Entries in Transportation Security Administration (2)


Checkpoint Change: What Passengers Are Leaving Behind

Digital Vision/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- There was considerable change at the Transportation Security Administration last year.

To be exact, there was $409,085.56 in loose change left behind at security checkpoints by fliers. The figure was first reported by USA Today.

To put that in perspective, that’s enough quarters, dimes and pennies to purchase two full-body scanners, with some change leftover.

And in fact, the TSA tells ABC News that in 2005 Congress gave the agency permission to use unclaimed cash for security operations.

“TSA makes every effort to reunite passengers with items left at the checkpoint, however there are instances where loose change or other items are left behind and unclaimed,” the agency said in a statement.

“Unclaimed money, typically consisting of loose coins passengers remove from their pockets, is documented and turned into the TSA financial office,” it said.

New York’s JFK International Airport saw the biggest chunk of change left behind: $46,918.06, enough to buy a nice luxury car and drive to your destination.

The smallest haul came from American Samoa’s Pago Pago International Airport, where $5.51 was left behind, enough to pay for about 20 percent of your checked bag fee.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Show Me the Money! Cash In on Items Forgotten, Confiscated at Airports

Medioimages/Photodisc(WASHINGTON) -- It's a scene played out at airports across the country each day, the piece of luggage circling around and around the carousel, forgotten or left behind by a harried traveler.

And, with airport security at an all-time high, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officials gather mounds and mounds of confiscated items each year, from lotions and perfumes to knives, bats and more.

So what happens to the contents of that suitcase left behind? Just who profits from the more than seven million items left behind at airports across the country each year?

The answer, it turns out, could be you!

ABC’s Good Morning America discovered the millions of dollars worth of merchandise left behind at airports each year is available to the public, at a huge discount.

Items left behind at airports are delivered to local surplus stores, where everyday Americans can buy them for a huge discount, often as much as 70 percent. Some states also post the deals online, meaning you don't even have to leave your home to rake in the savings.

A GMA tour of a surplus store in Texas, for example, found designer sunglasses that regularly sell for $300 on sale for $50. And a set a Tiffany's earrings that would retail for around $4,500 were on sale for around $750.

The deal-making is a win-win situation for states too: the money made in Pennsylvania surplus stores and online goes right back to the state.

"Since 2004, when we began participating in the program, we have brought over $700,000 back into the state," Troy Thompson of the Pennsylvania Department of General Services, told ABC News.

How can you cash in? Visit these sites to see where you can buy TSA-confiscated items in your state:

Budget Travel

Eyeflare Travel Info

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio