Airport security programs need to understand the customer

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.

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