Hi there—I’m Effie Epstein, Director of Business Development and Strategy at CLEAR. I spend everyday (and every night and every weekend) trying to get CLEAR into more airports around the country. I literally have dreams about ways to bring CLEAR to more of you—it’s sad, but true. I’ve been keeping up with all of your comments on Twitter and Facebook, and I know you are wondering why CLEAR isn’t in more airports. We believe in transparency, so here’s the 101 of what it takes to bring CLEAR to your home airport. It takes a bit of explaining, so please bear with me for this one!
First, I’ve learned three key things from my travels to airports across the country:
If you’ve seen one airport that means you’ve seen ONE airport. This business is exciting because no two airports are the same. They have different ownership structures, layouts, and procurement processes, and while that keeps me on my toes, it is also one of the things I love most about CLEAR—we’re flexible. Our technology platform and service can be easily customized to meet the needs of any airports.
Airports care about their customers. Airports care about you, their passengers, and they want to make sure your experience is the best it can be. Forward-thinking airports prioritize technology, amenities, and seamless movement, all of which benefit their customers, and all of which CLEAR encompasses.
Our members are powerful. We have an incredible, dedicated, diverse community—business travelers, families, adventurers, and students, but you all have one thing in common—you value your time. Your airports need to know that CLEAR is a service you want and need. So please keep lending your voice to ours by reaching out to your airports and local city officials!
Getting CLEAR into an airport (the abbreviated version):
Step 1: Outreach. We’ve reached out to over 50 U.S. airports: phone, email, meetings, conferences…we’ve done it all. That’s the easy part. If there’s an airport on your list, it’s very likely that I’ve spoken or met with them. Currently, I am in serious talks with 12 large airports, and speaking to many others.
Step 2: Airport says yes…now what? Airports are excited about CLEAR and what we can offer them. Since CLEAR is the only biometrics-based expedited traveler solution, we are in direct negotiations with several airports. Some airports, however, have to go with a public Request for Proposal (“RFP”) process – meaning multiple vendors can apply to be the service provider. In this case, our team puts together a detailed response documenting our technology, security, and customer service capabilities.
Step 3: Then we come to contract negotiation or proposal evaluation. Depending on the airport’s approach, we jump right into contract execution, or the airport builds a task force to review all submitted proposals. There is no set timeline for this step in the process, but it can take several weeks or several months. This is also an important time for your airports to hear from you!
Step 4: Launch! All we need is the go-ahead from airport authorities, and once that happens, CLEAR can be up and running within 90 days. That’s it! As soon as the contract is signed, we start hiring, building, and shipping!
That is the process in a nutshell. The process takes anywhere from 6-24 months (remember our first lesson above? Every airport is different…). There is one thing we can count on, though. Every airport cares about security and the passenger experience, and CLEAR enhances both!
Are you still with me? I hope so and I hope this was helpful. CLEAR is ready…we are just waiting for the green light from your airport. Your continued support is instrumental, so keep talking to your airports, and I’ll be back to share some more information about our airport progress very soon!
Please feel free to reach out directly with any questions you have – see you in the CLEAR lane!