Airport Makes Use of Forgotten Valuables. - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Airport Makes Use of Forgotten Valuables.

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When people reclaim all their belongings after going through security at the airport, a lot of them miss out on the coins at the bottom of the bin.  But the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) makes use of it.

With an estimated 1.8 million people traveling through U.S. airports each day, the money and valuables forgotten at security checkpoints are worth much more than you may expect.

"If we can't get them reunited with their change, often times passengers have left the check point, there maybe a small amount of change, and they're not coming back to get it, to claim it, we go ahead and collect that, and document it. It than gets turned into the financial office. By law we're required to use that money for TSA Security operations," says TSA spokesperson Lorie Dankers.

In 2005 Congress passed a law that Okayed the TSA to keep the leftover change and use it for security purposes, like checked baggage explosive systems."

And with more than 450 national airports, those forgotten coins added up to half a million dollars in 2012, but all travelers don't agree with where it is going.

"But I think it probably could be better used, whoever's lost the money, keep it locally for red cross or united way or something in the local area," says traveler Lynn Zander.

"I'd like to see it given back to the people who pay the fares that will be a fair trade, it might only reduce my fare by 50 cents but at least I know it's doing something," says traveler John Rothstein.
 
Dankers says she thinks the rush at checkpoints causes a lot of forgetfulness.

"When people come through the checkpoint they feel like they're in a rush and often times they don't secure their valuables," says Dankers.

Zander says she stays organized when traveling to make sure nothing is left behind.

"We make a list once, and once we get through we check it, do we have our iPads, Ipods, phones, so we make sure before we leave the airport," says Zander.

Dankers also suggests keeping all money and loose change in a zippered pocket to make sure it doesn't fall out.

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