Rushed, distracted travelers unwittingly gave the Transportation Security Administration a cash tip of more than $926,000 last year.
TSA gets to keep the cash and currency travelers forget to pick up when they empty their pockets into the bins at the airport security checkpoints.
And that cash adds up.
During Fiscal Year 2019, which ended in September 30, 2019, TSA collected $926,030.44 in unclaimed money. That included $18,899.09 in foreign currency.
The amount of unclaimed money TSA collects has been increasing each year. But for the first time, the total collected actually decreased year over year. In FY 2018, travelers left behind $960,105.49.
For 2019, here the Top 5 airports where travelers left behind the most cash:
- John F. Kennedy International Airport – $98,110
- San Francisco International Airport – $52,668.70
- Miami International Airport – $47,694.03
- McCarran International Airport – $44,401.76
- Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport – $40,218.19
And here are the totals from previous years:
FY 2013 – $638,142.64
FY 2014 – $674,841.06
FY 2015 – $765,759.15
FY 2016 – $867,812.39
FY 2017 – $866,839.56
FY 2018 – $960,105.49
Hold onto your cash
Don’t want to unwittingly leave a tip for TSA at the checkpoint?
Take a moment to organize your stuff before you get to the airport and again before you get on the TSA checkpoint line.
Instead of emptying your pockets into the bin, put loose change, bills and anything in your pocket into a small bag or pouch that you put inside your carry-on bag or purse.