TSA collects $409,000 in change lost during security screenings

CREATED Apr. 25, 2012

  • Print
  • TSA security agents screen people at at Mitchell International Airport on Wednesday morning, November, 24, 2010. The day before Thanksgiving is typically one of the busiest travel days of the year. Photo by Mike De Sisti / MDESISTI@JOURNALSENTINEL.COM Image by Mike De Sisti

MILWAUKEE - Nickels and dimes left in bins during pre-flight screenings are adding up for the Transportation Safety Administration. 

In 2010, the most recent year for which data was available, the TSA collected $409,085.56 at the U.S.'s major airports.

"In 2005, Congress gave TSA the authority to expend unclaimed money for security operations," said TSA south central region spokesman Luis Casanova.  "Our screening agents make every effort to reunite passengers with items left at the security checkpoint, however, there are instances where loose change or other items are left behind and unclaimed."

"Unclaimed money, typically consisting of loose coins passengers remove from their pockets, is
documented and turned in to the TSA financial office."

That unclaimed money totaled $383,413.79 in 2008 and $432,790.62 the following year.

"I guess some passengers are more concerned about making their flight than turning around to go back for some missing change," Casanova said.

At Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee, the TSA claimed $1,414.93 in 2010, far more than at Wisconsin's other two major airports.  Dane County Regional Airport in Madison accounted for just $249.45, while passengers at Austin Straubel International Airport in Green Bay unwittingly donated $181.73 to the TSA.

The most money in the country was collected at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City, where travelers lost a whopping $46,918.06.

"That's just nickels and dimes and pennies," Casanova explained.  "But given the volume of passengers at any given airport, it becomes a healthy amount.

The full breakdown of TSA collections by airport:

