CLEAR Expedited Airport Security Program – What It Is, Membership, Benefits, and More

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CLEAR is a program that utilizes biometrics for the purpose of creating a much smarter and more secure connected world for all of its members.

CLEAR is available at a number of nationwide stadiums and airports, and it allows you to enter into the security queues faster for a more seamless travel experience.

From airports to major sports venues, the CLEAR platform powers a unique customer experience that is both secure and smooth. In this post, we’re going to take a look at:

  • What CLEAR is and if it makes sense for you
  • How much CLEAR costs and how you can save
  • Where CLEAR is located

How Much Does CLEAR Cost?

Currently, CLEAR is offering 2 specific types of memberships:

  • CLEAR Sports membership (free): Access at sports stadiums only
  • Standard CLEAR membership ($179): Access at airports and stadiums

To use CLEAR at airports and sports stadiums, a yearly membership is $15 per month billed annually ($180 per year), and children under 18 are free. In addition, all members can add as many as 3 family members to their membership for an extra $50 each annually.

CLEAR also offers a sports-only membership, which is good for concerts and games at select stadiums. You can pay for your CLEAR membership using American Express, Discover, Mastercard, and Visa (both credit and debit cards).

CLEAR at Airport Security
CLEAR kiosks are usually located next to both regular and TSA PreCheck queues, so you can access either after using CLEAR. Image Credit: Arizona Republic

An Easy Way to Save on Your CLEAR Membership

What you won’t find on the CLEAR website is an easy way to save on your CLEAR membership that is an absolute no-brainer.

If you’re a Delta SkyMiles member, you can save on your annual CLEAR membership:

  • Diamond Medallion members: Free membership (save $179 annually)
  • Platinum, Gold, and Silver Medallion members: $109 membership (save $70 annually)
  • General SkyMiles members: $119 membership (save $60 annually)
  • Delta SkyMiles credit card members: $109 membership (save $70 annually)

If you don’t have any status, but are simply a SkyMiles member (which anyone can be), you’ll save $89 per year. From there, depending on your status, you will save even more — all the way up to a free membership for Diamond Medallion members.

To take advantage of these benefits, simply enroll in SkyMiles for free, or apply for a Delta credit card. This is a partnership between Delta SkyMiles and CLEAR, though the great thing is that anyone can participate.

If you’re a United MileagePlus member, you can save on your annual CLEAR membership:

  • Global Services and 1K members: Free membership (save $179 annually)
  • Platinum, Gold, and Silver members : $109 membership (save $70 annually)
  • General MileagePlus members: $119 membership (save $60 annually)
  • United MileagePlus credit card members: $109 membership (save $70 annually)

To take advantage of these benefits, simply enroll in MileagePlus for free, or apply for a United credit card.

How Does the CLEAR Program Work?

Following a one-time enrollment, CLEAR will connect your biometrics (e.g., face, fingerprint, iris) to your personal identity, making it possible for you to speed through both airport and sports venue security using only the blink of your eye or the touch of your finger.

The CLEAR platform aims to create a smoother experience for its members, from biometric airport boarding passes to biometric airport lounge access and easy access to sports venues and concessions. When you become a CLEAR member, your standard ID, ticket, and boarding pass are simply replaced by your biometrics.

This means you’ll no longer need to remove your wallet from your purse or pocket. Members just enroll or verify at any CLEAR pod at the participating location, and then a CLEAR Ambassador escorts you through the dedicated CLEAR lanes.

Using CLEAR
Using CLEAR is incredibly simple — within a matter of moments, you’ll scan your fingerprints and boarding pass and be on your way into the security lanes. Image Credit: CLEAR

What About Eligibility Requirements?

Any U.S. citizen and legal permanent resident who has reached the age of 18 is eligible for enrollment in CLEAR.

The program is not open to international residents, though they likely wouldn’t receive much benefit anyway unless they travel extensively within the United States.

Are There Any Restrictions?

The only restriction is that the full name on your application must match the name on your photo ID.

Unlike Global Entry and other expedited programs, there is no background check for CLEAR members. This is because by being a CLEAR member, you are not receiving any expedited or reduced screening.

