Registered Traveler Program Clear Goes Belly Up

A notice on its web site said it was "unable to negotiate an agreement with its senior creditor to continue operations. "

Clear seems to be a victim of the Transportation Security Administration's success at shortening the long lines at airports. Security lines have been reduced significantly in the four years since Clear was launched by Steven Brill, founder of Court TV.

Clear was operated by Verified Identity Pass, and participated in Registered Traveler, a public and private partnership between the TSA and the Registered Traveler Interoperability Consortium (RTIC).

With more than 165,000 fliers, Clear was reportedly the largest Registered Traveler program, with a presence at Albany, Cincinnati, Denver, Dulles Washington D.C., Indianapolis, Little Rock, New York LaGuardia, New York JFK, Newark, Oakland, Orlando, Reagan Washington D.C., Salt Lake City, San Jose, San Francisco and Westchester Airports.

Sponsored post

Clear was rocked last summer when news broke that a laptop containing information on program participants was stolen from a "secured" room at San Francisco Airport. The laptop was later recovered in that same area.

Registered Traveler programs identify passengers who pose a minimal security risk, and then provide them with a more efficient, streamlined, security checkpoint experience. After successfully completing a background check, travelers are issued a smartcard credential to use at security checkpoints of participating airports.

Registered Travelers have access to a reserved security lane and voluntarily pay a fee. Clear charged $199 for its service, which it marketed as helping customers "fly through airport security."

Smaller competitors, such as Vigilant Solutions' Preferred Traveler Program, continue to operate. Vigilant's program is also designed to speed travelers through airports, but is limited to enrollment in a few "home" cities, although it is valid at airports nationwide. Unlike Clear, it offers a menu of passenger convenience services and additional benefits such as percentages off food and beverage, spa experiences and discounted golf.

No information is available about the status of Clear's subscribers.