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Verified Identity Pass Shuts Down "Clear" Operations 171

Posted by timothy
from the will-you-also-clear-the-database dept.
torrentami writes that Verified Identity Pass, operator of the "Clear" program, which allowed pre-screened passengers faster access to US airport gates, "sent out emails to its subscribers today informing them that as of 11 p.m. PST they will cease operations. Clear was a pioneer in speeding customers through security at airports and had planned on expanding to large events. The service, where it was available, offered a first class security experience for travelers willing to fork over $200 a year and their biometrics. Customers are now left holding their Flyclear cards with encrypted biometrics. The question now becomes, what happens to all that information? This is not the first time Clear has been in the news. A laptop containing customer records was reportedly missing from the San Francisco International airport recently but then turned up shortly thereafter. Another casualty of the recession's downturn in business travel."
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Verified Identity Pass Shuts Down "Clear" Operations

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  • by cbiltcliffe (186293) on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @08:58AM (#28437583) Homepage Journal

    The question now becomes, what happens to all that information?

    Simple. It gets sold on eBay along with their servers.....

    • Dang it, I was going to say that...

      • What? Moo? [radiantempire.com]

      • Re:What happens? (Score:5, Informative)

        by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@NOsPAM.gmail.com> on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @01:08PM (#28441137) Journal

        Or, if it was like the desktops of a certain teleco that were tossed a couple of years back it all ends up on the curb where you can have it for free!

        True story, a buddy of mine was working a few blocks from their office and gives me a "you ain't gonna believe this shit. bring your pickup truck" call, so I go there and there are all these 1.5-30Ghz boxes dumped out on the curb on a Sunday. So I help him load them up and we get them to his place(I of course get to pick out a few for bringing the truck) and hook them up to see if there is an OS on any of them. Not only are they all loaded with XP Pro, complete with the stickers on the side, but they hadn't bothered to wipe a damned thing. Nothing at all. SSN records,CC records, accounts, they just left it all right there on the machines they tossed. They were just lucky they were picked up by a couple of guys interested in the parts and not the data or we could have had an ID theft field day with all that info.

        There really should be a hotline or something similar to call to get companies in trouble when they do totally dumbass maneuvers like that. I'd say this was much worse than the morons that left the unencrypted tapes in their Honda, as how many folks have a tape drive? With these all you had to do was plug them in and start copying. It just amazes me how completely careless these companies are with the data they collect.

    • by wjousts (1529427)
      Sad but (probably) true.
  • by BenEnglishAtHome (449670) on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @08:59AM (#28437599)

    This is too bad for a few folks. One of the training companies used extensively by my employer is headquartered in Florida. All of their staff signed up for Clear and said it was either unavailable or pretty much worthless everywhere EXCEPT Orlando. There, seasoned travelers frequently found themselves in line behind hundreds of Disney-vacationing families with little kids, families unused to flying and doing everything wrong while still trying to herd the ankle-biters. It was supposedly a nightmare. For that airport and that airport alone, those guys thought Clear was a godsend.

    Everywhere else? Their attitude was...meh.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by mdmkolbe (944892)

      Doesn't Orlando have self-select back diamond [tsa.gov] lanes? Wouldn't that solve the problem of skipping past the many families that your company was solving using Clear?

      • by Ioldanach (88584) on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @09:29AM (#28437929)

        Could the TSA's own advances in screening have killed off the company's business model?

        Clearly, the gubmint should step in and stop the TSA from getting efficient, frail business models need to be protected, right?

      • Unfortunately, many people probably follow the Winston Zeddemore philosophy of self-selection:

        When someone asks you if you are a god, you say yes.

        If you ask someone whether they're an expert or not, many of them will say yes. More importantly, most people will just follow the person in front of them blindly, or go to the shortest line.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Matheus (586080)

          I find in my travels that a lot of business travelers consider themselves experts just because they fly a lot. These are the same people who need 6 bins because they have to practically strip naked to get through the metal detector and haven't checked a bag since 1987. If it takes you any more than 30 seconds to a minute to "prep" for the check once you are in everyone's way you are doing it wrong.

          One of the best features of being Elite... you only have to wait for a short line of idiots, not the really l

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Kazymyr (190114)

        Doesn't Orlando have self-select back diamond lanes?

