Ever leave a few coins behind in the bins at airport security?  If so, you’re apparently not the only one.  Last year alone, the TSA collected $531,395.22 in change left behind at checkpoints.  Yes, a half mil!  According to reports, the agency collected about $499,000 in U.S. currency, and another $32,000 in foreign currency, at their checkpoints.  Federal law requires the TSA to report the amount of unclaimed money they keep every year to Congress – but what’s happening to it? One possibility is it would go toward airport amenities for service members.  A bill passed in the House on Dec. 3 (and now headed to the Senate) would require the TSA to give the loose change to such non-profits as the United Service Organization that operate centers in airports.

Here’s some more travel news you can use:

for some lucky travelers on American Airlines, Christmas will be coming early this year on Friday, Dec. 6 — at baggage claim no less.
That is when arriving AA passengers waiting for their checked bags at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport will find special gift boxes appearing on the conveyor belts along with their belongings. Inside each box will be a gift certificate for 250 AAdvantage miles and a special Coca-Cola polar bear or blanket.
  • For some lucky travelers on American Airlines, Christmas will be coming early this year on Friday, Dec. 6 — at baggage claim no less. That is when arriving AA passengers waiting for their checked bags at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport will find special gift boxes appearing on the conveyor belts along with their belongings.  Inside each box will be a gift certificate for 250 AAdvantage miles and a special Coca-Cola polar bear or blanket.  This type of baggage carousel promotion seems to be catching on as AA and Zappos recently teamed up for a similar Thanksgiving campaign in Houston.
  • By now you probably know that your luggage gets treated like a rented mule once you hand it over to the airline.  That said, there’s 5 things everyone should do before checking their luggage.  If you’re curious, check out this article from Jaunted.
  • If you’re a frequent Yapta user, you know that when the price of your flight drops, you can be eligible to claim a credit from the airline – but only if you booked your ticket directly with the carrier.  Well, there are also a few advantages to booking your hotel directly with the supplier – instead of with an OTA.  Here’s 4 benefits to booking your stay direct.