Registered Traveler Program Update

The Clear Registered Traveler program, which expedites the security-screening process for its members, has been in place at Orlando International Airport since July 19, 2005, and will expand to four more U.S. airports and possibly a Canadian airport in the near future. After a background check, Clear members are issued personal ID cards

Clear's parent company, Manhattan-based Verified Identity Pass, Inc., developed the program in conjunction with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), and now has more than 30,000 members. Advance registration is now available for Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG), Indianapolis International Airport (IND), British Airways Terminal 7 of New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and San José Mineta International Airport (SJC). No dates for implementation at these airports have yet been announced. Clear also has an agreement with TorontoPearsonInternationalAirport to establish the program there, and is currently working with the Canadian government to gain its approval. The TSA has approved the expansion of the program to as many as 20 airports in North America. Denver (DIA), LAX and Baltimore/Washington (BWI) have all requested quotes from VerifiedIdentityPass for implementing the Clear program.

After completing an online registration form, the applicant must bring two forms of government identification (e.g., a passport and driver's license) to a Clear enrollment station at the airport, where Clear uses biometric technology to take a picture of each member's irises and record their fingerprints. Clear then submits all of this to TSA for approval. Once TSA runs a security threat assessment (i.e., background check) and gives Clear the go-ahead, each member is issued an ID card, which they present at the entrance to the Clear security lane. Members typically receive their cards two-to-four weeks after registration.

Travelers wait in line at the Orlando airport, while the Clear lane on the left is wide open

Smooth Traveling

"Clear lanes" are separate from the airport's other security lines and are staffed with attendants to expedite the security check-in process. Clear members are exempt from automatic selectee screening, the process of randomly searching passengers. Clear members also have their own designated X-ray conveyor belt for their carry-on luggage.

Chuch Ogg, president of Orlando-based Travel Link, says, "We have over 100 corporate clients enrolled in the Registered Traveler program who all swear by it, and I'm a member myself. It's wonderful, and I'm praying that they...make it nationwide, because the expediency is phenomenal."

Ogg estimates that the average time it takes to get from the airport's entrance to the Clear lane to Orlando's airport tram is about seven minutes, with the Clear portion taking about a minute.

Check in at the Clear Registered Traveler kiosk, which scans each member's iris or fingerprint, takes under three minutes

Carolyn Fennell, OrlandoInternationalAirport's director of public affairs, says, "The response from passengers has been very positive; seasoned and frequent travelers especially love it. The most common question they have is, 'Why isn't this at other airports?'"

She says that the Clear check-in, consisting of an ATM-like "dip" of the Clear card and a fingerprint or iris scan (whichever each member prefers), takes between one and three minutes, although she advises that, to be safe, Clear members should plan for their entire trip through security, plus the tram ride to their gate, to take 20 minutes.

General Electric is a partner in the Clear program, and it has developed a new kiosk—still awaiting approval from TSA—that includes shoe scanning and explosive trace detection. If approved, this would allow members to keep their shoes and coats on while passing through security.

The TSA is charging an extra $30 vetting fee on top of Clear's rate, but Clear will absorb part of that fee. The cost for the program for one year is $99.95, which can be locked in for three years by paying in advance.

The company does offer partnership deals with agents, with opportunities to reap commissions on client registrations.

For details, agents should contact Fred Fischer, VerifiedIdentityPass's senior vice president of sales, at 212-332-6319 or ffischer@verifiedidpass.com. For more information, visit www.tsa.gov/what_we_do/layers/rt/index.shtm or www.orlandoairports.net/goaa/faq.htm#clear.

To register, visit www.flyclear.com/enroll.html.

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