Spare Change: 5 Great Ways the TSA Could Spend $531,000

by  Blane Bachelor | Dec 9, 2013
Airport security
Airport security / martince2/iStock

Last week, the New York Daily News reported that the TSA collected more than $531,000 in spare change left by travelers in airport security bins in 2012. We’re all for a proposed plan to donate the money to a nonprofit that serves deserving U.S. troops, but we also couldn’t help thinking that cool half-mil-plus could go a long way towards making security lines a much more pleasant experience for travelers. Here, our (somewhat tongue-in-cheek) wish list for how we’d like TSA put those coins to work:

Add treadmills. Treadmill desks are all the rage now – why not apply the same concept to airport waiting areas? After all, travelers are about to be forced into idleness in a shoebox-sized seats for hours. Many of us would surely appreciate the chance to burn off some calories beforehand.

Provide some decent entertainment. We’re not talking balloon-animal artists or jugglers, but a musician, or a tasteful comedian or dancer would be a nice touch in helping pass the time. Plus, the investment would be helping out a starving artist – a win-win for everyone.

Bring in some celebrity... talent. We’d bet travelers would pay more attention to the TSA’s rules and regulations, or a quick demo of how to quickly move through the line, if the signage and posters featured a beautiful celebrity or two. If Ryan Reynolds took of his belt and shoes and demonstrated the proper "scanner stance," I don't know anyone who would complain.

... Or at least make the signage and videos entertaining. Two words: Virgin America (or Atlantic). Richard Branson's airlines have done a superb job with their in-flight safety videos, featuring quirky cartoon characters that are informative and engaging, even for the most seasoned travelers. Take a hint from Virgin, TSA, and you just might never have to say "remove all laptops from their cases" again.

Add some greenery. The government-style, gun-metal gray of the security area is unmistakable – and depressing. Bringing in some plants to the area will not only brighten it up, travelers can finally have a good way to dispose of all that water they have to throw away.

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