        Yes. And when I flew there last week, in front of the lanes entrance there was a TSA employee directing everyone equally into allo 3 lanes, regardless of the black diamond designation. Many families with cartfulls of luggage and 3-4 kids were sent to the "expert traveler" lane.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by NormalVisual (565491)
      Meh, you think it's bad at the airport? Just remember, a lot of those clueless families have been subjecting the locals to their driving habits, and the locals suck on the highways to begin with. Couple that with a local traffic management department that appears to be staffed by either chimpanzees or very small children, and that leads me to a sneaking suspicion that there aren't really that many accidents in the Orlando area - lots of people drive into concrete embankments on I-4 because they *want* to.
      • Couple that with a local traffic management department that appears to be staffed by either chimpanzees or very small children

        It's staffed by small children. The chimpanzees are running the DMV.

    • by ptbarnett (159784)

      All of their staff signed up for Clear and said it was either unavailable or pretty much worthless everywhere EXCEPT Orlando. There, seasoned travelers frequently found themselves in line behind hundreds of Disney-vacationing families [...]

      This is the reason I signed up for Clear: I had to stand in line for hours at Orlando.

      I used it a few other places, but was never able to bypass huge lines like those at Orlando.

      • by Gilmoure (18428)

        Fly through Tampa. Even on Memorial Day weekend, was less than 10 minute wait through security. And checking a rifle and revolver; 5 minutes. No forms to fill out, just a TSA guy who carries it over to an x-ray system and it's off to checked luggage.

        • by i.r.id10t (595143)

          Its the firearms that let you do that... see my other posts in this thread about it...

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by matrim99 (123693)

          I'm glad they x-rayed your guns; who knows how many weapons you could have hidden in them!

        • by Carnivore (103106)

          Yes! Tampa is so much better than Orlando. Hopefully, I'll never have to go back to Florida ever again, but while we were there, it was the go-to airport. Cheaper than JAX, not busy at all, no stupid vacationing families.

    • by metlin (258108) on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @11:10AM (#28439233) Journal

      As a seasoned traveler, I could have told you that Clear wasn't going anywhere. Forget Orlando - New York on Monday mornings or O'Hare in winter make Orlando look like a walk in the park.

      The problem with Clear is that they are not available at more than a couple of gates and terminals at any airport. So, you would end up going to that particular gate or terminal to get through Clear, as opposed to the one you are flying out of. Worse yet is that in some airports, they only have it available to passengers flying a certain airline (e.g. in Cincinnati, you can only go through Clear if you are flying Delta -- most American, US Air and United customers would have to go through good old TSA since the Delta terminal is not connected with any other terminal). Hell, they are not even available at all airports, which sort of defeats the complete purpose for a frequent flier.

      Secondly, as a frequent flier, I simply go to the priority access lanes. If you've any kind of airline status, or if you're flying business/first, you get to go through a much shorter line, and do not have to stand behind muggles and grandma with her 500oz hair shampoo. These lines are shorter, and move much faster because seasoned and frequent fliers pack as little as they have to. For example, I can pretty much pack all that I need for a week in a laptop bag, including workout clothes and gym gear, books, emergency snacks etc. Throw in a garment bag and you've plenty of space for a vacation for a month. So, frequent flier lanes are also much faster because these people don't spend their time arguing with TSA to let them take their hair gel or water bottle through.

      I must also say that I've seen a remarkable difference in TSA attitudes in the past couple of years. That helps, too.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Chris Burke (6130)

        The problem with Clear is that they are not available at more than a couple of gates and terminals at any airport.

        Huh. I'd never heard of them before, and on reading the summary my thought was that the biggest problem with Clear is that they are apparently pioneers in an industry that by all reason and logic should not exist.

  • by T-Bucket (823202) on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @09:03AM (#28437637) Homepage

    I was always amazed that they could put together a program like that for anyone who wanted to pay $200 but couldn't come up with a way to clear flight crews through without doing the whole "scan all your crap in front of the uneducated TSA goons who will then ask you 20 stupid questions about your approach chart holder" thing... (No kidding, one of them once asked me why I was carrying a "giant razor blade".)

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by sprag (38460)

      well, why were you carrying a giant razor blade?

