According to the Transportation Security Administration, $409,085.56 in coins, including foreign currency, was recovered at security points in 2010, after travelers forgot, or chose not, to pocket them.
In an increasing cashless society coins can be regarded as an annoyance, and passengers en route to foreign destination may feel no use for American change.
"Many people aren't carrying change these days. It just weighs down in their pockets and purses," said David Stempler, president of the Air Travelers Association.
New York's JFK International Airport collected the most in coins in 2010, $46,918.06, followed by the major airports of Los Angeles, Atlanta, San Francisco and Miami.
Unclaimed money is used to help finance TSA operations, but Rep. Jeff Miller of Florida has proposed donating it to the USO, to help operate their worldwide welcome centers for U.S. military personnel.