- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 23, 2020

In a rush at the airport security checkpoint? Don’t forget your change. Airline passengers left $926,030 in loose coins at airport screening checkpoints in fiscal year 2019, according to a new report from the Transportation and Security Administration. That money included almost $19,000 in foreign currency.

“In most cases, this money consists of coins that passengers remove from their pockets while undergoing security screening,” the federal agency said in the official “Loose Change Report,” which is 11 pages long.

No word on how much all these coins weigh. Meanwhile, some airports got more small change than others.

John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York had $98,110 in coins left at security checkpoints. San Francisco International and Miami International Airports jingled with $52,558 and $47,694, respectively. Dallas Love Field in Texas, however, took in $184.

What will the agency — TSA — do with this money? It’s complicated.

“On September 30, 2019, TSA had a total of $3,618,696 in resources remaining from unclaimed money collected in FY 2019 and prior years. Of this, TSA has obligated $2,100,000 for training and development, of which $996,475.51 was expended during the year, and spent $32,150 from prior-year obligations on printing and distributing bookmarks at checkpoints nationwide to publicize the TSA Pre-Check program. At the end of FY 2019, TSA had $1,518,696 in unobligated resources available for use,” the report said.

The agency said it will “continue to inform Congress” on the use of the unclaimed coins in order to improve civil aviation security.

“TSA tries to ensure that all traveler property, including loose change, finds its way back to the proper owner. However, when loose change does not, it will be directed to critical aviation security programs,” the agency advised.

• Jennifer Harper can be reached at jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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