You may be thinking “good riddance” when you remove a handful of nickels and pennies from your pockets at airport security in the States, but your loss is the US government’s gain.
Earlier this week, the Transportation Security Administration released its 2014 fiscal year report, which disclosed a surprising revenue stream. The agency collected $US674,841.06 in loose change at airport security checkpoints across the US last year and it gets to keep every penny.
“TSA makes every effort to reunite passengers with items left at the checkpoint, however there are instances where loose change or other items are left behind and unclaimed,” TSA press secretary Ross Feinstein said in a statement Tuesday. Forgotten pocket change may be the least of your concerns if you’re rushing to catch a flight, but every penny counts and the TSA’s collective haul has been increasing steadily over the years. In 2010, the agency raked in a mere 400 thousand US dollars.
Image: Jody Sieradski / Dadaviz
As for which airport security systems are being tipped the most, this chart breaks it down nicely. Highly trafficked airports like JFK ($US42,550) and LAX ($US41,506) are, unsurprisingly, at the top of the pack. But Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta, despite being the most heavily trafficked airport in the world, somehow ended up pretty far down on this list, so I guess it’s not all about the numbers.
According to US federal law, the TSA can spend the loose change on anything it deems important for civil aviation security. But whether that means more money funnelled into facial recognition programs or more lattes for TSA employees is anyone’s guess at this point. [Huffington Post]
Top image via Shutterstock