TSA Recovers Over $1 Million in Loose Change From Airport Security Bins
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The Transportation Security Administration recovered over $1.05 million in loose change from airport security bins over the past three years, USA Today reports. The money is abandoned by passengers who are asked to empty their pockets at checkpoints:
The TSA has been keeping change since October 2004, when it lobbied Congress to amend federal law and let the agency use the money to defray security costs. Previously, money left at checkpoints went to a general fund in the federal treasury.
The cash leader: Los Angeles International Airport, where passengers left behind $89,375 from Sept. 30, 2004 to Oct. 1, 2007, according to TSA reports. Las Vegas' McCarran International was a distant runner-up.
The cash laggard: Chattanooga (Tenn.) Metropolitan Airport, whose 300,000 departing passengers in 2007 left just $1.20.
Biggest underachiever: New York's Kennedy International Airport, the nation's sixth-busiest, which generated just $5,228 from 2004 to 2007, including a mere $607 last year.
Coins are left by passengers who are either too rushed to bother collecting their change or too color-blind to see it, the TSA says.
"The money blends in with a lot of the gray bins we're utilizing," said Earl Morris, TSA security chief at Salt Lake City International Airport, which collected $6,317 from 2004 to 2007.
Kind of a conflict of interest, wouldn't you say?