3 Links I Love: Delta’s Weird CLEAR Move, Burbank’s Silly Renaming, United’s New Gift Delivery Service

BUR - Burbank, Links I Love, United

This week’s featured link:
Delta Air Lines and CLEAR Partner to Improve Airport ExperienceDelta News Hub
One of the initiatives that Delta rolled out at media day last week was a partnership with CLEAR. Delta has actually bought a stake in the company and is giving Diamond elites free membership. I don’t get this at all. CLEAR does not provide expedited screening. It simply gives you a front of the line pass. So why did Delta have to buy a stake in the company just to give its Diamonds more line-cutting ability than they already have? It’s weird.

Links I Love

Two for the road:
Bob Hope Airport will be branded ‘Hollywood Burbank Airport’Los Angeles Times
The fact that Burbank’s airport has been known as Bob Hope Airport for the last several years is silly. As a secondary airport, Burbank needs better name recognition and Bob Hope doesn’t help. The airport commission decided to do something about it and after a ton of study, the group voted 8 to 1 to go back to an old name, Hollywood Burbank Airport. The problem is, I agree with the guy who voted no. It really should become Los Angeles Burbank Airport. People don’t get tickets to Hollywood (at least, not anymore since American Idol went off the air). They buy tickets to Los Angeles. And Burbank is actually the airport closest to downtown Los Angeles.

Why didn’t this happen? Stubbornness. Burbank feels like it’s in the shadows of LA and instead of trying to take advantage of that, it wants to fight it. It’s a shame.

United employee helps us take gifting to new heightsUnited Airtime
I love this idea. You can now go on to United’s duty free site and order items to be delivered to a passenger at his or her seat in a gift bag. I know I’ve wanted to give people something when they get on an airplane to start a special vacation but it’s just not possible. But now it is, and that’s cool.

There are issues, of course. Since it relies on the duty free infrastructure, it’s only on flights from the US going internationally with duty free service. Also, liquor rules make it so they can’t actually gift wrap liquor (the most logical gift, I’d think). But it’s a start. And hey, maybe someone will appreciate that dog collar being delivered.

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27 comments on “3 Links I Love: Delta’s Weird CLEAR Move, Burbank’s Silly Renaming, United’s New Gift Delivery Service

  1. “CLEAR does not provide expedited screening. It simply gives you a front of the line pass.”

    I have always wondered: who “owns” the order of the line such that they can make a deal with CLEAR to let their customers go to the front?

    1. Oliver – As far as I know, it’s the airport that owns it. TSA doesn’t care about how people get to screening. They just take over once they get there.

      1. Perhaps someone at the front of the line should challenge the CLEAR drone trying to insert someone in front of them.

  2. My local news had an interview with the new Delta CEO saying they [Delta] are working to reduce the TSA lines for “everybody.” Apparently everybody is diamond elites. My opinion of the security theater aside I don’t think your FF status should let anyone jump the line. Security is security, right? If you go through the pre-check screening, sure, but just because you have status?? Seems like a loophole. Now with the news that air rage is increased when airlines offer multiple classes of service this screams of another “rage” opportunity.

    1. A – Actually, Delta is also offering staff at no charge to help TSA get people through lines more quickly. So it’s a different initiative, but they are trying to help everyone.

  3. Going back a few decades who would have thought that a government run mandatory procedure (security screening) would allow cut privileges to first class or elite passengers?

    1. And what’s with the biometric data that they are capturing (finger print, iris scan). It’s essentially a fee for line-cutting service, and the biometric data isn’t used for any improved security, right?

      1. Oliver – That’s right. It doesn’t do anything to improve security. The original hope was that the biometric data would help people get expedited screening, but TSA has not allowed that.

        1. So the whole thing is completely inefficient then. Why have all that equipment and staff. Security Theater.

  4. Must be something in the air in Los Angeles. They still insist on calling their Ontario airport after a Canadian province. Confusing to most people, except those who live there, I guess!

