The delays caused by the Transportation Security Administration caused hurried passengers to leave behind about $410,000 in pocket change at security checkpoints in 2010, according to reports.
The amount of change left behind by travelers amounted to $376,480.39 in dollar coins, quarters, dimes, nickels and pennies, plus foreign currency worth $32,605.17.
According to USA Today, passengers at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York left the most change in 2010 ($46,918.06), followed by Los Angeles International ($19,110.83), Hartsfield Atlanta International ($16,523.83), San Francisco International ($15,908.02) and Miami International ($15,844.83).
The TSA “makes every effort to reunite passengers with items left at the checkpoint,” agency spokesman Greg Soule told the newspaper. Money that is not returned to its owner is used to finance agency operations.
Representative Jeff Miller (R-Fla.) has proposed legislation that would mandate that the unclaimed change be sent to the United Service Organizations.
“Allowing TSA to keep unclaimed taxpayer money for any and all purposes is an egregious breach of its duty to the public that it serves,” Miller wrote in a recent letter to House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Peter King, R-N.Y. “This money should be put to good use, and there is no better organization to use this money wisely than the USO.”
The TSA reportedly collected about $433,000 in loose change in 2009.