What you need to know about CLEAR.
The program called CLEAR has been around for a while in many of the busiest airports across the country. It’s a VIP program because it gives expedited service past the front of the line. To check your identification documents It uses bio-metrics, your fingerprints or iris scan, to confirm your identity.
What’s the difference between CLEAR and TSA Precheck and Global Entry?
CLEAR expedites the identity document part of the screening using bio-metrics. Instead of presenting your documents you scan your iris or fingertips and move on to the bins.
TSA Precheck is normally a line that moves very quickly and when you arrive at the front you do have to present your documents. Having it facilitates the physical part of security screening. It allows you to keep your shoes on, leave your computer and liquids bag in your carry on, and walk through the scanner.
Global Entry gives you skip the line access to Border Patrol and Customs when you return home to the U.S.A. This is huge in my opinion. It saves your time waiting in line for a Customs Agent. Unfortunately, you’ll still have to wait for luggage to appear on the carousel.
What does it cost for CLEAR versus Global Entry and TSA Precheck?
A yearly subscription to CLEAR costs $179 Per Year. The Global Entry Program which includes TSA Precheck costs $100.00 for five years validity.
If you have CLEAR only you will go to the front of the regular security line and to the bins ahead of everyone else. You will still remove your shoes, coat, computer and devices and 311 Ziploc bag of liquids, but you won’t be waiting in the long line. If you have CLEAR with TSA Pre-check, you will be escorted to the bins and proceed as usual.
Delta Airlines and CLEAR have entered a partnership and have exclusive membership rates for SkyMiles members. Diamond Medallion Members receive a free membership. Platinum, Gold and Silver Medallion members and Delta SkyMiles Credit card holders pay $109.00 per year. If you’re a General SkyMiles member, you pay $119.00 per year.
I’m torn on the helpfulness for departing Cincinnati travelers or any airport in the U.S. If you have TSA Precheck, in Cincinnati the line moves pretty quick. What about the usefulness of CLEAR? The price breaks down to $15 per month. If you’re always late to the airport, and you don’t like to keep track of your travel documents then $15 a month might be an excellent investment and help you breeze through security faster and on your way. But, for most people who plan to arrive at the airport at least two to three hours early for an international flight, I think the money is better put into Global Entry, which is valid longer, and less expensive.
I’m going to keep my Global Entry with the TSA Precheck. So far, I haven’t had one experience where I wished I had CLEAR. How about you? What will your response be to this program? Do you have it? Tell me what you think about it by hitting the reply button.
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