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Travelers left $76K in change behind at NYC area airport checkpoints last year: TSA

New York City travelers better watch what they are leaving behind the next time they go through the area’s airports.

In the fiscal year 2014, passengers departing John F. Kennedy International Airport left behind $42,550 in loose change at security checkpoints, the highest amount in the nation, according to the TSA.

Coming in second was Los Angeles International Airport with $41,506.64 in change, followed by San Francisco International Airport with $34,889.63.

Though New York’s other area airports didn’t make the top 10 list,  passengers who departed LaGuardia and Newark Liberty International airports still left behind an impressive hunk of change at their checkpoints — $16,786.05 and $16,669.72, respectively.

In total for the fiscal year 2014, travelers left nearly $675,000 in change behind at airport checkpoints across the country, according to an annual report that tracks the money travelers leave behind. The number is up from last year, and has been increasing since at least 2010, when $409,085.56 in change was forgotten at airport checkpoints.

airport chart
Chart courtesy of TSA

The TSA says it makes a full effort to reunite passengers with items that they leave at checkpoints, but some of these items, including loose coins that are removed from their pockets and typically left in bins during the security screening process, will go unclaimed.

The unclaimed items are documented and turned into the TSA financial office. In 2005, Congress gave TSA the ability to expend unclaimed money for security operations.

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