The program is simply matching your fingerprints and identity with your boarding pass so you don’t have to present your ID to a TSA Officer. From there, you’re still assigned access to either the regular security lanes or TSA PreCheck (if you have that program).

What Are the Benefits of CLEAR?

CLEAR offers accelerated screening for members when going through airport identification security lines before any physical screening. Currently, CLEAR is working on an airport expansion aimed at creating a smooth experience from curb to gate for all members.

Eventually, this would include baggage check and claim, boarding, airport lounge access, and security checkpoints. Once you become an enrolled CLEAR member, you can utilize this service anywhere that CLEAR is found. The other CLEAR program benefits include:

  1. Fast and easy enrollment that only requires a few minutes
  2. Accelerated screening in security ID lines at participating airports
  3. Availability at an ever-expanding list of airports and sports venues all over the country

CLEAR also offers its members a number of exclusive discounts or opportunities within its partner network, such as discounts on car rentals with Hertz, or the ability to access Citi Field without a physical ticket using only your fingerprint. Occasionally, CLEAR may also email out partner offers such as discounts on hotels, airline tickets, or other travel-related services.

Bottom Line: CLEAR does not bypass you from participating in actual security processes, including passing your bags through x-rays or walking through a metal detector. As a CLEAR member, your fingertips and eyes will be speeding you through the participating airport and stadium identification lines faster.

CLEAR Fingerprint
To use the CLEAR kiosk, simply scan your fingerprint and boarding pass. Image Credit: CLEAR

How Much Time Can I Save With CLEAR?

With CLEAR, you can breeze through the identification inspection process at more than 40 airports and sports venues nationwide. In fact, CLEAR members can actually speed through the entire security process from start to finish in less than 5 minutes on average, since CLEAR lanes allow members to proceed to the very front of the physical security queues.

Take for example an airport like Washington Reagan, where a large population of travelers have TSA PreCheck due to being government workers. PreCheck and regular security lines can be insanely long, especially during peak travel periods like Monday morning or Friday afternoon.

With CLEAR, once your ID is matched to your boarding pass, you will proceed to the front of the security lines. So, no matter how long the PreCheck or standard security lines are, once you’re done with the CLEAR process, you head straight to the front, right where you put your bags into the scanner.

This process of having your fingerprint scanned and matched to your boarding pass rarely (if ever) takes longer than about 2 minutes, at which point you’ll proceed through the metal detector like normal to complete the rest of your screening process.

Bottom Line: CLEAR is a great way to speed to the front of any long security queues. Processing only takes a few moments.

How Long Does the CLEAR Application Take?

CLEAR’s fast and easy enrollment application only requires a few minutes of your time. You’ll notice that in many CLEAR airports, there are salespeople trying to get you to enroll; these folks receive a commission for every new user that becomes part of the program.

They’ll try to solicit your business by encouraging you to enroll, so be vigilant about the offer they may present and always ensure you’re getting the cheapest CLEAR membership possible.

CLEAR Enrollment
The CLEAR enrollment process is fast and efficient, and you can become a member in a matter of minutes. Image Credit: CLEAR

How to Use CLEAR at the Airport

Here are the easy steps:

  1. Get in the CLEAR lane. Usually these are right next to the regular security lines.
  2. You’ll check in at a kiosk using your fingerprints or an iris scan as verification. An ambassador will open the kiosk for you and then escort you to the checkpoint.
  3. Once you’re finished verifying your identity, you can put your ID away. You won’t need to show this to the TSA officer.
  4. You’ll proceed through the TSA checkpoint as normal. If you have PreCheck, you can use those lanes; otherwise, you’ll use the regular lanes.

How CLEAR Works With TSA PreCheck

If you have TSA PreCheck, CLEAR staff will see the TSA PreCheck eligibility on your boarding pass and escort you to PreCheck expedited lanes for screening.

By visiting this page on the CLEAR website prior to your upcoming flight, you can find out which CLEAR Lanes happen to be located next to a TSA PreCheck.

Hot Tip: CLEAR does not come with TSA PreCheck. For the best possible travel experience, use a premium credit card to get Global Entry membership for free, which also comes with TSA PreCheck. Then, enroll in CLEAR separately.

