Travelers Lose $1 Million A Year At American Airports

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RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Travelers making their way through American airports are losing $1 million per year and that money is being used to fund TSA initiatives.

The Transportation Security Administration recently announced that people heading through security forget to grab their spare change which is placed inside collection dishes as they move through security checkpoints.

During the fiscal year 2018 which ended on September 30, 2018, TSA officials collected $960,105.49 that was inadvertently left behind.

It appears that travelers are becoming more forgetful about their spare change. The TSA says travelers in 2018 left behind $90,265.93 than they had in 2017.

Where Does All That Money Go?

The TSA keeps that cash and uses it to fund security projects for the agency, a practice that is allowed thanks to previously established laws.

The TSA uses a portion of those proceeds to promote its own initiatives. Most recently, TSA officials used part of the proceeds they’ve received to promote the TSA PreCheck program which allows travelers to more quickly pass through airport security checkpoints.

You Might Lose Your Money More Often At…

John F. Kennedy Airport in New York City is the biggest contributor to the TSA loose change slush fund with $72,392.74 collected in the 2018 fiscal year. This makes sense considering the massive number of travelers who pass through the airport on an annual basis.

As expected, Los Angeles’ LAX is next on the list with Chicago O’Hare not far behind. With more people traveling and being pushed as quickly through airport security as safely possible, this shouldn’t come as a surprise.

For most travelers losing a few quarters isn’t a big deal. Just remember, the TSA also notes that they are routinely collecting belts, smartphones, tablets, and even laptops that are left behind. While expensive items are often returned to travelers, there is still a chance you could lose something a lot more valuable than some pocket change.