Last year, Clear abruptly shut down – but after a bankruptcy hearing last month, a large portion of the business has been handed over to new owners. And these owners are very serious about getting the service back online as soon as they can.
With Clear, passengers paid a yearly subscription fee, and were able to jump to the front of the line at airport security checkpoints. The service was fairly successful, but obviously not enough of a success to stay commercially viable.
The new company, called AlClear, spent $6 million to acquire the remaining assets of the company that operated Clear. Sadly, those assets did not include the individual contracts with airport operators, which means the new venture may not arrive at your airport as soon as you’d hope.
Within the next couple of weeks, former subscribers will be contacted, offering them the chance to reactivate their subscriptions. If airport negotiations go as planned, AlClear may begin service this fall. The fee for AlClear will be $179 – plus an additional $50 to convert the individual plan into a family plan. Customers that do not wish to reactivate their old Clear account will have their personal information purged from the database.
Whether or not AlClear will be able to overcome the hurdles that put Clear out of business remains to be seen – the price was not the biggest issue Clear faced. Lack of availability around the nation and a security breach probably hurt them more than anything else. Personally, I wish AlClear lots of luck – I’m a huge fan of airport biometrics, and have been ever since I signed up for the Privium system at Amsterdam Airport back in 2002.