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Local Passengers Left More Than $17K At TSA Checkpoints

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loose change 117113359 Local Passengers Left More Than $17K At TSA Checkpoints

(credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – How many of you have forgotten to get your spare change out of the dish after going through airport security? Apparently, a lot!

In 2010 alone, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at Dallas/Fort Worth International airport collected more than $14,000 from passengers.

Airport officials say the amount isn’t about trickery, but is a byproduct of customer volume.

“DFW screens 45,000 to 50,000 passengers a day. If you do the math a portion of those, a third of those, leaving money behind… you can have a nickel apiece and it builds up,” explained TSA spokesman Luis Casanova.

Passengers at Dallas Love Field Airport left behind more than $3,000.

TSA officials say the first goal is to try and return the money to the proper individual, but if that fails, “Unclaimed money is documented and turned into the TSA financial office,” Casanova said. “And in 2005 congress gave TSA the authority to spend unclaimed money for security operations.”

Not everyone wants the TSA pocketing the cash. Florida congressman Jeff Miller has introduced a bill that would donate the money to the U.S.O. instead.

While the $14K at DFW may seem like a lot the amount ranks 7th highest in the country. The number one spot goes to New York’s JFK Airport with passengers there leaving behind nearly $47,000 in loose change.

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