Message Center

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Registered-Traveler Programs

REGARDING the Fly Clear and other registered-traveler programs [Coming and Going, March 23]: These are not good for the traveling public. They are only beneficial to frequent travelers and are a waste of the non-frequent traveler's money. Most frequent travelers can go through the elite lanes, and those usually don't take more than a few minutes.

Private contractor solutions don't encourage the TSA to resolve the problems with security checkpoints. I encourage your readers to boycott Fly Clear and other registered-traveler programs. Learn more at the Travel Safety/Security forums on

Samir Bhatnagar


I FLEW early on a Friday out of Washington Dulles on Southwest, bound for Florida. I arrived for my 7 a.m. flight at 5 a.m. and processed luggage without incident.

I then looked for the Fly Clear lane. It was not near the Southwest counter. It was not near the security checkpoint closest to the Southwest counter. I followed the signs from the departure terminal down the stairs, past baggage claim, to an innocuous employee gate near baggage claim No. 8. If you are checking bags or dealing with a ticketing counter, the Fly Clear lane is not conveniently located.

I marched up to the lane eager to experience this "Lexus Lane" service and was stopped by a TSA agent who smugly informed me that the "concierge" had not shown up for work that day so the Fly Clear lane was closed.

What a great first impression. (Note: The lane is clearly marked as open at 4 a.m.)

I marched back up to the pedestrian security checkpoint and got in line. It took an hour to get through the TSA security lane.

So far I score the service a big fat zero.

Stan H. King


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