weather icon Partly Cloudy

Travelers leave behind $867K in change at TSA checkpoints

WASHINGTON — All the nickels, dimes and quarters travelers leave behind at airport security checkpoints adds up to big bucks — enough that next time you forget your change after emptying your pockets, you might want to go back for it.

In fiscal year 2016, travelers left behind a record $867,812.39, according to a report from the Transportation Security Administration. That’s over $100,000 more than went unclaimed the previous year. Of that amount, nearly $80,000 was in foreign currency.

“TSA makes every effort to reunite passengers with items left at the checkpoint; however there are instances where loose change or other items are left behind and unclaimed,” TSA spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein said. “Unclaimed money, typically consisting of loose coins passengers remove from their pockets, is documented and turned into the TSA financial office.”

New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport ranked the highest for unclaimed money with $70,615. That was followed by Los Angeles International at $44,811.82.

So where does all that spare change go? In 2005, Congress gave the TSA the authority to spend the money on security operations.

Undeclared money left behind at TSA checkpoints by year

2008: $383,413.79

2009: $432,790.62

2010: $409,085.56

2011: $487,869.50

2012: $531,395.22

2013: $638,142.64

2014: $674,841.06

2015: $765,759.15

2016: $867,812.39

Top 10 Airports in 2016

John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York City: $70,615.00

Los Angeles International Airport: $44,811.84

Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport: $42,305.26

McCarran International Airport, Las Vegas: $32,671.38

LaGuardia Airport, New York City: $27,963.46

O’Hare International Airport, Chicago: $ 25,425.75

San Francisco International Airport: $24,711.34

George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Houston: $23,723.25

Logan International Airport, Boston: $23,691.83

Washington Dulles International Airport: $20,801.25

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
US says Iran briefly seizes oil tanker near Strait of Hormuz

The Iranian navy boarded and briefly seized a Liberian-flagged oil tanker near the strategic Strait of Hormuz amid heightened tensions between Tehran and the U.S., a U.S. military official said Thursday.

Hurricane-force winds leave devastation across Midwest

A rare storm packing 100 mph winds and with power similar to an inland hurricane swept across the Midwest, blowing over trees, flipping vehicles, causing widespread property damage and leaving hundreds of thousands without power as it moved through Chicago and into Indiana and Michigan.

Russia approves virus vaccine as global cases top 20M

Russia on Tuesday became the first country to officially register a coronavirus vaccine and declare it ready for use, despite international skepticism.

‘Assault on our city’: Hundreds ransack downtown Chicago after shooting

Hundreds of people descended on downtown Chicago early Monday following a police shooting on the city’s South Side, with vandals smashing the windows of dozens of businesses and making off with merchandise, cash machines and anything else they could carry, police said.

1 dead after gas explosion levels Baltimore homes

A natural gas explosion destroyed three row houses in Baltimore on Monday, killing a woman and trapping other people in the wreckage.

Crater Lake in Oregon threatened by visitor surge amid pandemic

The clean, clear waters of Crater Lake National Park are being threatened by contamination brought in by visitors after the coronavirus pandemic spurred sharp cutbacks in park staffing.

Georgia high school goes online after COVID infections reported

A Georgia high school plans to start the week with all classes shifting online after nine students and staff tested positive for the coronavirus when the school year opened last week with most students attending in-person.