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Unclaimed change at South Florida airports fetches big bucks for TSA

Miami International Airport ranks fourth, earning TSA $32,590.43

PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – Leftover change at South Florida airports adds up to big bucks for the Transportation Security Administration.

TSA statistics reveal that the agency earned $32,590.43 in unclaimed pocket change from Miami International Airport between October 2013 and September 2014.

While it may seem like a lot, that's actually less than what the TSA made during the previous two fiscal years. The TSA accounted for more than $39,000 in unclaimed change during fiscal year 2013 and 2012.

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"TSA makes every effort to reunite passengers with items left at the checkpoint," TSA spokesman Ross Feinstein said in an email to Local10.com. "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."

Feinstein said Congress gave TSA the authority to spend unclaimed money for security operations in 2005.

MIA fetched the fourth-most amount of money for the TSA during the most recent fiscal year.

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport also ranked among the top 25 airports for unclaimed change in fiscal year 2014. The TSA earned $12,341.20 at FLL, which ranks 14th. That's an increase from the previous fiscal year when the TSA collected more than $8,000 in unclaimed change at FLL.

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John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York was No. 1 for unclaimed change, earning the TSA $42,550. Los Angeles International Airport was second with $41,506.64, and San Francisco International Airport was third with $34,889.63.

Orlando International Airport was 10th, fetching the TSA $20,757.81.

Although not among the top 25, Palm Beach International Airport also earned the TSA $3,932.44. PBIA has seen a steady increase in unclaimed money, from $1,916.82 in fiscal year 2012 to $2,293.13 in fiscal year 2013.

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