Do NOT take large amounts of CASH through TSA security checkpoints


Was recently reading about a couple traveling to the Philippines for a 2 month vacation. The wife wanted bring a lot of cash from the United States and convert to pesos there because of the favorable currency exchange rates and to avoid the dreaded foreign transaction fees on all credit cards and debit cards. I believe there are some credit cards that will, as a promotion, remove all foreign transaction fees.

The husband convinced her to only carry as much cash as necessary to comfortably cover expenses before deplaning. His strategy was to withdraw from ATM machines when needed even if foreign transaction fees were incurred OR bad exchange rates had to be endured.

The husband’s cause for concern is that some TSA officers will steal cash/jewelery during the screening process/security checkpoints from your carry-ons as you will read in the following list that includes snatch and Grabs!

  • 400 TSA officers have been fired for stealing in recent times and these are just the ones who have been caught!
  • my wife’s jewelry (always carried encased in a small zipped bag and placed in a larger carry-on bag) was stolen while going through the screening process. She wondered why some of the bags were held up on the conveyor and then came out in a large pile, but didn’t think enough of it to check. Upon arriving home she found the smaller bag had been removed from the carryon bag (a ziipped bag) and her jewelry, cash and a couple of camera SD cars were gone. Quite brazen to do it during the security screening, but remember they have an xray that can tell them right where the valuables are and are likely very good at doing a quick snatch and grab if they have that kind of criminal inclination.
  • TSA officer Alexandra Schmid took 5000 in cash from a Bangladeshi passenger’s jacket as it went along an X-ray conveyor belt Wednesday night in Terminal 4, JFK International NYC
  • A Transportation Security Administration agent has been arrested for allegedly stealing nearly $500 dollars from a wheelchair bound passenger as she passed through a security checkpoint at Newark Airport. Leroy Ray stole money from the disabled woman during the X-ray portion of security check.
  • United Airlines employee was arrested for stealing $576 from a passenger’s wallet in a tray at a security checkpoint at New Jersey’s Newark Liberty International Airport.Joseph A. Bruno, 52, was caught on camera taking the cash at the checkpoint in Terminal C, according to He was wearing a United uniform.The passenger had put his wallet in the tray, and notified authorities that the cash previously inside was gone when he retrieved it.
  • This is from a passenger describing his TSA experience in Bozeman, Montana: I am surely not alone (you are surely NOT)concerned about surrendering my wallet and cash to the tray through the x-ray machine. I certainly don’t like being separated from my identification in a place that demands this item multiple times during screening. Care for my credit cards and cash is also an issue.
  • I can not confirm source, but seem to recall story about a White guy and his Hispanic compadre flying to World Series of poker together with a ton of cash. The Hispanic guy got held up but White guy made it through screening without being hassled.

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