In fiscal year 2010, travelers left $376,480.39 in loose change in the bottoms of plastic bins at the checkpoints, according to the Transportation Security Administration. In 2009, the coins totaled more than $399,000.
“Passengers say their six pennies don’t matter,” said TSA spokesperson Nico Melendez. “But it adds up.”
According to an msnbc report, the unclaimed money is turned over to the TSA finance office. After being documented and counted, the money ends up in the coffers of the TSA, which is authorized by law to spend that money as it sees fit.
Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.) has introduced legislation that would direct the TSA to transfer unclaimed money recovered at airport security checkpoints to the United Service Organizations (USO), a private nonprofit that operates centers for the military at 41 U.S. airports, the report says.
According to the report, the bill is currently being considered by two committees – Homeland Security and Transportation.