I have some friends who have used Clear
, the "verified passenger speedlane" for frequent travelers, that let you basically cut the security line. For the most part, they all loved it. Despite the fact that I do a lot of flying, it never really seemed worth it to me. Plus there were security questions, such as when a laptop containing applicant data got lost
last year. Oops. In the end, though, I have to admit almost never seeing anyone making use of the Clear shortcut at the airport, suggesting the private company that operated it wasn't making very much money. That now seems confirmed, as apparently the program is shutting down
The company's founder, Stephen Brill, has already moved on to his next company
-- a misguided attempt to make people pay for online news content. While Brill certainly has a big name reputation, it seems like he's had a lot of companies go sour in a row at this point. There was Brill's Content and then Contentville. Now there's Clear (whose official name was "Verified Identity Pass"). And the whole "iTunes for news" concept seems pretty questionable as well...