Enrolling a Family Member

Once you are a CLEAR member, just log into your account at my.clearme.com to access your Family Plan. Here, you can add up to 3 family members at $50 each per year.

Children under 18 who are accompanied by a CLEAR member have access to the CLEAR lane free of charge, so you don’t need to add them to your account. (Children under 18 don’t need identification when traveling through the TSA checkpoint, which is why CLEAR allows them to proceed through.)

Hot Tip: At stadiums, you can take 1 person with you in CLEAR security lanes, so you don’t need a second membership for a companion in those scenarios.

Which Countries Participate in the Program?

Currently, CLEAR is only available to citizens and legal permanent of the United States.

CLEAR Staff
CLEAR uses biometrics to verify a passenger’s identity. Once through, you walk directly into the security line. Image Credit: CLEAR

CLEAR Locations

Currently, members can utilize CLEAR at 22 stadiums and 32 U.S. airports that cover a great deal of the country’s domestic departure traffic. Opening times and specific location information for each checkpoint can be found on the CLEAR website.

Airport Locations With CLEAR
Austin-Bergstrom International AirportDenver International AirportLos Angeles International AirportPhoenix Sky Harbor International Airport
Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall AirportDetroit Metropolitan Wayne County AirportLouis Armstrong New Orleans International AirportRonald Reagan Washington National Airport
Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International AirportDulles International AirportMcCarran International AirportSalt Lake City International Airport
Boston Logan International AirportFort Lauderdale-Hollywood International AirportMiami International AirportSan Antonio International Airport
Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International AirportGeorge Bush Intercontinental AirportMinneapolis−Saint Paul International AirportSan Francisco International Airport
Cleveland Hopkins International AirportHartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International AirportNewark International Airport Seattle-Tacoma International Airport
Dallas Love Field AirportJohn F. Kennedy International AirportNorman Y. Mineta San Jose International AirportWestchester County Airport
Dallas/Fort Worth International AirportLaGuardia AirportOrlando International AirportWilliam P. Hobby Airport

Which Sports Venues Have CLEAR?

All full membership CLEAR users are eligible to access CLEAR at sports venues. If you don’t have a normal CLEAR membership, you can enroll in a special CLEAR Sports version, which is completely free, but only valid at sports stadiums and not at airports.

Starting your free online Sports enrollment here is easy, and can be finished in just a few minutes at any CLEAR location. You can also upgrade your membership to enjoy CLEAR airport access as well by selecting “Sports + Airports” when enrolling (this requires a fee).

Stadium Locations With CLEAR
American Airlines Arena, MiamiCoors Field, DenverOracle Park, San FranciscoT-Mobile Park, Seattle
Avaya Stadium, San JoseGlobe Life Park, ArlingtonOriole Park at Camden YardsTarget Field, Minneapolis
Banc of California Stadium, Los AngelesMadison Square Garden, ManhattanProgressive FieldUniversity of Texas
CenturyLink Field, SeattleMinute Maid Park, HoustonRingCentral Coliseum, San FranciscoYankee Stadium, Bronx
Citi Field, Queens (NY)Nationals Park, Washington D.C.Staples Center
Comerica Park, DetroitOakland Coliseum, OaklandSunTrust Park, Atlanta

 

CLEAR at Sports Stadium
CLEAR checkpoints are at many popular stadiums across the country. Image Credit: NBC Los Angeles

CLEAR Application

How You Apply

Applying for CLEAR only takes a few minutes; no appointment is necessary. You can begin the application online to save more time. Once enrolled, you can begin using CLEAR that same day.

Bottom Line: You do not need an appointment to enroll in CLEAR. Unlike Global Entry or other expedited traveler programs, CLEAR enrollment can be done on the spot at the airport.

What You Need

CLEAR is open to individuals 18 and older. For enrolling, you’ll need one of the following photo identification forms. All identification must be valid, unexpired, unamended, and contain a photo:

  • U.S. Driver’s License
  • U.S. Passport
  • U.S. Passport Card
  • U.S.-issued Permanent Resident Card
  • State Issued ID
  • U.S. Military ID
CLEAR Logo
CLEAR costs a few dollars a month, and can save you time if you travel from busy airports often. Image Credit: CLEAR

Re-Registering for CLEAR

If you were a former member of the old CLEAR program, CLEAR will honor whatever amount of time remains on that CLEAR account. This will be credited to you when you reactivate your account by logging in at my.clearme.com.

