In a world where flying creates feelings of stress and anxiety, CLEAR was created to come to the rescue. I don't know about you, but I find myself more anxious about navigating the security checkpoint than I do the flight itself. If you're like me, then read on—because this might just be for you.
How Does CLEAR Work?
Simply put, the CLEAR program allows you to walk up to a security line and jump everyone else in line. I originally heard about it after I had booked a flight and received an email offering a 30-day FREE trial. After reading through the details, I signed up (excitedly, I might add).
When you first get to the airport, if you don't have bags to check, you need to head over to their kiosk. They usually have a couple of people working at these to assist you through the process. You'll enter some of your basic information (name, date of birth, etc.) and they'll need to see some identification.
Then they walk you through a process where the machine scans your eyes. It takes a little maneuvering back and forth, but a fairly easy process. They then scan your fingers to record your fingerprints. Once this process is finished, you shouldn't need to do it again. They will then escort you to security, and walk you to the front of the line for whatever status you have (general boarding or TSA Pre-Check).
Since your identity has already been verified there is no need to hand your ID/passport and boarding pass to the TSA agent. Nothing is more exhilarating than breezing past a line where you could've waited 20 minutes to an hour.
How is CLEAR different from TSA Pre-check?
TSA Pre-check is a government program where your security screening is done in advance. For $85 you get a 5-year membership that allows you to go through a special line where you don't have to remove: shoes, light jackets, computers, cameras, or liquids from your bags.
You apply for the program online and then schedule an appt. to get screened in person—they verify your identity, fingerprint you, and run a background check. After this is done—and pending your approval—it allows you to enter this expedited security line. CLEAR is special in that it allows you to bypass this line and jump right to the front. You zip through security even faster.
What Does CLEAR Cost?
There is an annual fee of $179 for a CLEAR membership, and an additional $50 to add an adult family member—children under 18 are free with a paid member. Though the cost seems high at first glance, it averages out to only $15 per month. Not bad, right?
Use the FlyFright CLEAR Discount Code
Even better, we've partnered with CLEAR to get you $30 off a full membership. If you'd like to test it out first and are planning an upcoming trip, you can use this link for a two month free trial before you decide.
PRO TIP: CLEAR has a partnership with Delta, so if you're a SkyMiles member the cost for a membership is only $99. Even better—if you have Diamond Medallion status with Delta? CLEAR is absolutely free.
Not Just for Airports
CLEAR has Partnered with Delta to allow faster access to their airport lounges. You simply scan your finger and are able to check in quickly and efficiently. They've recently expanded to some football field and baseball stadiums. For example, you can now bypass lines at CenturyLink Field in Seattle with a simple swipe of the finger.
Hertz is also a partner, allowing for a smoother car rental process. CLEAR is routinely expanding and reaching out to new partners. For a full list of currently available CLEAR cities, airports and venues, see the CLEAR Airport and Venue Locations section below.
Pros & Cons
Here are noteworthy points from my CLEAR analysis:
- CLEAR is currently the only program of its kind. The closest comparison is TSA, but obviously, this trumps that.
- It is 100% convenient and makes the hassle of air travel security that much better.
- As stated above, it's useful for more than just airports.
- Kids under 18 are free with a paid member—huge cost savings for family.
- If you aren't constantly traveling for work, the cost is a little high.
- Occasionally, their machines can malfunction and you'll need to redo your eye and fingerprint scan at a kiosk. While this hasn't personally happened to us, we have seen it happen.
- According to their member terms, the family member plan requires that everyone resides at the same address. If a family member on the plan changes addresses, CLEAR will change them to the primary policy-holder and convert their membership to the "full member" and pro-rate the remaining cost.
- Sometimes, depending on the airport, the TSA agent may still require you to show your passport or ID.
Is CLEAR Secure?
CLEAR Airport and Venue Locations
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If you frequent airports for work or simply have a travel bug, I highly recommend CLEAR. You simply can't beat the low cost for the convenience. You'd pay $15 extra for earlier boarding on a flight, so why not do it for a hassle-free trip through security? It's simple, secure, and lets you focus on where you're headed next—not stuck waiting in line.
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