Holiday travelers may be excited to hear that Clear, a service to expedite registered travelers through security checkpoints relaunched at Orlando International Airport last week. A previous incarnation of the service - Verified Identity Pass - had been available back in 2005 before the owner was forced to declare bankruptcy and cease operations at 23 airport locations throughout the country.
Clear currently operates exclusively at Orlando International - opening soon in Denver - and charges its' subscribers $179 per year to receive priority treatment at all security checkpoints. The service relies on the submission of a subscriber's fingerprints and iris scans in order to process low-risk travelers extremely quickly at security checkpoints.
Some Florida subscribers may feel apprehensive to commit to such a service. The original incarnation, Verified Identity Pass, didn't end up giving any subscribers refunds after filing for bankruptcy five years ago. After bankruptcy proceedings were completed, the company was purchased by an investment group and retitled Alclear to be better aligned with the Clear brand. As the service is now finally being relaunched, Alclear is making note to circumvent backlash from former subscribers by offering to honor the remaining terms of each contract with Verify Identity Pass once service is offered again at the subscriber's home airport. Alclear hopes this will instill confidence in the marketplace that the company will not be filing for bankruptcy again and that the service is here to stay. Currently there is only one competitor in the marketplace, and that service runs exclusive out of Indianapolis International Airport. Neither service honors the other's subscriptions at this time.
Source: USA Today Travel "Airport Check-in: Registered traveler program Clear is back" by Roger Yu 11/15/10