Thousands in spare change left at Va. airports

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – Double-check those bins next time you get through the TSA checkpoint. In 2014 travelers through Norfolk and Newport News/Williamsburg International Airports left a combined $563.01 at their checkpoints.

Richmond International Airport had $1,160.88 left behind, including its “spoke” airports in Lynchburg, Charlottesville and Roanoke.

In Northern Virginia it’s even higher. Travelers in Virginia departing Washington Dulles International Airport in Sterling, Virginia, left a whopping $22,037.55 behind, which ranked as the eighth highest amount in the country. Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington, Virginia, saw $9,591.57 left at checkpoints. The total of abandoned change in 2014 for all airports is nearly $675,000, according to an annual report.

The Transportation Security Administration (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. Unclaimed money, typically consisting of loose coins passengers remove from their pockets, is documented and turned into the TSA financial office.

Typically the money is left in the bottom of those bins used to place belongings as they pass through the checkpoint x-ray machine. Airport bins often have advertising in the bottom and sometimes passengers don’t spot their change against the backdrop of the ads.

In 2005, Congress gave TSA the authority to use the unclaimed money for security operations.

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