Nearly $675K left in loose change at airport security checkpoints in 2014

$8,477.50 was found in loose change at BWI airport

It came out of our pockets, got collected from bins, and eventually amounted to a small fortune we collectively left behind.

Last year, the loose change forgotten at airport security checkpoints nationwide totaled nearly $675,000, according to the Transportation Security Administration.

There was $8,477.50 collected at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport checkpoints, $9,591.57 collected at Reagan National Airport and $22,037.55 collected at Washington Dulles International Airport, the TSA said.

"Typically the money is left in the bottom of bins that are used to place belongings as they pass through the checkpoint X-ray machine," the TSA said. "Airport bins often have advertising in the bottom and sometimes passengers don't spot their change against the backdrop of the ads."

The loose change collected at Dulles was the eighth most among airports nationwide. The most money collected at a single airport — $42,550 — was collected at John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Congress gave the TSA the authority in 2005 to use unclaimed loose change to fund security operations.

The total has been going up for years.

The nearly $675,000 collected in 2014 compares to less than $409,000 collected in 2010, the TSA said.

The agency suggested putting your loose change in your carry-on bag before placing it on a security conveyor, rather than placing it in the bottom of a bin.

krector@baltsun.com

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