Turns out those airport security checkpoints aren’t just for your safety, they are also a source of funds for the Transportation Security Administration.
Travelers left behind $409,085.56 in loose change in 2010. Not only did they ditch their pennies, dimes and quarters at the checkpoints, but they also left behind foreign currency.
Nico Melendez, spokesperson for TSA, said when people go through security checkpoints they typically leave behind the change from their pockets in the plastic bins.
“TSA puts (the leftover money)in a jar at security checkpoint, at the end of each shift they take it, count it, put it in an envelope and send it to the finance office,” he said.
Nope, said Melendez, it all goes into the general operating budget for TSA. The money typically goes toward technology, lightbulbs or just overall general expenses.
Of note, travelers to and from New York left the most change, with the city’s JFK Airport collecting about $47,000, which includes foreign currency. What can we do with that money, the Atlantic asks.
Republican House member Jeff Miller of Florida has proposed that they donate that money to the USO, implying that spending any more money on the TSA is a gigantic waste of taxpayer expense. Or maybe they could donate it to the airlines to cover checked bag fees.
A million dollar idea? Well, a $400,000 idea.