TSA Enjoys $1 Million Payday At The Expense Of Distracted Pax

Anna Kroupina, Open Jaw

Ka-ching! The US TSA collected close to $1 million last year as rushed and absent-minded travellers left bundles of cash and coins at checkpoints. 

Between removing shoes, unbuckling belts and chugging that water bottle you forgot about, there's a lot to think about when going through security checkpoints, and that means belongings inevitably get left behind. From passports to purses, TSA agents often find items have been forgotten in the rush, and, hard to believe, but sometimes that includes hard cash.

In 2019, a total of $926,030.44 was left across major US airports (this is actually a drop 2018's total of $960,105.49). 

New York's JFK saw the largest amount of money go unclaimed --  $98,110. 

Other airports that ranked in the top 5 include:

SFO – $52,668.70
MIA – $47,694.03
LAS – $44,401.76
DFW – $40,218.19

The majority of money left behind was in USD, although some $19,000 worth of the total was in foreign currency.

The TSA says it makes an effort to reunite passengers with their cash, but any loot that goes unclaimed is used for training staff and improving aviation security programs. 

Maybe they can put some of that money towards security programs where passengers no longer having to remove shoes or undress…

Anna Kroupina

Anna Kroupina Journalist

Anna is OJ's newest member and she joins the team as a writer/reporter. She co-writes the daily news and covers events. Although she's new to the industry, pursuing a career path in travel/tourism has been a goal since her first family road trip to the Florida Keys sparked a desire to discover the world and this exhilarating, fast-paced industry.

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