Tuesday, June 23, 2009

VIP Airport Screening Company Closes Lanes | Epicenter | Wired.com

It's June 2009, and I relize some of my friends still think, like they did a year ago, that the recession will - poof! - go away in a month, and expensive workshops and vacations will be here again. This view is fully consistently supported by mainstream media Polyannish attitude, only ocassionaly interrupted by news of 11% unemployment or a too-big-to-believe bailout.

Why people are not paying $200/year for faster airport screening, even if they did so 2 years ago? Wired answers: "because the TSA got better at keeping lines moving in the last few years", and also, maybe, because of another detail mentioned in the two last words in the quote.

flyclearTravelers who paid $200 a year to cut in airport security lines now have to queue up with everyone else, as Clear, the leading Registered Traveler program, went out of business on Monday night.


In 2006, the TSA and airports set up a generalized system called Registered Traveler to make the program competitive, but Brill’s Clear, which started at one airport in Florida, remained the market leader.

But as the TSA got better at keeping lines moving in the last few years, Clear’s benefits became less clear. Clear continued to ink deals with the nation’s largest airports and even partnering with football teams to get fans in the door faster, but evidently those strategies did not fare well in a down economy."
Is it the economy? It's just one man's brilliance, or lack of:
But if Brill can’t get enough corporate travelers to pay for airport convenience, it’s not clear how he thinks he’ll get enough people to pony up online news subscriptions to save online journalism.

Complete story from Epicenter | Wired.com

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