    • by i.r.id10t (595143)

      Yeah, you'd think a concealed carry permit would work just as well... fed and state background checks, finger prints, photos, etc.

      • Not all states conduct a NICS check prior to issuing an LTCH. Not all require photographs.

        But now that you mention it, I think I should be able to skip past security by showing a signed off Form 4. I imagine myself walking up to the checkpoint on my way to a shoot, I hold up a supressor and paperwork, they wave me on through.

        • by i.r.id10t (595143)

          Well, traveling with a firearm just about lets you do that... I have a buddy who does a lot of work travel. He says his best investment has been the action of a old single shot shotgun.

          Puts it in a locking case (about the size of a shaving kit bag), which goes in his luggage, which then gets locked with a *real* lock. Checks in, declares the firearm (since the action is the gun per ATFE), re-locks his luggage, and gets a quick escort thru TSA screening.

          The great part is the one time his baggage was "lost"

          • A single-shot shotgun? Or a single-shot pistol? Based on the shaving kit bag, I'd think it was the latter.

            I've heard of professional photographers doing something similar when traveling. They can't take their entire lens and camera collection on the plane with them, so they buy a starter pistol and include it (locked up, of course) with their gear. They don't do it to speed through, but just to be able to trace it, since airport security tracks bags and containers with firearms much more closely.

            • by Gilmoure (18428)

              Sounds like he's traveling with just the receiver of a shotgun, sans barrel and stock. Yeah, would fit in a shaving kit.

              • OK, got it. That makes sense. I got locked into trying to figure out how to fit a shotgun into most luggage, and missed the part specifying the action.

    • by TommydCat (791543) on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @12:37PM (#28440603) Homepage
      I've always wondered about the sanity of fully screening flight crews after an episode I witnessed a few months after 9/11...

      A few flight attendants cut in line in front of me just before the x-ray machines at the terminal security (which they are entitled to do, no complaints if they're cute) and the last one through set off the metal detector and had to be wanded. She asked the TSA guy "uhhh, what exactly are you looking for, anyway?"
      He replied, "anything you may have on your person that you could use to attempt to gain access to the cockpit." That seemed like a logical and fairly intelligent response from someone moments away from digging through my skivvies on my carry-on to find the suspicious USB cable.
      That is, until she pulled the key that was on a laniard around her neck into the open, and remarked, "Oh, you mean something like THIS?"

      *facepalm*
      • by spuke4000 (587845) on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @02:38PM (#28442725)
        A friend of mine is a commercial pilot. Immediately after 9/11 he had his nail clippers confiscated when going through security. He mentioned to security that not only is there a fire ax in the cockpit, but he's the pilot and can just steer the plane into the ground if he wants to crash it. They didn't seem to get understand.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          They didn't seem to get understand.

          Of course not. The people running the gates aren't paid to think, they're paid to follow orders blindly. In fact, I suspect that the TSA gives all applicants an IQ test and only hires those who fail it. Now that I come to think of it, it occurs to me that Vogons would be just perfect for the job.

  • Heathrow T5 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pzs (857406) on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @09:05AM (#28437655)

    They still have something similar at the new BA Heathrow terminal. If you're a business or 1st class passenger you get your own special lane in the security checks where (presumably - I'm just an economy pleb) the line moves faster (fewer unwashed masses) and maybe the staff are less rude to you. I guess it's just another part of the "aspirational" nature of flying, where you wish you could afford to fly business because it might be a slightly less depressing and dehumanising experience.

    The cynic in me says that this is a natural and welcome part of security theatre [theatlantic.com]. Like forcing everybody to rebuy their bottled water every time they fly, this practice seems to have a lot more to do with making companies associated with flight security a pile of money than it does making anybody safe.

    • by pjt33 (739471)

      I fly through UK airports a lot - admittedly mainly Stansted rather than Heathrow - and I've never had staff be rude to me. They're not all friendly (although some are), but in my experience they are all professional.

    • Re:Security Theater (Score:4, Informative)

      by Queltor (45517) on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @09:58AM (#28438259)

      All the people who complain about having to buy water make me laugh.

      The prohibition is on the liquid, not the container. If you want to have a bottle of water on the plane then carry an empty bottle through security. I've carried reused plastic bottles, Nalgene hiking-type bottles, and even a metal Kleen Kanteen through security without any problems. Once you're through security, find a water fountain and fill up!

