Have you ever wanted to shave off time and avoid those long security lines at airports and stadiums? Well, with CLEAR that is now a possibility. CLEAR is a subscription service that replaces your ID with your fingerprints or iris using technology. It works with both TSA Pre-Check and regular TSA security to allow you to cut in front of every person in the TSA ID check line.
But is CLEAR worth it? In this review, I will tell you everything you need to know about CLEAR and then give my impressions and thoughts after using CLEAR for a month. I’ll also show you which airports and stadiums have CLEAR and how to enroll.
What is CLEAR?
CLEAR uses your biometrics to clear you through ID check at airports and stadiums so that you can avoid the lines to get through security in VIP fashion.
At airports, CLEAR works in conjunction with regular TSA lines and TSA Pre-Check lines. So, if you don’t have Pre-Check, you will go through the regular TSA line. If you have Pre-Check, you go through the pre-check lines.
I recommend getting TSA Pre-Check as it makes security easier and you can easily find credit cards that offer TSA Pre-Check credits.
CLEAR is also available at stadiums. CLEAR at stadiums allow you to bypass the ID check line and go straight to the front.
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Which airports have CLEAR?
CLEAR is available at 50+ locations which include the following:
- Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)
- Austin–Bergstrom International Airport (AUS)
- Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI)
- Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport (BHM)
- Boston Logan International Airport (BOS)
- Chicago O’Hare Airport (ORD)
- Chicago Midway International Airport (MDW)
- Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG)
- Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE)
- John Glenn Columbus International Airport (CMH)
- Dallas Love Field Airport (DAL)
- Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)
- Denver International Airport (DEN)
- Detroit Metro Airport (DTW)
- Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL)
- William P. Hobby Airport (HOU)
- George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH)
- Harry Reid International Airport (LAS)
- Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
- Miami International Airport (MIA)
- Minneapolis−Saint Paul International Airport (MSP)
- Nashville International Airport (BNA)
- Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY)
- LaGuardia Airport (LGA)
- John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)
- Westchester County Airport (HPN)
- Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)
- Oakland International Airport (OAK)
- Ontario International Airport (ONT)
- Orlando International Airport (MCO)
- Palm Beach International Airport (PBI)
- Palm Springs International Airport (PSP)
- Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX)
- Sacramento International Airport (SMF)
- Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC)
- San Antonio International Airport (SAT)
- San Diego International Airport (SAN)
- San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
- Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC)
- Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA)
- St. Louis Lambert International Airport (STL)
- Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA)
- Dulles International Airport (IAD)
Which stadiums have CLEAR?
CLEAR can be found at different stadiums across the country. This means you can avoid the long ID check lines while entering stadiums and also enter in priority lines for concessions. Nothing is worse than missing part of the game while you wait in a long and winding line for some nachos!
You can find CLEAR at these stadiums (most are baseball venues currently):
- Arlington/Dallas – Globe Life Park
- Atlanta – Truist Park (No Longer Available)
- Austin – Darrell K. Royal Stadium
- Baltimore – Oriole Park at Camden Yards (No Longer Available)
- Cleveland – Progressive Field (No Longer Available)
- Denver – Coors Field
- Detroit – Comerica Park (No Longer Available)
- Los Angeles – Dodger Stadium (No Longer Available), Crypto.com Arena formerly Staples Center, and Banc of California Stadium
- Miami – FTX Arena formerly AmericanAirlines Arena and Marlins Park (No Longer Available)
- Minneapolis – Target Field
- New York – Citi Field (No Longer Available), Madison Square Garden and Yankee Stadium
- Oakland – Alameda County Coliseum (No Longer Available)
- San Antonio – AT&T Center
- San Francisco – Oracle Park formerly AT&T Park
- San Jose – PayPal Park formerly Avaya Stadium
- Seattle – T-Mobile Park (No Longer Available) and CenturyLink Field (No Longer Available)
- Washington DC – Capital One Arena
You can view the specific locations for the CLEAR benefits for each stadium on the CLEAR website. For example, here are the entry points for Yankee Stadium in New York.
Babe Ruth Plaza
- CLEAR Lanes open 1.5 hours before game time
- Located between Gate 4 and Gate 6
Suite Entrance (ticket holders only)
- CLEAR Lanes open 1.5 hours before game time
- Located at Gate 4
Cool CLEAR services
CLEAR does offer some unique services that make travel or attending sporting events more enjoyable.
Delta Sky Club members can access Sky Clubs using CLEAR for a one-touch solution at all 50 US Sky Club locations.
At Citi Field, you can access the stadium without your phone or stub as CLEAR will already have your ticket (No Longer Available).
Concession stands at Seattle stadiums use CLEAR for the age verification instead of pulling out your ID to show to the clerk (No Longer Available).
How much does CLEAR cost?
You can obtain CLEAR in different ways with varying prices.
Standard CLEAR subscription
CLEAR uses the yearly subscription model, and the regular price for CLEAR is $189 a year. You can add up to three adult family members for only $50/year each. Also, kids under 18 are free and don’t need to enroll.
Your CLEAR membership automatically renews each year for an additional 12 month period at the annual full member rate.
Delta SkyMiles discount
If you are a Delta SkyMiles member, you can get CLEAR for $119 a year. If you hold Delta Silver, Gold, or Platinum Medallion status, you can get CLEAR for $109 a year. Delta Diamond Medallion members get CLEAR for free. You can access the exclusive CLEAR rate for SkyMiles members here.
