Comments CLEAR chairman and CEO Caryn Seidman-Becker, "Everyone says, ‘If you’ve seen one airport, you’ve seen one airport.’ The same applies for airport security checkpoints."
One benefit of the CLEAR solution is the standardization of the airport security experience - an area of air travel where many would welcome standardization, me included.
According to the company, CLEAR offers a secure identification process giving members certainty of speed, predictability, and service through the airport security experience.
Today the service is available at four airports: Orlando, Denver, San Francisco, and Dallas; the company launched SFO in May and DFW in June. Recently, an RFP for White Plains Westchester County Airport has come out … Seidman-Becker says the CLEAR team is excited for the opportunity to start bringing the program to New York State, and hopefully to New York City after that.
Airport partner benefits of CLEAR include enhanced customer experience and security, revenue generation, and economic development in the way of jobs for the community, she relates.
The company vision is to leverage its technology exclusively in the airport market, and eventually expand into other market segments. The secure identification platform can potentially be applied in other transportation modes and other market sectors, says Seidman-Becker.
The secure enrollment process has been certified by the Department of Homeland Security, and the identity verfication proceedure takes less than five minutes.
"Launched 20 months ago in Orlando and Denver, we have been focused on scaling the business and introducing new opportunities to potential customers," remarks Seidman-Becker. "We are talking about a program for airport employees, but we aren’t there yet; the platform is incredibly flexible and has those capabilities."
Some 650,000 travelers have utilized a CLEAR lane, and the company contuinues to partner with organizations like Starwood (elite customers are offered free trials of CLEAR), rental car companies, TripIt and Regus, and local concessionaires – where CLEAR members can recieve discounts.
CLEAR lanes operate in a small space, a width of about 5 feet … "It’s about scaling the kiosks and not how many lanes there are," Says Seidman-Becker. "We have two verification kiosks in a lane currently … but that could be expanded to incorporate more kiosks for increased throughput and efficiency."
A member’s identity is verified through biometric technology – a fingerprint or iris scan.
Lease length agreements range. The contract with an airport is for a specific period of time, and can be anywhere from three with a three-year option to ten with a ten-year option.
The revenue share is also dependent on the airport … it can be anywhere from 8-12 percent. The company paid Orlando some $1 million for its first full year of operation there, adds Seidman-Becker.
Currently, airport’s get a percentage of the revenue from those travelers who sign up for the CLEAR service in the airport’s zip code, or catchment area (150-mile radius of the airport); but there are other possible business models as well.
CLEAR also benefits airport concessionaires, the idea being that travelers who get through security quickly and with less hassle have more time and interest in spending money at the food court and retail areas of airport post-security, says Seidman-Becker.
With regard to speeding up the security process, she explains, "We say that we have saved our members more than ten million minutes … how did we get there? Our members can get to the airport with 30 minutes to spare and know they will make their flight. On average, CLEAR members get through security in five minutes or less."
Later this year, I will get the opportunitiy to try the service. I am told Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport offers a similar service. As this type of technology advances, it will become cheaper, and airports will see more and more of it.