      Just remember to vent the bottle once on the plane. The pressure changes can leave you with a leaking bottle.

      • by autocracy (192714)

        +1 to that. I take an empty nalgene, unscrew it and hold it upside-down as I pass through the metal detector.

      • by Dog-Cow (21281)

        I carry an empty bottled water bottle through and do the same thing. It really ticked me off the last time I flew to NY to find that the new NWA terminal at Detroit Metro has no drinking fountains on the way to the gate. I am certain this is on purpose.

        • by hemp (36945)

          Same thing with Kansas City.

          Empty bottle verboten. No water fountain.

          You could of course, buy a bottle of water on the flight.

      • by pzs (857406)

        Dude, there are no water fountains at UK airports. Yes, I know that sucks. Why do you think I'm bitching about it?

      • Congratulations, sir, on completely missing the point.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by curunir (98273) *

        I thought the same thing until an international flight a couple of years ago. I was flying home from Japan and knew the flight would be long and I always get dehydrated when flying, so I brought 4 empty bottles with me. This worked fine at Narita and I was able to fill one of them up for the short first leg of my flight. And it even looked like it would work at the Seoul airport since I was able to fill up all 4 once I was beyond the security checkpoint.

        But then it came time to board the airplane and there

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Moridin42 (219670)

        I don't know what the japanese airports have, but all I had to do was drop my soft drink onto a scanner and pick it up a couple seconds later. I assume it was some sort of chemical sniffer. Although it could certainly just been a bit of security theatre. I don't know. Slightly difficult to ask, too, when one doesn't speak the language.

        Walk through the security check point enjoying my drink, not being hassled, not throwing away a perfectly fine refreshment, not having to take my shoes off to be scanned. And

    • by metlin (258108)

      Well, in just about all airports in the US, passengers flying First, Business or with Frequent Flier Status have separate lanes that are much faster.

      Secondly, no one asks you to buy a bottle of water. Carry a water bottle and refill it at a fountain once you are done checking in. It's really not rocket science. Hell, some times it is cheaper to buy a water bottle at an airport store and refill it than buying a new bottle of water.

    • This isn't the same thing. Priority lines are all over the place and have nothing to do with Clear. You do not have to pay extra to use priority lines.

      See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Registered_Traveler#Clear [wikipedia.org]

  • AYBAB2U (Score:3, Funny)

    by the_other_one (178565) on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @09:11AM (#28437727) Homepage

    All Your Biometrics are Belong to Us!

  • by VampireByte (447578) on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @09:15AM (#28437783) Homepage

    Another casualty of the recession's downturn in business travel

    When this economy turns around, I hope some sanity remains regarding what business travel is necessary vs. wasteful. So much of the time these business meetings could have been conducted by phone or over the internet.

    • by MoeDrippins (769977) on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @10:01AM (#28438273)

      Unfortunately, "when this economy turns around" is precisely when what is wasteful vs. not will CEASE to be recognized.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by RoverDaddy (869116)
        Hear hear! Would mod you insightful but I'd rather comment this time. It's sad but true, that the 'recovery' we're looking for basically depends on the people who still have lots of money convincing the masses to go ahead and resume wasting theirs on things they really don't need at all. I'd almost rather see the recession continue indefinitely if it continues improving the saving rate of Americans or stops them from believing they need all the made-in-China crap that the marketing folks want them to buy
        • It's sad but true, that the 'recovery' we're looking for basically depends on the people who still have lots of money convincing the masses to go ahead and resume wasting theirs on things they really don't need at all.

          Well, no. Because that well is pretty much pumped dry. What recovery really requires is that the people who don't have lots of money get more so that they can afford to make more purchases (whether productive or not) beyond the merely necessary.

          The truly rich have a lower propensity to spend a

          • I think I agree with you. My take, is that what you are describing is a 'real recovery', and a good thing. However, I am cynical enough to believe that many people in a position to influence the recovery have no desire to do that. They would rather try to pump blood from a stone until it's just impossible, and then they'll just leave the masses behind and move away (or gate themselves away). I don't think it's a done deal yet, but if the near future unfolded with the wealthy of America literally abandon
          • by Omestes (471991)

            The truly rich have a lower propensity to spend and a higher propensity to invest

            Minor quibble, investing is spending, unless their burying their cash in their backyard. Invested money is still doing something, as is all the savings that people have, which actually just a hidden investment where someone else gets the profit.

