$465,000 in spare change left at TSA checkpoints


A very busy blur of travelers at the security gate at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport on Friday, Dec. 21, 2012.

ATLANTA - The Transportation Security Administration is pocketing spare change -- lots of spare change -- and now Congress is working to change where that money goes.

Millions of travelers clean out their pockets before rushing through security checkpoints and many leave their coins behind. It’s accounted for $465,000 in unclaimed money in the past two years.

Currently the TSA keeps and spends the money left behind.

A bill in the House co-sponsored by Georgia Rep. Lynn Westmoreland would require the TSA to transfer collected money to nonprofit organizations such as the USO.

One Air Force sergeant said improving the USO lounges at airports across the country would be a move welcomed by all service members.

“Being able to have an actual spot where we can actually take a break, relax, get our head straight sometimes is very refreshing,” he told Channel 2 Action News.

The USO is a private nonprofit and is not a government agency. It operates 45 lounges that allow military families to relax, watch TV, check email and make a free call home.

A vote on the bill is expected on Tuesday.

Channel 2 Action News

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