United MileagePlus discount
If you are a United MileagePlus member, you can get CLEAR for $119 a year. If you hold United Premier Silver, Gold, Platinum, or US United Credit Card, you can get CLEAR for $109 a year. Premier 1K members get CLEAR for free. You can access the exclusive CLEAR rate for United members here.
Amex Green Card
The Amex Green Card offers a $100 annual credit for CLEAR memberships.
CLEAR free trial
CLEAR typically runs free trials. If you end up signing up for CLEAR at the airport as I did, you will likely only get a one-month free trial but other times you can find longer trials. For example, I received an offer for a two-month trial via email.
The nice thing about CLEAR is the ability to cancel and get a refund for the remaining months you have left for that subscription year.
The CLEAR experience
CLEAR does one thing well: making you feel like a VIP.
When CLEAR works, it goes something like this.
While entering the CLEAR lane, the CLEAR ambassadors always have a big smile and guide me to the pod to perform the biometric and boarding pass scans. Ambassadors are a delight and make CLEAR a true VIP experience.
I primarily scan my right-hand index and middle fingers at the pod, but there is the option for me to scan my left-hand index and middle fingers or scan my eyes. Sadly, none of these worked all the time as I explained below.
After the pod verifies it’s me with a valid boarding pass scanned, the ambassador then walks me to the TSA officer. The ambassadors usually block non-CLEAR members or escort me past non-CLEAR members in the line if the pods are outside of the TSA area.
Without the ambassadors, I think CLEAR wouldn’t be as enjoyable as it is now. Most of them interact with you, ask if you need any help, and seem to be enjoying their jobs.
Enrolling in CLEAR
There are two different ways to enroll in CLEAR. You can enroll in CLEAR online or at the airport/stadium.
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Enrolling via the website
The best way to enroll is via their own website, and the other way is with a recruiter. When you signup for CLEAR online you can use referral codes or get super long free trials that last more than 3-months.
Enrolling online is easy and you can do so here.
Simply follow that link, and input some of your basic personal information such as your name and birthdate. Then, you will be prompted to input your payment information and just like that you will have completed the first step of enrolling.
Once you enroll online, you will mention to the ambassador that you completed the online enrollment and just have to finish the verification process. Once the verification process is done, you will be cleared to go through security.
Enrolling at the airport or stadium
You can also enroll for CLEAR at airports or stadiums.
I ended up signing up for CLEAR through a recruiter at the airport for a month free trial, which is not ideal. However, I was running late for my flight, and the TSA Pre-Check line was too long. Within 2 minutes I enrolled. After enrollment, I went through security. I then later got matched for a 3-month free trial by emailing CLEAR.
In rare cases, CLEAR ambassadors trying to recruit members can be a little too pushy and annoying. I have nothing against them, but I have encountered about two recruiters at DTW that kept pushing the sale on people that said no.
Enrolling for CLEAR at a stadium is similar. You will usually see big banners for CLEAR and recruiters will help you through the enrollment process. Once you are done, you are on your way to grab some drinks, snacks, and relax before the game or event.
CLEAR biometrics need some work
Last time I used CLEAR the pod couldn’t recognize my fingerprints after 5 attempts of scanning. Then the ambassador mentioned how my hands were too cold and it won’t work because my hands are too cold. So, the ambassador switched to the iris scanner, and that took ages. I never used the iris scanner after the enrollment process making me look a little stupid moving back and forth to be in the right position to perform the iris scan.
After the pod recognized me, I was able to proceed to security screening. The sad thing is, I took so long that everyone that was in the regular ID check lane passed me.
This isn’t the only time I had issues with the fingerprint scanners while using the pods. I have used CLEAR 6 times and every time those fingerprint scanners did not recognize my fingerprints the first or second attempt of scanning my fingerprints. They aren’t as good as the Global Entry fingerprint scanners or even my phone’s fingerprint scanner.
I thought it was just me having this issue. When I brought up CLEAR to my friend, that friend right away complained about the fingerprint scanners not recognizing their fingerprints.
Is CLEAR worth it?
CLEAR is worth it for frequent fliers. However, for the average person, it’s not worth the fee.
When I am in the US, I fly an average of one or two times domestically a month, but I cannot justify the $109 a year fee since I am a medallion member. I for one travel with my partner and my partner isn’t a US citizen or a permanent resident. One has to be a US citizen or permanent resident for CLEAR membership.
CLEAR is also rather limited to which airports services. CLEAR is a domestic product and isn’t available outside of the US. For me, I cannot see paying the $109 yearly fee for just me and only usable within the US.
The annual subscription price is $189. You can add up to three adult family members for only $50 a year each.
You can get a $100 annual credit with the Amex Green Card.
You can also get discounts when you have elite status with other airlines such as Delta and United.
You can enroll at the airport or online. Enrolling online is easy and you can do so here.
Yes, you can skip ahead to the TSA Pre-Check line when you have CLEAR.
When CLEAR works, it’s an excellent service. I love the ambassadors working at the pods. It’s a VIP experience for cutting the line.
Moreover, when CLEAR doesn’t work, it’s a little disappointing. It’s a service that you pay, but you cannot use properly because of inaccurate biometric scanners on the pods that aren’t as good as other biometric scanners on other kiosks.
This article was originally published by Steve Smith.
Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned full-time credit card rewards/travel expert and has earned and redeemed millions of miles to travel the globe. Since 2014, his content has been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, US News, and Business Insider. Find his full bio here.