Y’all already know that traveling is one of my favorite things to do in the world. But on this recent trip to Dallas, I was a little apprehensive. Real talk, I don’t know what I did to my back but it has been bothering me for a minute. I think I picked up something wrong or something, but any way my back has been hurting. For this trip, I was dreading the long line at security, after all the busiest airport in the world has long security lines 99% of the time (yep The A still holds that title).
On my trip to Seattle, I saw these cute blue signs for CLEAR and the reps were saying get out of that long line and go straight through. I wasn’t sure what it was but I made a mental note to check it out and I was pleased with what I found about this company.
CLEAR is a prescreening system that speeds travelers through the queue line right up to the security area. To accomplish this, the process starts online where you enter basic contact information and pay for the service. You must be age 18 or older and have a valid U.S. ID such as a license or passport, permanent resident card, military ID, etc. Then once you arrive at the airport, CLEAR collects some biometric data, e.g. iris, fingertips, and thumbs to identify you. All this happens in a kiosk.
You’re all set and can head to the security area. In the security area, your identity is verified at the same type of kiosk using any one of the biometrics. I chose the iris verification because it seemed fast and easy. To confirm my identity, I stood in front of the kiosk and looked at a mirror, when the light changed from yellow to green I was identified and CLEARED along with a check of my boarding pass. A CLEAR rep escorted me to the FRONT of the security line and I pulled two of those ugly grey bins and took my shoes off!!! You can imagine the looks on the faces of the folks in that long line. It was so simple, I was in and out of security in seriously 5 to 7 minutes, easy peasy and with no back pain – #winning!
CLEAR vs PreCheck vs Global Entry
CLEAR and PreCheck are two different types of speedy screening. CLEAR and PreCheck gets you through airport security faster, while Global Entry gets you through Customs and Border Protection. If you are flying International, the CLEAR rep will escort you to the Customs and Border Protection area and again, you speed through that process as well. CLEAR and PreCheck work together.
Thumbs up for now! I really loved the uncomplicated sign up and of course it was nice to be moved to the front of the line. The downside is that CLEAR is only in 30 airports, such as, New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Seattle, Houston,Washington, D.C. and Orlando to name a few. But it is expected to expand to other airports. And it is pricey at $15 a month, billed annually. American Express/Delta SkyMiles cardholders are eligible for a discounted price of $99.
If you plan to travel a lot domestically, I think it is a good alternative to PreCheck. Conversely, if you are more of an International traveler, I would say Global Entry might be a better choice. I plan to sign up for Global Entry since for $15 more, you get the same benefits as PreCheck! Consider how much and where you travel when deciding which program to use.
Airline travel can be stressful, so anything you can do to relieve that stress is worth it and for me CLEAR was a lifesaver, or should I say back saver.
Are you using CLEAR or PreCheck or Global Entry?
CLEAR images via