            The problem isn't investing, or spending, its playing financial three card monte, where all these invested funds shuffled to strange services that don't actually DO anything besides shu

            • Minor quibble, investing is spending

              There is a sense of the word "spending" in which investing is "spending", but there is also an important economic distinction between "investing" (or, equivalently, "saving") and "spending", and it is in the sense relevant to that distinction that I was writing.

              Invested money is still doing something

              Well, yeah. But except in the corner case where actual manufactured goods are purchased for investment value, its doing something very different from the money spent on normal

      • by metlin (258108)

        I agree with you in principle, but I do not consider expedited security in airports to be frivolous.

        For those of us who fly often (8 flights in just this month alone), such things definitely have their value if implemented properly.

        Also, a lot of companies also pay their employees to subscribe to such services (especially when the employee has to travel a lot).

        • Yes, I agree with you.

          Perhaps I was unclear, but I wasn't saying Clear was frivolous (I was also a user) but rather that flying around for meetings often is. And that it will start back up in earnest when the money is flowing.

          • by metlin (258108)

            You really feel so? I guess it depends on what you do.

            Personally, a lot can be achieved in an hour long in-person client interaction than a day long meeting on the phone or over email.

            The nuances and the ability to socialize are often lost resulting in an impersonal feel. So, I feel that while some business travel may be unnecessary based on what you do, most probably aren't.

            Quick disclaimer - I'm a management consultant, so a lot of what I do involves client interaction.

  • Never signed up (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ToAllPointsWest (801684) on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @09:18AM (#28437829)
    Right now I'm so glad I never signed on for that BS.
  • by tacokill (531275) on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @09:26AM (#28437911)
    I looked at the Clear Pass program. It's a waste of money as far as I can tell. Basically, as I understand it, you get to pay $200/yr for....wait for it.....a special line where you can go through the exact same security procedures as the other non clear pass lines.

    It begs the question: why bother? Which is why I am sure they are having trouble attracting customers.

    I travel enough that an expedited security procedure would be helpful. However I can't see *any* value in this program. Apparently, I am not alone.
    • by Dekaner (72280)

      I use the Clear program and was very disappointed when it was shut down. You're basically paying an annual fee to not wait in line with everyone else. The clear line is a seperate queue that moves very quickly and then they walk you to the front of the normal security screening line. This regularly saved me the time and frustration of traveling with people who are not experienced with the security procedures.

    • by rwade (131726)

      It begs the question: why bother? Which is why I am sure they are having trouble attracting customers.

      I travel enough that an expedited security procedure would be helpful. However I can't see *any* value in this program. Apparently, I am not alone.

      To me the bigger question is the public good provided in exchange for the line jump.

      The biometric data, the retinal scanning, and the background checks or whatever they did over there seemed to be just a way to say "Hey, look at us -- we're helping prevent terrorism by collecting this data and making sure folks getting on the plane are who they say they are." In essence, it was a sham as they just went through the same security check anyway and as long as one is a first-time terrorist that knows what he's d

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by massysett (910130)

      I looked at the Clear Pass program. It's a waste of money as far as I can tell. Basically, as I understand it, you get to pay $200/yr for....wait for it.....a special line where you can go through the exact same security procedures as the other non clear pass lines.

      Especially when most of the people who would be interested in Clear and who would pony up $200 for it are already flying first class, business class, or have some sort of "elite" frequent flyer status...meaning that they can already go to the special lane that jumps them to the front of the security line. When I first heard of Clear, I thought it would qualify you for a reduced amount of screening (maybe keep your shoes on?) When I heard that you get the same screening as everybody else, I knew there was no

  • Good riddance (Score:3, Insightful)

    by surmak (1238244) on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @09:42AM (#28438067)

    I am very glad to see this go. I have always thought that the "trusted" traveler program is unfair and dangerous to everyone's civil liberties. Those who travel frequently should have the go through the same hassle as everyone else, and so will be more likely to complain and get the system fixed for all of us. If frequent traveler are segregated into their own first class lane, they have less incentive to work to change the system, and the rest of the traveling public do not fly enough to care. This is the same reason that racial profiling of any sort is wrong. If society decides that law enforcement needs to inconvenience people, then all people, especially those with the power to effect the decision should have to pay the price, and not just a relatively powerless minority.

