Few things are more tiresome than slowly shuffling forward in an airport line with one anxious eye on the ticking clock, especially as travel surges with the end of the pandemic.

That airport anxiety has become a lucrative business line for Clear Secure Inc. Customers pay $189 (about ¥26,000) a year to breeze through to the front, using the company’s eye-scan or fingerprint technology to avoid the security backups that often develop at peak times.

Only that lately Clear’s lines have been backing up themselves, and annoyed travelers have taken to social media to complain. In interviews, some cited a lack of staff, fickle computers and the at-times clumsy process of escorting people to Transportation Security Administration checkpoints. Some openly wonder whether the Clear Plus service is worth the price.