After reports broke last month that major changes were coming to CLEAR, as the TSA said it would start traditionally verifying CLEAR member IDs at airport checkpoints, questions emerged surrounding what exactly caused the move.
One incident came to light shortly after when Bloomberg reported that a man had gotten through airport security lines at Reagan National Airport near Washington D.C. via CLEAR while using a false identity.
This week, details of two more incidents came to light via reporting from Politico. The two new ones happened in March and January and involved a person not enrolled in CLEAR getting through the system using the expedited service without having their identities checked.
According to the reporting, one incident saw a person who did not have an airplane ticket pull a boarding pass out of the trash, and use that to get through the CLEAR expedited line. The other involved a passenger getting through the CLEAR expedited line, all while having a boarding pass for a different airport.
Neither of those passengers reportedly made it on a flight, but the incidents, along with the previously reported one, were part of a string of letdowns by CLEAR that forced the TSA to change the way it treats CLEAR users this month—the TSA had told its employees to verify CLEAR travelers instead of allowing its system of facial recognition to do so. It also called into question 49,000 CLEAR users whose CLEAR photos were “non-matches” to their IDs.
Now, questions emerge on the future of the CLEAR experience, with some lawmakers even calling for action.
CLEAR, for its part, acknowledged the mishandling of some of its users and non-users. It had called the first incident a “case of human error” and told Politico this week that the employees responsible for the other two incidents were held responsible and fired along with their on-site managers. CLEAR also said that each location’s ambassadors were forced to be retrained.
CLEAR costs users $16 per month billed annually. Discounted memberships are available for Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, and American Express members and additional family members can be added to existing accounts for $60 per adult per year. CLEAR is not the same as TSA PreCheck, which offers its own expedited lane along with a lighter TSA screening process, which is something CLEAR doesn’t offer. CLEAR does give access to expedited lanes at locations outside of airports, including at some stadiums and arenas around the U.S.