Clear announced last night that they had shut down. The note on their website says the following:
Clear Lanes Are No Longer Available.
At 11:00 p.m. PST on June 22, 2009, Clear will cease operations.
Clear’s parent company, Verified Identity Pass, Inc. has been
unable to negotiate an agreement with its senior creditor
to continue operations.
It goes on further to say that customers will not be able to receive a refund “because of it’s financial condition”. With over 250,000 customers (each paying between $100 and $200 annually) it’s a little surprising to me that they couldn’t figure out a way to make this work. I suspect (as does my partner Jason Mendelson). that the airports were charging more than I would have realized to make Clear lanes available.
Whatever happened it’s a real bummer. I know many people thought that Clear lanes were somehow elitist (pay more and get through security faster) but as someone who travels constantly, it was an extremely small price to pay (both monetarily and in loss of privacy) to ensure not just faster entry into airports but consistency in the time it took to get to my gate. I’ll miss it and hope someone will pick up the assets and get the program up and running again.