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

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James Larounis

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

The service is available at several nationwide stadiums and airports, allowing you to enter the security queues faster for a more seamless travel experience.

The CLEAR platform powers a unique, secure, and smooth customer experience from airports to major sports venues. In this post, we will look at what CLEAR is, if it makes sense for you, how much it costs, how you can save, and where CLEAR is located.

How Much Does CLEAR Cost?

Currently, CLEAR offers 1 type of membership:

  • Standard CLEAR membership ($189): Access at airports and stadiums

To use CLEAR at airports and sports stadiums, a yearly membership is $15.75 per month billed annually ($189 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 $99 each annually.

CLEAR check-in Delta
CLEAR pods are usually located next to regular and TSA PreCheck queues. That way, you can access either after using CLEAR. Image Credit: CLEAR

Easy Ways 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. Not to worry — we detail several options below.

American Express Credit Cards

If you hold The Platinum Card® from American Express, The Business Platinum Card® from American ExpressAmerican Express® Gold Card, or Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card, you’ll receive a credit of up to $189 for complimentary CLEAR Plus membership.

Delta SkyMiles

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

To take advantage of these benefits, simply enroll in SkyMiles for free, then sign up to CLEAR as a Delta SkyMiles member to get the special offer.

This is a partnership between Delta SkyMiles and CLEAR, though the great thing is that anyone can participate.

United MileagePlus

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

  • Global Services and Premier 1K Members: Free membership (save $189 annually)
  • Premier Platinum, Premier Gold, and Premier Silver Members: $149 membership (save $40 annually)
  • General MileagePlus Members: $179 membership (save $10 annually)
  • United MileagePlus Credit Card Members: $149 membership (save $40 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 as a MileagePlus member for the special offer.

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan

If you’re an Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan MVP, MVP Gold, MVP Gold 75k, and MVP Gold 100k member, you’ll qualify for a discounted price of $179. Elite members also receive 1,500 miles when enrolling in CLEAR for the first time and 1,250 miles each year upon renewal.

Students

If you’re a student, you’re eligible for special student pricing of $60 a year for 4 years.

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

Family

If you’re joining as a family, you can add adult family members at $99 a person per year. 

According to CLEAR, “family” doesn’t necessarily need to be your biological family: “whether it is 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 for free.

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 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 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 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 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, CLEAR members have no background check. This is because you are not receiving any expedited or reduced screening by being a CLEAR member.

The program matches 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 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 going through airport identification security lines before any physical screening. Currently, CLEAR is working on an airport expansion to create 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 hotel discounts, airline tickets, or other travel-related services.

Bottom Line:

CLEAR does not bypass you from participating in security processes, including passing your bags through X-rays or walking through a metal detector. As a CLEAR member, your eyes will speed 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 70 airports and sports venues nationwide. CLEAR members can 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 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 long, especially during peak travel periods like Monday morning or Friday afternoon.

With CLEAR, once your ID matches 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.

CLEAR has also partnered with Uber for a Home to Gate program via the CLEAR app, where users can track security wait times and call an Uber in time to take them to the airport and get through security in perfect timing for their flight.

Bottom Line:

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

Reserve by CLEAR

Another way to save even more time is by using Reserve by CLEAR. This program, available at select airports, allows you to enter your flight information to reserve a time to go through security. When you arrive at the airport, you can scan your QR code (in an email after you reserve your spot) in the specially marked Reserve Lane to proceed through the standard security line without waiting.

Reserve by CLEAR is available at the following airport locations:

  • Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS)
  • Berlin Brandenberg Airport (BER)
  • Calgary International Airport (YYC)
  • Edmonton International Airport (YEG)
  • Frankfurt Airport (FRA)
  • Hannover Airport (HAJ)
  • John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)
  • Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport (FCO)
  • Los Angeles Fast Lane (LAX Fast Lane)
  • Minneapolis−Saint Paul International Airport (MSP)
  • Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (YUL)
  • Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)
  • Orlando International Airport (MCO)
  • Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX)
  • Reykjavík Airport (KEF)
  • Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA Spot Saver)
  • Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ)
  • Vancouver International Airport (YVR)

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 try 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 minutes. Image Credit: CLEAR

How To Use CLEAR at the Airport

Here are the easy steps to use CLEAR:

  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 and 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 the CLEAR website before your upcoming flight, you can find out which CLEAR lanes are 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 $99 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. Kids this age don’t need identification when traveling through the TSA checkpoint, which is why CLEAR allows them to proceed.

