TSA Collects Big Money from Loose Change at Security Checkpoints
Do people really enjoy airport pat-downs so much that they’re leaving tips? Airline passengers are leaving a fortune behind at airport security checkpoints in their rush to make their flights on time, and the Transportation Security Administration gets to keep every dime.
In 2010, the loose change added up to $409,085.56 in dollar coins, quarters, dimes, nickels, pennies and foreign currency. Passengers at John F. Kennedy International Airport left the most change, $46,918.06 followed by L.A. International, where the TSA added $19,100.83 to their coffers.
But that is leaving a nasty taste in some people’s mouths. “I think the money should be donated to a charity or other service organizations,” says stunned flier Vickie Vaughn. “I never expected that loose change could add up to that much money.”
In 2005, Congress gave the agency the authority to spend the left behind money on security operations, but Republican Rep. Jeff Miller of Florida is proposing a bill that would give the windfall to the United Service Organizations. The money would be used for welcome centers for the U.S. military personnel. “Legislation, like this just makes sense,” says Tennessee Rep. Diane Black. “Sending the extra money to the USO is something I support.”