Travelers Left Behind More Than $867,000 in Cash at TSA Checkpoints in 2016

Apr 17, 2017

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

The last time you went through airport security, do you remember seeing spare change in one of those plastic bowls that someone had abandoned after emptying their pockets? Turns out, it’s a much more common occurrence than you might think.

In fact, according to a recent report by the TSA, passengers left behind more than $867,812 during the fiscal year 2016, a combination of both coins and dollar bills found in airports across the country. The amount of change left behind has been increasing steadily, too — in 2011, travelers left behind about $489,000; in 2014, almost $675,000 and in 2015, roughly $766,000. Airports where travelers are the most forgetful — or “generous” — include New York (JFK), where flyers left behind a total of $70,615 as well as Los Angeles (LAX; almost $45,000) and Dallas (DFW; more than $42,000).

So, what happens to all that money? In short, the TSA gets to keep it. In 2005, Congress passed a law saying the agency could hang onto any kind of cash left behind at its checkpoints and put it toward efforts in the realm of civil aviation security. The collected cash from the past two years has gone toward the expansion of the TSA PreCheck program, for instance, but as for this year’s sum, it remains to be seen — the agency said it doesn’t know what it plans to do just yet.

H/T: CNBC

Featured image courtesy of Paul J. Richards via Getty Images.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,650

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
  • Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.