Clear Service Faces Potential Ban in California Airports

( – A bill proposed in the California state Senate would ban the private security screening service Clear from operating in California airports, as states begin targeting companies that provide concierge clearance services in the name of “fairness” and “equity,” CBS News reported.

Democrat state Senator Josh Newman, the sponsor of SB-1372, told CBS News that Clear enables wealthy air travelers to skip to the front of the line ahead of other travelers who must wait to be screened by TSA agents.

Newman said the issue was “basic equity,” explaining that others have to watch as subscribers of Clear are escorted ahead of those “who waited a long time to get to the front of the TSA line.” He said it was “frustrating” to customers who are already “beaten down by the travel experience.”

The private security clearance company Clear charges $189 a year to verify a member’s identity at airports. The verified travelers are then escorted through security without having to wait at TSA security checkpoints.

Founded in 2010, Clear is available at about 50 US airports as well as dozens of other venues, including sports arenas.

If SB-1372 is enacted, it would ban Clear from every California airport.

In a statement to CBS News, Clear said it was partnered with nine California airports, which has created hundreds of jobs while serving nearly one million California residents. The company noted that its partnerships have brought over $13 million in shared revenue to the state’s airports.

Senator Newman insisted that SB-1372 would not prohibit Clear from operating separate, dedicated security lines in airports that would be apart from other air travelers.

He said his legislation does not seek to punish the security clearance company or “put it out of business.” Instead, he argued that the bill would “create a better traffic flow” so that the Clear customers wouldn’t be “intersecting with the general public.” Newman argued that doing so would prevent “a moment of friction” that could be “so frustrating” to the average air traveler.

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