In fiscal year 2018, travelers left behind US$960,105 in currency at airport checkpoints across the USA, according to an annual report from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
While TSA makes every effort to reunite passengers with items left at the checkpoint, there are instances, according to the organization, 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. In 2005, Congress gave TSA the authority to use unclaimed funds to provide civil aviation security in accordance with PL (Public Law) 108-334.
Historically, funds have been used to pay for checkpoint maintenance, translation of checkpoint signage into different foreign languages, TSA Pre-check, and Adjudication Center system enhancements.
The amount of unclaimed cash has grown annually over the last five fiscal years, from US$638,142 in FY2013. In the last fiscal year, the worst ‘offending’ airports were New York’s John F Kennedy International Airport, where travelers left US$72,393, Los Angeles International Airport (US$71,749) and Miami International Airport (US50,504).