    Airport security, as a whole, is pretty much worthless, and seems only to serve the purpose of getting people used to law enforcement checkpoints ("papers, please") The one post 9/11/01 change that did matter was the reinforcing of the cockpit doors. Everything else the TSA (or private screeners, before the establishment of the TSA) did, from the banning of drinking water, to the confiscation of Leatherman tools has not done anything to make anyones flights any safer.

  • Clear SUCKED (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Jahf (21968)

    I am so glad I decided not to enroll. I am a very regular traveler through the Denver airport and Clear had a very visible presence at the security gates. I was tempted at first but decided against it for 2 reasons:

    1) Privacy: When I emailed Clear they stated that they did not share data with the government but they couldn't guarantee they -wouldn't- share data in the future. Clear takes -both- fingerprints and retinal prints. I asked if I could just give the retinal and they said no. While I haven't done a

  • by EsJay (879629) on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @09:48AM (#28438123)
    Priority lines at the airport bug me. First class passengers are not paying me or the airport, the airline is collecting the cash. So why should they get special treatment and make the wait worse for the rest of us? Maybe I should set up a toll booth on my street. Or go to the DMV and set up velvet ropes to one station, and sell the "right" to that quicker line for $50/head.
    • by rwade (131726)

      Priority lines at the airport bug me. First class passengers are not paying me or the airport, the airline is collecting the cash. So why should they get special treatment and make the wait worse for the rest of us? Maybe I should set up a toll booth on my street. Or go to the DMV and set up velvet ropes to one station, and sell the "right" to that quicker line for $50/head.

      From this article [findarticles.com] on Oakland's introduction of CLEAR:

      "[The] airport began receiving a lot of requests for it, especially from large companies whose employees did a lot of traveling, she said. 'We are responding to customer input, customers saying, 'please, please bring this.'"

      In essence, this represents a gift to the business community that the airport authority (themselves generally part of the "business leadership" community at some point in the past or future) cherishes. The theory goes that if you make things easier on businesses, the benefits show up for everyone!

      Obviously different folks will have different opinions about this, but this is the theory. The LA Times article linked in the article has a comment's section tha

    • > Priority lines at the airport bug me. First class passengers are not
      > paying me or the airport, the airline is collecting the cash.

      Um, what? Your deep discount coach fare is absolutely subsidized by these travelers.

      > So why should they get special treatment and make the wait worse for
      > the rest of us?

      It's very simple. These travelers pay more to the airline. The airline cannot operate without them. The airline pays the airport to fund a separate priority line. The fact that a business traveler

  • by bzzfzz (1542813) on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @09:51AM (#28438177)

    The problem with Clear's model is that there was never any evidence to speak of that the TSA cared about traveler's identities, at least not enough to allow them to bypass any meaningful amount of screening that they would otherwise perform. All the "Clear" screening bypassed, as far as I was ever able to determine, was the no-fly list check. As such the only advantage (unless you had a name that tended to cause false positives on the no-fly list) was that you got to cut the queue. Then you put up with the same removal of shoes, millimeter wave scan, and other indignities and fourth amendment violations as everyone else.

  • by joedoc (441972) on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @10:43AM (#28438813) Homepage
    I signed up for Clear last year. I live in northeast Florida but work in DC, so I fly to and from Jacksonville to Reagan in DC or BWI up in Baltimore. Reagan and Dulles had Clear lines, BWI does not.

    In Jacksonville, the service was there prior to Clear. Called Preferred Traveler, it's operated by a company called Vigilant Solutions [jax-vip.com]. They always accepted my Clear credential. I contacted their office this morning via email and was informed that they are still operating and will continue to accept Clear's card at their gates. If you look at the list of their participating airports on their site, you'll see a long list. I don't know if these are their exclusive locations or ones that include Clear's lines, since I know Clear accepted their credentials as well.

    The Clear shutdown news was a shock...I thought the email I received last night was a joke or spam, until I verified the news at their website.

