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California lawmakers to consider banning Clear airport security line skipping service

Leaders from the six major airlines oppose the bill, noting that Clear provides California airports with $13 million in annual revenue.
Flight Cancellations-Explainer
Posted at 9:05 AM, Apr 23, 2024

A California lawmaker's bill essentially banning the airport security line-skipping service Clear will get a committee hearing on Tuesday.

Senate Bill 1372 was first introduced in February but is now being considered by the Transportation Committee. The bill would prohibit airports from forming new agreements in 2025 with third-party vendors that offer to bring customers to the front of security lines. Existing agreements would be allowed to continue until they expire. 

Services like Clear would be required to operate a line separate from general security and TSA Pre-Check if SB 1372 is approved.

Clear costs $122 a year, which does not include a $77.95 fee for TSA-Pre Check, which is good for five years. 

State Sen. Josh Newman sponsored the legislation. 

An analysis of his bill notes, "Consumers can often pay to jump lines. Southwest customers can pay to pre-board. Disneyland customers can purchase the Genie+ service to minimize the time standing in lines. Cutting TSA lines is different because the TSA is a government service, not a private service."

However, the leaders of six major airlines defended the program, adding that Clear provides California airports with $13 million in annual revenue. 

"By preventing airports from partnering with CLEAR, we are concerned SB 1372 will result in longer, less efficient lines at the security checkpoint," they wrote. "In 2023 alone, CLEAR verified our frequent fliers over 5 million times in California – which means our most loyal customers find value in using CLEAR. Not only do they appreciate the customer service they receive from CLEAR’s hospitality-trained ambassadors, but we find that CLEAR’s operation supports overall checkpoint efficiency for all travelers by helping balance queues and by performing quick and secure identity checks across the airports where they operate."

Newman, however, alleged that the expedited service decreases safety at airports.