Clear Lanes Closed

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Commercial airline travel just got a lot less convenient for frequent travelers who'd paid hundreds of dollars to jump the security line. Verified Identity Pass, the company that operated the Clear security screening kiosks at about 20 major U.S. airports, shut down on Monday night, forcing its customers to shuffle shoeless with the masses through the regular security lines. In a statement issued late Monday, the company said it couldn't reach a deal with its senior creditor to keep going. About 250,000 customers had paid up to $199 a year to zip through the segregated kiosks, which used retinal scans and fingerprints to verify the identity of travelers whose security background information was on a database. The company says the private information will be deleted securely but, unfortunately, so will the fees that have been paid.

"At the present time, because of its financial condition, Verified Identity Pass Inc. cannot issue refunds," the company said. Some people had signed up for three years at a cost of more than $500. As for the security information, the company said it has a plan for getting rid of it. "Applicant and member data is currently secured in accordance with the Transportation Security Administration's Security, Privacy and Compliance Standards," the company said. "Verified Identity Pass Inc. will continue to secure such information and will take appropriate steps to delete the information." The Transportation Security Administration didn't comment directly on the closure.