    Fortunately for me, I can still use my card where I need to most frequently: flying out of Jacksonville on Monday mornings. The regular security lines there can be brutally long, and using the Preferred Traveler line saves me more than 30 minutes of waiting. I can sleep later, the wife can sleep later, and I'm getting to my gate with no pressure. Worth every penny.

    My hope is that some enterprising company steps in and take over Clear's operations. The service is really great.
    • My hope is that some enterprising company steps in and take over Clear's operations. The service is really great.

      My hope is that someone knocks a little common-sense into congress and they stop wasting our tax dollars and our time on the TSA so everybody can go back to how things were before they created that cluster-fuck.

  • There are two significant changes rolled out by TSA that are likely the cause of CLEAR to finally give up. (They have been struggling financially since inception, and had a very narrow adoption rate)... Here in Tampa, FL the TSA rolled out a new method of security line queues for travelers that segments travelers into three different classifications: * The first being an "Expert Traveler", highly familiar with TSA procedures and traveling light - they use a lane marked with a black diamond, ideally movin
    • by Ironica (124657)

      The second major change implemented by TSA that was likely the death knell for CLEAR is the new identification rule that went into effect on June 15th, and will beginincreased phase-in over the next 6 months. TSA now requires all tickets to be reserved/purchased in the EXACT full name that is on your government issued ID. For example, if your full legal name on your DL/Passport is Jonathan Quincy Public, but you are known by and go by Jon Public & in the past you bought your ticket for 'Jon Public', that is no longer acceptable, your ticket will now need to be issued to 'Jonathan Quincy Public'.

      This doesn't appear to actually be true:

      http://www.tsa.gov/what_we_do/layers/secureflight/index.shtm [tsa.gov]

      Q. If the name printed on my boarding pass is different than what appears on my government ID, will I still be able to fly?

      A. Boarding passes may not always display the exact name you provided when booking your travel. The name you provide when booking your travel is used to perform the watch list matching before a boarding pass is ever issued, so small differences should not impact your travel. Secure Flight is a behind-the-scenes process that TSA and airlines collaborate on to compare the information you provide against government watch lists. The additional data elements that you may be asked to provide, such as date of birth and gender, serve to better differentiate you from individuals on the government watch list.

      You should ensure that the name provided when booking your travel matches the government ID that you will use when traveling. However, TSA has built some flexibility into the processes regarding passenger name accuracy. For the near future, small differences between the passenger's ID and the passenger's reservation information, such as the use of a middle initial instead of a full middle name or no middle name/initial at all, should not cause a problem for the passenger. Over time, passengers should strive to obtain consistency between the name on their ID and their travel information.

      So eventually, maybe, they'll require it be like you said, but for now, it's not that big a deal.

      Which is good, because the DMV made a mess of my middle names on my driver license, and I can't imagine any airline employee duplicating it precisely.

  • by pongo000 (97357) on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @11:42AM (#28439779)

    [Bruce] Schneier took from his bag a 12-ounce container labeled "saline solution."

    "It's allowed," he said. Medical supplies, such as saline solution for contact-lens cleaning, don't fall under the TSA's three-ounce rule.

    "What's allowed?" I asked. "Saline solution, or bottles labeled saline solution?"

    "Bottles labeled saline solution. They won't check what's in it, trust me."

    They did not check. As we gathered our belongings, Schneier held up the bottle and said to the nearest security officer, "This is okay, right?" "Yep," the officer said. "Just have to put it in the tray."

    "Maybe if you lit it on fire, he'd pay attention," I said, risking arrest for making a joke at airport security. (Later, Schneier would carry two bottles labeled saline solution--24 ounces in total--through security. An officer asked him why he needed two bottles. "Two eyes," he said. He was allowed to keep the bottles.)

    Well, I thought it was funny.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200811/airport-security/2 [theatlantic.com]

  • Do the customers get their money back?
  • I was very close to signing up for Clear, but it always seemed too expensive for the value. I fly on a monthly basis, I suppose if I flew on a weekly basis I would have signed up already.

  • It looks like FLO Card [flocard.com] is still going. I wonder whether their operation at certain airports depended on the Clear system being functional though. There are a few other small providers of the Registered Traveler Program [wikipedia.org] besides FLO and Clear. Supposedy the Registered Traveler system is interoperable at these airports [rtconsortium.org].

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