What do a guitar, an ID, a cigar case and bracelets have in common?
Take a guess.
You know you can figure this one out.
All are items that were left at security in the Cleveland airport this past Sunday.
As Chris and I were traveling home from our wonderful two weeks in Ohio ( a combination business and vacation trip) we spent some time sitting in a small restaurant near our departure gate as we waited for our flight to Atlanta. What we heard were continual announcements about items being left at security.
Now I can understand leaving your ID and maybe your bracelets if you put them in one of those little round bins when you went through the scanning machine.
But a guitar? Seriously? That seems like something you would remember having.
A cigar case would be another thing that I would imagine would be an item that would be remembered.
But apparently not.
Tons of items are left at security checkpoints every year. Those tons add up.
At the Sacramento International Airport items are kept 30 days and then are donated to charity. TSA keeps items valued at more than $500 for 2 years but after that they are also donated to charity. Laptops, phones, clothing, jewelry —it all gets left behind and according to this article only 15-20% of items ever find their way back to their owners.
And what about all of the change that you are required to remove from your pockets before going through the body scanner? According to this recent article on the CNBC website folks left behind nearly $1 million in coins. That’s right. During fiscal year 2016, the Transportation Security Administration reported that passengers left behind more than $867, 812.39 in coins and currency in those cute little plastic bowls found at security checkpoints.
What happens to that money? According the article cited above TSA had really not determined how to spend the money collected in 2016. Hmmm. I could give them a few ideas.
Some airports have donation bins where money can be placed for designated charities. I love this idea and it sure beats having TSA make the decision where that change winds up, don’t you think?
Best advice this traveler can give her readers is to have all that stuff tucked away in pockets in a backpack or carry on luggage well before going through security. It certainly makes it easier to only have to have your ticket and ID ready to be checked if you have your pockets emptied and you are ready to go. If you recall I wrote a post full of traveling tips. You can read that by clicking here.
Oh and by the way. If you see some rocker walking around looking lost and confused I am betting he is looking for that guitar he left at the security checkpoint in Cleveland. Just point him in the right direction. I am sure he will dedicate a song to you someday.