    1. Given that ONT is at least half surrounded by industrial zones and warehouses (at least on the E and S sides of the airport, per a quick Google search), maybe that is the airport’s way of trying to get people excited about it. “You’re not flying into an industrial zone of southern California, you’re flying into Ontario!”

  5. As a fan of not naming things after people, I’m with the renaming back to Hollywood Burbank. But as a native Californian, I’ve never heard anyone ever say anything other then Burbank Airport. But living where I do, I’ve seen many times when a foreign carrier was coming to the Bay Area and using Oakland Airport it would be shown as San Francisco’s Oakland Airport or San Francisco/Oakland Airport. It let’s people know what area they are coming to by the major name known around the world, but get’s across what airport you will actuall be using. At least having Hollywood in the name should help as people every where seem to know about Hollywood.

  6. “Hollywood-Burbank” was good enough back in the 1970s and it is fine today. Personally, they should rename it “Lockheed Air Terminal.”

  7. DIdn’t the TSA end the program that allowed airlines to nominate their elite passengers for PreCheck? Perhaps adding CLEAR membership is seen as a way to compensate for the loss of that perk. Though if CLEAR doesn’t actually get you any form of expedited screening, it seems rather pointless since airports often do the same thing by having an elite/first class line for the security checkpoint anyway. Though it wouldn’t be the first time the travel industry touted a perk that was basically pointless.

    On the topic of BUR, at least they didn’t rename it “LA/Burbank Airport”. I still think that was a rather dumb name for ONT.

  8. At my airport, the carriers or consortium manage the TSA ‘lines’. I find CLEAR an obnoxious presence, similar to someone making money by selling front of line privileges at the unemployment office. I hear CLEAR works at the ballpark now – maybe TSA should get on board with that.

    1. Yup. They are essentially making money by slowing down access to a government “service” for everyone who does not pay them a fee.

  9. Ah, United’s Gift. At least 20 years behind, as usual. Long before Canadian Airlines International, and I work for them for 33 year, was bought up by Air Canada, one could order duty free items in advance, and it would be brought to your seat. No harm done if you did not turn up for the flight, the item would just be offered to anybody who wanted it. Again, firmly in the Middle Ages, eh?

  10. I’m a fan of keeping Bob Hope on the airport name. For non locals it adds a classic Hollywood theme to the trip. Plus Bob Hope did a ton of USO work to deserve it.

  11. I would have gone with “Los Angeles Airport of Burbank*.”

    * Not convenient for attending Angels games.

  12. I use the Clear services at MIA, and highly appreciate the avoidance of our notoriously long security lines here. See more at clearme.com

    My issue with them is that currently, there are few airports in which this service is available. No brainer that this will change with their partnership with Delta. Have strong concerns that they will become exclusive to Delta, and I usually fly American Airlines. As long as they do not remain exclusive to Delta only, will renew. I don’t care if it is a 20 minute walk in a large airpot to access them on airline, other than Delta. That is still much quicker than long security lines. Lol, now I have their location at MIA memorized and if getting ride to airport, simply ask I be dropped of further down, closer to another airline.

    There is a strong push to use TSA pre-check with traditional and recent discovery on non-traditional method to obtain such. The problem is that with push to TSA pre-check, that it is just a short amount of time, before those lines are as long as what is experienced now, with not having access to such. As though to confuse things more, ran across this link, but into, very ill defined. Price is what traditional TSA application would be w/$85. Vague mentions of biometric screenings like “Clear” uses. However, unlike clearme.com, no mention of airports in which have this availability. Had to ask myself, is this just TSA pre-check in another package, or is biometric screening about to advance? http://www.identogo.com/tsa-precheck

    Your experience will vary somewhat with “Clear,” understandably, and accordingly to the size of the airport. If you click on the FB link for clearme.com, you will see video of a man zipping through San Jose airport security in a minute or two. My experience at MIA, was that “Clear” had priority access to merge ( nice way of saying butt to the front of the line) of traditional TSA pre-check line, which was substantial at MIA.

    Diamond medallion member of Delta will be given “Clear” perk for free. Have not checked gold card, but know that the Amex Platinum card will be offering “Clear” for a discount.

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