It appears that Clear, the company that offered consumers the ability to pay a fee in order to hopefully endure shorter lines at TSA security check-points has closed up shop. According to the Clear website at www.flyclear.com, the company will cease operations at 11:00PM PST today, June 22nd.
Clear seemed like a good idea but they were really never able to deliver a highly differentiated experience. You still had to take your shoes off, you still had to had to remove your laptop from the case and you still had to deal with the TSA.
Clear did seem to deliver employment for lots of people - we saw them standing around security check points all over the country. The only people often with less to do than the TSA seemed to be the Clear people.
The only exception we ever really saw was at Orlando. In Orlando, Clear really made a difference but this was just a factor of being the lone business traveler in a sea of Mickey fans.
Still, Clear's demise is a shame. There should be a faster way to get through security for "known travelers"but we'll save that for another Op-Ed.