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Registered Traveler on the Ropes

Clear, the company that developed the Registered Traveler program in the U.S. announced today that it is ceasing operations. All Clear lanes are shutting down effective immediately.

Here was the message sent to Clear users: “At 11:00 pm 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.”

This may spell the end of the Registered Traveler program altogether. The RT program was originally called “Trusted Traveler,” in the 2001 enabling legislation (the Aviation and Transportation Security Act of 2001), but TSA quickly decided that they didn’t “trust” anyone. RT was meant to be a program that allowed travelers to subject themselves to higher background checks, in order to undergo less screening and scrutiny at the checkpoint. The idea being that if we know more about you, we can trust you not to do something stupid. As RT rolled out, the concept of less screening was tossed out the window and the program essentially became a business travelers perk (like it was for me) when you needed to get to the front of the screening line.

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2 Responses to Registered Traveler on the Ropes

  1. Pretty cool post. I just came across your blog and wanted to say
    that I have really enjoyed browsing your posts. Any way
    I’ll be subscribing to your blog and I hope you post again soon!

  2. From a security standpoint, I have to agree with the TSA on this one. As an airline crew member who is required to submit to screening at every airport, it never seemed logical that an employee would submit to screening while a passenger would be “trusted”. Better stated by a pilot I was crewed with, “If we all have had a background check, then we all should be exempted.”

    I would be interested to know what the background check criteria was. Ddi they check their credit, employer? What part of these individuals background was “looked into”?

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