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Clear, the company that offers expedited biometric screening in two dozen airports across the country, has a new cohort of customers coming its way. The security company announced last week a new partnership with Chicago-based United Airlines to offer MileagePlus elite frequent flyers free or discounted access to the program. Top-tier Global Services and 1K members now get a free annual Clear membership while other elites get tiered discounts.
As part of the transaction, United also made an investment in the company, though as Travel Tech Editor Sean O’Neill reported, the terms of that deal were undisclosed. What was disclosed, however, was that United is committed to bringing the security technology to all of its hubs.
Whether passengers take advantage of the new access is still unclear. Since its foundation, Clear has always walked the fine line of offering expedited identity authentication against the backdrop of the TSA’s Precheck program, which offers expedited screening. And though 70% of Clear’s members are also members of Precheck, some may find it difficult to select between the two when faced with one product over another. Clear went bankrupt in 2009, and since then its partnerships — like a similar setup with Delta — have been key to expanding the company’s user base.
Bringing United’s new cohort of elites into the program should help raise Clear’s visibility as well as provide some operating capital to the fledgling company. And for United’s frequent flyers, the access is hard to argue with.
— Grant Martin, Business of Loyalty Editor
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Grant Martin [email@example.com] curates the Skift Business of Loyalty newsletter. He is also a director of product marketing at TripActions. Skift emails the newsletter every Monday.