By Jolie Lee
USA TODAY Network
In the hustle and bustle of getting through airport security, travelers have left behind $531,395 in loose pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters last year alone.
The Transportation Security Administration is authorized to use that cash for "civil aviation security." But the agency has spent only about $6,500 of it in fiscal year 2012, according to a House report.
The amount of change left behind at airports has increased over the years. In 2011, the TSA collected $488,000 in coins and in 2010 it pulled in $409,000.
So what's happening to the cash? One possibility is it would go toward airport amenities for servicemembers. A bill passed in the House on Dec. 3 would require the TSA to give the loose change to such non-profits as the United Service Organization that operate centers in airports, according to the Gannett Washington Bureau.
The USO, for example, has lounges in nearly 40 major airports that provide food and a place to rest for military personnel. The bill is headed to the Senate.