Don’t remember your original password? Just follow the instructions for establishing a new one. The CLEAR program doesn’t use CLEAR cards any longer (if you were issued one) — once you reactivate your account, you are ready to use the CLEAR lanes right away.

Renewing Your CLEAR Membership

To renew an existing CLEAR membership, log in to my.clearme.com. After selecting “Reactivate,” you’ll be set — you don’t have to update your biometrics, because CLEAR will still have them on file. You will just need to pay the annual membership fee.

Once you select a CLEAR membership tier and package, you then receive that pricing for life — so it’s advantageous to find the best pricing before you enroll. (Note that this is not the case for pricing tied to elite status, which you only get as long as you hold that elite tier.)

CLEAR Kiosk
Using CLEAR is very easy. You can scan your iris or your fingerprints, and then proceed directly into the security lanes. CLEAR uses biometrics to accomplish this. Image Credit: Reuters

Final Thoughts

The bottom line is that everything is faster with biometrics, and CLEAR can make your travel life faster and easier.

CLEAR is perfect for both solo business travelers and families, since members can take their children under 18 along with them. In addition, there are several opportunities to reduce the price of your annual CLEAR membership, which is great for travelers looking to reduce their wait times at the airport and not break the bank.

CLEAR is recommended for:

  • Frequent travelers who fly more than 50,000 miles a year and see value in saving time standing in line
  • Travelers located in major, congested airports such as Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson or Washington Reagan
  • Delta SkyMiles members, since you can save on CLEAR membership
  • Delta Diamond Medallion members, since you can get a free membership

No matter how you access CLEAR, it will definitely reduce the stress of having to stand in line for the identification check, and you’ll be in the front of these lines in no time, ready to proceed through the scanner and metal detector checks.

 


FAQ

What is CLEAR?

CLEAR is an expedited way to enter the security lanes at many major airports, as well as sports stadiums. CLEAR members scan their iris or fingerprint as well as boarding pass to proceed directly to the front of any security queues. CLEAR members do not receive expedited security processing automatically, though the service can be used in conjunction with TSA PreCheck.

Does CLEAR include TSA PreCheck?

CLEAR does not include TSA PreCheck itself, but it can work alongside PreCheck. A CLEAR member can hold TSA PreCheck and then be admitted into the PreCheck lanes once they pass through the identification check in the designated CLEAR lanes.

How do I get CLEAR at an airport?

To sign up for CLEAR, you can either enroll at any participating airport, where you’ll sign up on a kiosk with the assistance of a CLEAR ambassador. You can also sign up online and then finish the enrollment process in person at the airport. In either scenario, you must physically complete the process at a CLEAR kiosk where your biometric data will be scanned.

James Larounis

About James Larounis

Jamie first got his hook on miles and points during a high school choir trip to Europe, where he flew in Lufthansa First Class (thanks to his dad’s then US Airways miles) because economy was sold out.

Disclaimer: Any comments listed below are not from the bank advertiser, nor have they been reviewed or approved by them. No responsibility will be taken by the bank advertiser for these comments.

6 comments

  1. Your pricing info is outdated, prices changed 4.19.19 to:

    All Delta SkyMiles Members: $119 per year – was $99
    Delta SkyMiles Credit Card Holders: $109 per year – was $79
    Delta Platinum, Gold, and Silver Medallion Members: $109 per year – was $79
    Delta Diamond Medallion Members: Free – was free

  2. Chelsea Lambert · July 24, 2019 · Reply

    I joined this today to try to make a flight when I was running late. (The flight was then delayed). I don’t want this. Can I cancel?

    • Stephen Au · July 24, 2019 · Reply

      Chelsea,

      We would advise you to discuss with CLEAR directly, as we are not CLEAR. Thanks for reading.

  3. OLIVIA WHEELER · August 28, 2019 · Reply

    How do I cancel?

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