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 Locations

Currently, members can utilize CLEAR at 70+ stadiums and airports that cover much of the country’s domestic departure traffic. Opening times and specific location information for each checkpoint are available on the CLEAR website.

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Airport Locations With CLEAR
Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS)Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW)Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU)Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU)
Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI)Dulles International Airport (IAD)Miami International Airport (MIA)Rhode Island T. F. Green International Airport (PVD)
Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport (BHM)Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL)Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport (MKE)Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA)
Boise Airport (BOI)George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH)Minneapolis−Saint Paul International Airport (MSP)Sacramento International Airport (SMF)
Boston Logan International Airport (BOS)Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport (GSP)Nashville International Airport (BNA)Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC)
Bradley International Airport (BDL)Harry Reid International Airport (LAS)Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)San Antonio International Airport (SAT)
Buffalo Niagara International Airport (BUF)Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC)San Diego International Airport (SAN)
Chicago Midway International Airport (MDW)John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)Oakland International Airport (OAK)San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD)John Glenn Columbus International Airport (CMH)Ontario International Airport (ONT)Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA)
Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG)Kansas City International Airport (MCI)Orlando International Airport (MCO)St. Louis Lambert International Airport (STL)
Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE)LaGuardia Airport (LGA)Palm Beach International Airport (PBI)Tulsa International Airport (TUL)
Dallas Love Field Airport (DAL)Long Beach Airport (LGB)Palm Springs International Airport (PSP)Westchester County Airport (HPN)
Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) Will Rogers World Airport (OKC)
Denver International Airport (DEN)Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY)
Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT)

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 free but only valid at sports stadiums and not at airports.

Starting your free online Sports enrollment 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 by selecting “Sports + Airports” when enrolling (this requires a fee).

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Stadium Locations With CLEAR
Allegiant Stadium, Las VegasChase Center, San FranciscoMadison Square Garden, New YorkSoFi Stadium, Los Angeles
Ball Arena, DenverCoors Field, DenverNationals Park, Washington, D.C.State Farm Arena, Atlanta
BMO Stadium, Los AngelesDKR Texas Memorial Statidum, AustinOracle Park, San FranciscoT-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas
Barclays Center, New YorkKaseya Center, MiamiSAP Center, San JoseYankee Stadium, New York
Capital One Arena, Washington D.C.Lumen Field, Seattle  

CLEAR App

Using the CLEAR mobile app, you can track security wait times, order an Uber via Home to Gate, apply for a new membership, enter stadiums and concert venues, or store health information as part of a health pass system.

Using CLEAR Health Pass, you can upload vaccination information, medical history, and other pertinent data to share with others. CLEAR can verify this information, which can be used for businesses or other entities to trust that the medical information being shared is truthful.

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 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

Re-registering for CLEAR

If you were a former member of the old CLEAR program, CLEAR will honor whatever time remains on that 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 no longer uses CLEAR cards (if you were issued one). Once you reactivate your account, you can use the CLEAR lanes immediately.

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.

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 solo business travelers and families since members can take their children under 18 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:

  • Frequent travelers who fly more than 50,000 miles a year and see value in saving time standing in line
  • Travelers in major, congested airports such as Atlanta or Washington, D.C.
  • Delta SkyMiles and United MileagePlus members, since you can save on CLEAR membership
  • Delta Diamond Medallion and United Global Services and 1K members, since you can get a free membership

No matter how you access CLEAR, it will 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.

For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.

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 was a free app authorized by Customs and Border Protection for Mobile Passport Control for U.S. citizens and Canadian visitors.

As Customs and Border Protection now has its own app, CLEAR Pass is no longer available.

James Larounis's image

About James Larounis

James (Jamie) started The Forward Cabin blog to educate readers about points, miles, and loyalty programs. He’s spoken at Princeton University and The New York Times Travel Show and has been quoted in dozens of travel publications.

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