More Money Left Behind at MIA Than Most Other Airports

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It’s part of the drill at an airport security checkpoint to empty your pockets of any loose change.

But an increasing amount of money doesn’t get picked up by passengers before they head to the gate.

The Transportation Security Administration, TSA, reports $960,105.49 was unclaimed at the nation’s airports in FY 2018.

The total of unclaimed money has grown 42 percent from five years earlier when $674,841 was reported in FY 2014.

MIA is third on the list collecting $50,504, only JFK and LAX reported more money collected with $72,392 and $71,748 respectively.

“The numbers are pretty impressive for Miami,” said Daniel Ronan, the TSA director for Miami International Airport.

He says most money left behind is a small amount. Sometimes, he says, it is left behind accidentally, but sometimes people don’t want the burden of carrying it any longer.

Miami’s volume of international flights may also contribute to the large amount.

“A lot of people are going international out of this airport—about half the people that fly, fly internationally. U.S. pocket change doesn’t do much good in a foreign county,” he said.

Other South Florida airports reported collecting less loose change. FLL reported $16,579 while Palm Beach’s airport collected $2,728.

Ronan said each day money is collected, counted and locked up.

He says in the past it’s been used for training and new equipment.

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