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

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Update: Due to the spread of COVID-19, many CLEAR locations may have adjusted enrollment and/or operational lanes. Visit the Where We Are page to view the current hours and days of operation at your departure airport.

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

CLEAR is available at several 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 it costs, how you can save, and see 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. All members can also add as many as 3 adult 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 check in delta
CLEAR pods are usually located right next to both regular and TSA PreCheck queues, that way you can access either after using CLEAR. Image Credit: CLEAR

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 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 and then sign up to CLEAR on this page to get the special offer.

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 (if you’re not a member already), or apply for a United credit card. Then sign up to CLEAR on this page for the special offer.

If you’re a student, you’re eligible for special pricing of $50 a year for 4 years.

CLEAR partners with a third-party service to confirm eligibility, but if you’re a student, this is by far one of the cheapest ways to get CLEAR.

If you’re joining as a family, you can add adult family members at $50 a person per year. 

According to CLEAR, “family” doesn’t necessarily need to be your biological family: “whether it’s your biological family, chosen family, or friends that feel like family. It’s totally up to you!” Children under 18 do not need to enroll and can join any CLEAR member in line free. You can receive 2 months free here.

How Does the CLEAR Program Work?

Following a 1-time enrollment, CLEAR will connect your biometrics (e.g., face, 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.

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 eyes.

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 eyes 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 many benefits anyway unless they travel extensively within the U.S.

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 eye 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 touchless 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:

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

CLEAR also offers its members several exclusive discounts or opportunities within its partner network, 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 eyes will be speeding you through the participating airport and stadium identification lines faster.

clear agent eye scan
To use the CLEAR pod, simply scan your eye 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 55 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 Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA), where many travelers have TSA PreCheck due to being government workers. TSA 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 TSA 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 eye 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, salespeople are 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 pod using an iris scan as verification. An ambassador will open the pod 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 TSA 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 TSA PreCheck expedited lanes for screening.

By visiting this page on the CLEAR website before 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 to access your Family Plan. Here, you can add up to 3 adult 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 CLEAR?

Currently, CLEAR is only available to citizens and legal permanent of the U.S.

clear check in
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 21 stadiums and 35 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 Airport (AUS)Denver International Airport (DEN)Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY)Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA)
Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI)Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW)McCarran International Airport (LAS)Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC)
Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport (BHM)Dulles International Airport (IAD)Miami International Airport (MIA)San Antonio International Airport (SAT)
Boston Logan International Airport (BOS)Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL)Minneapolis−Saint Paul International Airport (MSP)San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD)George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH)Nashville International Airport (BNA)Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA)
Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG)Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)Newark Liberty International Airport  (EWR)St. Louis Lambert International Airport (STL)
Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE)John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC)Westchester County Airport (HPN)
Dallas Love Field Airport (DAL)LaGuardia Airport (LGA)Orlando International Airport (MCO)William P. Hobby Airport (HOU)
Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX)

Which Sports Venues Have CLEAR?

clear sports coors field
CLEAR checkpoints are at many popular stadiums across the country, like Coors Field. Image Credit: 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, MiamiComerica Park, DetroitOriole Park at Camden Yards, BaltimoreTarget Field, Minneapolis
AT&T Center, San AntonioCoors Field, DenverProgressive Field, ClevelandUniversity of Texas, Austin
Banc of California Stadium, Los AngelesEarthquakes Stadium, San JoseRingCentral Coliseum, San FranciscoYankee Stadium, Bronx
Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.Globe Life Park, ArlingtonSTAPLES Center, Los Angeles
CenturyLink Field, SeattleMadison Square Garden, ManhattanTruist Park, Atlanta
Citi Field, QueensOracle Park, San FranciscoT-Mobile Park, Seattle

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 to your account.

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 1) — 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 your account. 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 kiosks
Using CLEAR is very easy. You can scan your iris and then proceed directly into the security lanes. CLEAR uses biometrics to accomplish this. Image Credit: CLEAR

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. There are also 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:

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.


Frequently asked questions

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 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 TSA PreCheck. A CLEAR member can hold TSA PreCheck and then be admitted into the TSA 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 enroll at any participating airport, where you’ll sign up on a pod 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 pod where your biometric data will be scanned.

Does CLEAR still have a partnership with Hertz?

No. CLEAR and Hertz have discontinued their partnership due to Hertz’s bankruptcy and no longer offer The Hertz Fast Lane Powered by CLEAR.

What is CLEAR Pass?

CLEAR Pass is a free app authorized by Customs and Border Patrol for Mobile Passport Control for all U.S. citizens and Canadian visitors. Add up to 12 family members on 1 form and save details for future trips.

You do not have to be a CLEAR member to use CLEAR Pass.

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

    Reply

  2. Chelsea Lambert July 24, 2019

    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?

    Reply

  3. OLIVIA WHEELER August 28, 2019

    How do I cancel?

    Reply

Any thoughts or questions? Comment below!

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