Transport Airports

The TSA Has Over $500,000 of Travelers’ Loose Change

Nov 26, 2013 9:42 am

Skift Take

Perhaps the TSA can begin punishing flyers attempting to bring weapons on board by forcing them to roll quarters, dimes, and nickels.

— Jason Clampet

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Danny Moloshok  / Reuters

A man is screened with a backscatter x-ray machine as travelers go through a TSA security checkpoint in terminal 4 at LAX, Los Angeles International Airport, in Los Angeles May 2, 2011. Danny Moloshok / Reuters


That loose change that you dump into the plastic bins at the airport security checkpoints may not seem like much, but it adds up. And now Washington is wrestling with the question of what to do with the change you leave behind.

In fiscal 2012, the change collected at airports across the country totaled about $531,000, with about $32,000 of that coming in foreign currency, according to the Transportation Security Administration. At Los Angeles International Airport, the nation’s third-busiest airport, passenger change added up to nearly $22,000 in the last fiscal year, according to the TSA.

The TSA has been putting the money into its “aviation security fund” to translate airport signs into various languages, among other overhead costs.

Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.) put forward a bill recently to set aside the loose change for use by nonprofit groups that run airport facilities where members of the military and their families can rest while traveling.

“Travelers’ lost change is unappropriated dollars that should be put to good use,” Miller said during a House Homeland Security Committee meeting in October.

The bill was amended and approved in committee last week and sent to the full House for consideration.

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