California’s Newest Ban is on ‘Rich Line Cutters’

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A new California bill would see the state become the first in the nation to ban expedited screening services at airports in its borders.

The bill was introduced by a pair of state senators from Orange County, one Republican and one Democrat. They are attempting to ban the company CLEAR from operating in Californian airports.

“The least you can expect when you have to go through the security line at the airport is that you don’t suffer the indignity of somebody pushing you out of the way to let the rich person pass you,” Josh Newman, the Democrat who wrote the bill, said in comments to Politico.

Janet Nguyen, a Republican on the transportation committee, backed up his stance.

“I do understand the frustration stated in Senator Newman’s bill,” Nguyen said, although her office said she hasn’t formally endorsed the bill. “It becomes a haves vs. have nots where those who can afford it jump in front of the rest of us. They even cut in front of TSA Pre-boarding pass travelers who have been screened by the TSA.”

CLEAR offers travelers an expediated identity verification process for $189 a year. After their identities are confirmed at pre-security kiosks, they’re fast-tracked to the front of TSA security lines.

Some flight attendants and TSA agents call CLEAR an unfair pay-to-play scheme that threaten security.

But six major airlines opposed the bill in a joint letter, saying CLEAR provides vital revenue and a valuable “touchless experience” for frequent fliers.

However, the Association of Flight Attendants and the Northern California branch of the American Federation of Government Employees, which represents over 1,000 TSA agents, also supports the bill.

CLEAR is “nothing more than the luxury resale of upcharge of space in the airport security queue, where those who pay can skip the line at the direct expense of every other traveler,” James Mudrock, president of AFGE Local 1230.


  1. Time for the ass kickings to begin. If you’ve been chosen a winner in life’s lottery; good for you. But if you jump the line in front of me be prepared for that ass kicking because it’s coming.

    • Right. You can afford $189 a year so you must be lucky, nothing to do with work or risk taking in business.
      I’d like to be at the airport when you try to deliver that “ass kicking” tough guy.

  2. It also speeds up the entire boarding process which benefits everyone. This bill is just another Democrat attempt to vilify the “evil rich” as usual.

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