I flew from San Francisco to Las Vegas Monday and returned on Tuesday. In both airports, I noticed that absolutely no one was using the special security gate designated for frequent fliers who paid $199 a year for a membership in Clear.
By waving their pass to the TSA personnel, you could bypass the regular, long screening lines that snake through airports during summer and walk through a shorter line reserved for Clear members, First and Business Class passengers.
Today, I found out why. The parent company, Verified Identity Pass (VIP, cute — right?), shut its gates on Tuesday. Although it had signed up about 250,000 customers who had shared detailed personal information in exchange for being able to speed through security to the gate, the company claimed financial distress by not being able to negotiate with its creditors. It won’t rebate any member a dime and could file for bankruptcy.