Allowing people to quickly hop through airport security with a TSA-verified biometric "fast passes," Clear had great idea on their hands. Sadly, as of yesterday, their freeflowing security lanes will be closed.
So what was it? Did tightened government regulations make operating impossible? Was there some kind of security breach? An issue with the TSA granting a virtual monopoly to a private fast track service? Nope! It was something simpler, and more timely. Cue their goodbye email:
Clear to Cease Operations
Dear xxxx xxxx,
At 11:00 p.m. PST today, 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.
After today, Clear lanes will be unavailable.
Clear Customer Support
Apparently not enough people were willing to spring for the service, which could cost as much as $199. Looking at the numbers, though, it's
obvious that Clear never really took off, spreading to just 20 airports and garnering about 150,000 subscribers.
The company hasn't yet announced how they plan to deal with those subscribers—an impatient bunch, I'm guessing—but as far as getting any kind of service refund, this sparingly worded announcement doesn't bode well. [Clear—Thanks, Tom and David]