget about it. Stempler said:
“Many people aren’t carrying change these days anyway. It just weighs down in their pockets and purses. I know in the city I see a lot of people giving it to homeless people just to get rid of the change.”
Do you think the TSA should be able to keep the $400,000 in change? Should it go to the USO?