A couple of weeks ago, I was down in Orlando for the WOMMA conference. Great event, met lots of interesting people.
Near my gate, I noticed a kiosk designed a lot like Amex Blue. It was setup for Clear, a service that intends to expedite travelers through airport security. It’s only operating in Orlando, but expanding to IND and SJC soon. According to the Globe, Boston’s Logan Airport will implement a similar program this summer.
So here’s the deal – you pay $79.95/year and submit biometric and other info to the TSA so they can monitor you. Currently in MCO, there isn’t a separate Clear line, so you wait with everyone else, in addition to the iris and fingerprint scans. Clear only exempts you from "additional" security screening.
I think it’s a cool idea, but right now there aren’t any tangible benefits for the costs. Sounds like Logan’s thinking in the right direction by putting together "premium" benefit packages – but they better be enough to overcome privacy concerns as well. Partner with the airlines to expedite check-in. Give me a guarantee of less than 10 minutes to clear security, even at 7 am on Monday morning. Unless Clear offers real value, it’s going bankrupt.