ABE   Lehigh Valley International Airport  $ 54.10

 ABQ  Albuquerque International Sunport Airport  $ 1,953.04

 ACY  Atlantic City International Airport  $ 207.96

 ALB  Albany International Airport  $ 1,032.79

 ANC  Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport  $ 1,400.83

 ATL  Hartsfield Atlanta International Airport  $ 16,523.83

 AUS  Austin-Bergstrom International  $ 2,333.79

 BDL  Hartford-Bradley International Airport  $ 1,246.92

 BHM  Birmingham International Airport  $ 1,012.27

 BIL Billings Logan International Airport  $ 707.85

 BIS  Bismarck Airport  $ 263.47

 BNA   Nashville International Airport  $ 3,233.56

 BOI  Boise Air Terminal/Gowen Field  $ 458.03

 BOS  Logan International Airport  $ 5,357.00

 BTR  Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport  $ 429.05

 BTV  Burlington International Airport  $ 146.01

 BUF  Buffalo Niagara International Airport  $ 1,083.25

 BUR  Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport  $ 1,252.28

 BWI  Baltimore-Washington International Airport  $ 3,989.70

 CAE  Columbia Airport  $ 410.01

 CHS  Charleston International Airport/AFB  $ 1,029.42

 CLE  Cleveland-Hopkins International  $ 1,947.98

 CLT  Charlotte Douglas International Airport  $ 4,438.88

 CMH  Port Columbus International Airport  $ 1,213.21

 COS  Colorado Springs Municipal  $ 823.72

 CPR  Natrona County International Airport  $ 1,272.20

 CRW  Yeager Airport  $ 131.73

 CVG  Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport  $ 1,319.94

 DAL  Dallas Love Field   $ 3,024.18

 DAY  James M. Cox Dayton Intl Airport  $ 460.84

 DCA  Reagan Washington National Airport  $ 2,502.83

 DEN  Denver International Airport  $ 3,066.22

 DFW  Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport  $ 14,048.71

 DSM  Des Moines International Airport  $ 718.67

 DTW  Detroit Metro Wayne County Airport  $ 5,208.04

ELP  El Paso International Airport  $ 654.32

EWR  Newark International Airport  $ 3,895.41

FAI  Fairbanks International Airport  $ 73.60

FAT  Fresno Yosemite International Airport  $ 410.79

FLL  Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport  $ 4,640.02

FSD  Sioux Falls Airport  $ 208.92

GEG  Spokane International Airport  $ 479.74

GJT  Walker Field Airport  $ 299.78

GRB  Austin Straubel International Airport  $ 181.73

GRR  Gerald Ford Airport  $ 236.62

GSN  Saipan  $ 30.02

GSO  Piedmont Triad International Airport  $ 444.45

GUM  Guam-Antonio B Won Pat International Airport  $ 34.37

HNL  Honolulu International Airport  $ 2,892.72

HOU  Houston-Hobby Airport  $ 993.47

IAD  Washington Dulles International Airport  $ 13,945.18

IAH  George Bush Intercontinental Airport    $ 8,493.53

ICT  Wichita Mid-Continent Airport  $ 85.41

IND  Indianapolis International Airport  $ 1,430.27

JAN  Jackson Evers International Airport  $ 2,726.08

JAX  Jacksonville International Airport  $ 3,042.55

JFK  John F. Kennedy International Airport  $ 46,918.06

JNU  Juneau International Airport  $ 483.79

KOA  Kona Hawaii Airport  $ 754.76

LAN  Capital City Airport  $ 296.41

LAS  McCarran International Airport  $ 14,027.19

 LAX  Los Angeles International Airport  $ 19,110.83

 LBB  Lubbock International Airport  $ 644.83

 LGA  LaGuardia Airport  $ 11,204.84

 LGB  Long Beach Airport  $ 1,024.06

 LIH  Lihue Airport  $ 784.41

 LIT  Little Rock National Airport  $ 1,113.18

 MCI  Kansas City International Airport  $ 3,315.50

 MCO  Orlando International Airport  $ 6,165.50

 MDT  Harrisburg International Airport  $ 266.77

 MDW  Chicago Midway Airport  $ 3,186.80

 MEM  Memphis International Airport  $ 630.34

 MIA  Miami International Airport  $ 15,844.83

 MKE  General Mitchell International Airport  $ 1,414.93

 MLI  Moline-Quad City International Airport  $ 724.67

 MOB  Mobile Regional Airport  $ 227.70

 MSN  Dane County/Madison   $ 249.45

 MSP  Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport  $ 3,876.71

 MSY  New Orleans International Airport  $ 1,876.75

 OAK  Metropolitan Oakland International Airport  $ 2,992.76

 OGG  Kahului Airport  $ 1,533.50

 OKC  Will Rogers World Airport  $ 594.22

 OMA  Omaha-Eppley Airfield   $ 1,166.25

 ONT  Ontario International Airport  $ 2,434.67

 ORD  O'Hare International Airport  $ 15,231.40

 ORF  Norfolk International Airport  $ 1,450.66

 PBI  Palm Beach International Airport  $ 1,771.50

 PDX  Portland International Airport  $ 2,358.94

 PHL  Philadelphia International Airport  $ 6,144.54

 PHX  Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport  $ 7,513.62

 PIT  Pittsburgh International Airport  $ 1,196.86

 PNS  Pensacola Airport  $ 2,110.86

 PPG  Pago Pago International Airport  $ 5.51

 PVD  T. F. Green State Airport  $ 727.85

 PWM  Portland International Jetport  $ 443.11

 RDU  Raleigh-Durham International Airport  $ 2,921.69

 RIC  Richmond International Airport  $ 6,703.21

 RNO  Reno/Tahoe International Airport    $ 1,308.42

 RSW  Southwest Florida International Airport  $ 2,126.86

 SAN  San Diego International Airport, Lindbergh  $ 5,128.79

 SAT  San Antonio International Airport  $ 4,157.96

 SAV  Savannah International Airport  $ 512.91

 SBA  Santa Barbara Municipal Airport  $ 97.29

 SDF  Louisville International Airport  $ 1,238.32

 SEA  Seattle-Tacoma International Airport  $ 4,951.42

 SFO  San Francisco International Airport  $ 15,908.02

 SJC  San Jose International Airport  $ 1,427.06

 SLC  Salt Lake City International Airport  $ 3,817.32

 SMF  Sacramento International Airport  $ 1,922.39

 SNA  John Wayne Airport  $ 2,976.58

 STL  Lambert St Louis International Airport  $ 3,647.12

 STT  Cyril E. King International Airport  $ 745.04

 SYR  Syracuse-Hancock International Airport  $ 321.69

 TLH  Tallahassee Regional Airport  $ 160.50

 TPA  Tampa International Airport  $ 2,906.29

 TUL  Tulsa International Airport  $ 1,094.00

 TUS  Tucson International Airport  $ 544.65

 TVC  Cherry Capital Airport  $ 112.92

 TYS  Knoxville-McGhee Tyson Airport  $ 430.09