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. 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.
Here are some services that have been available in the past:
- Delta Sky Club members could access Sky Clubs using CLEAR for a one-touch solution at all 50 US Sky Club locations.
- At Citi Field, you could access the stadium without your phone or stub
- Concession stands at Seattle stadiums used CLEAR for the age verification instead of pulling out your ID to show to the clerk
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
The CLEAR experience begins by you selecting the right line to enter.
Some CLEAR lines feed into both the standard TSA line and TSA Pre-Check but sometimes there is a dedicated CLEAR line for TSA Pre-Check
You’ll enter the CLEAR lane and then CLEAR ambassadors will guide you to the pod to perform the biometric and boarding pass scans.
You can scan your fingerprints or eyes but I always scan my eyes.
It may take you a few reps to get the hang of it but you’ll need to properly distance yourself from the eye scanner until you see the green light.
After the pod verifies it’s you with a valid boarding pass, the ambassador will escort you to the TSA officer where you will be able to jump the line.
Some of the ambassadors are a bit indifferent but others are very pleasant to deal with.
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Enrolling in CLEAR
There are two different ways to enroll in CLEAR. You can enroll in CLEAR online or at the airport/stadium.
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.
Is CLEAR worth it?
CLEAR is worth it for frequent fliers.
However, for others it may not be 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 travel with my partner who isn’t a US citizen or a permanent resident so they can’t use CLEAR. (One has to be a US citizen or permanent resident for CLEAR membership.)
CLEAR is also rather limited to which airports services on an international level. 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.
I love seeing biometrics being used for identification purposes. With our current ID systems we’re basically using primitive facial recognition. We had might as well use biometrics, with both online and offline storage of the data, to mitigate identity theft. If our cell phones can already perform accurate facial recognition, voice recognition and fingerprint detection, why not?
I am totally for biometrics for identification. It’s exciting seeing biometrics becoming a thing not only in the US but all over the world.
I have been a CLEAR member since they began…when your biometrics were stored on a card with a chip (with my photo), like the data on a credit card. Here are a few random thoughts:
1) My home airport is SFO, which can certainly get rather crowded at peak times. Using CLEAR saves me (and my wife) a minimum of five minutes and has saved as much as 20+. Specifically, because I have had knee replacement surgery, I can’t go through the metal detector but must use the scanner¹. Not only does CLEAR get me through the long security lines, as the above diagram shows, but then a TSA agent (actually, at SFO, it’s a private company) takes me to the head of the line to use the scanner. I cannot imagine *not* having CLEAR, and for me, it’s ABSOLUTELY worth the money. YMMV.
2) I certainly agree CLEAR should *always* be used in conjunction with TSA Pre-Check.
3) CLEAR is now available at MSY, something *not* mentioned above. It should also be noted that there are airports at which CLEAR may be available in one terminal but not at another, *or* for one airline but not another.
4) With regard to fingerprints, iris, etc., for me personally fingerprints RARELY work at the CLEAR kiosks — again, it’s just for me; my wife’s fingerprints work fine every time — and I have to use the iris scan probably 90-95% of the time. That always works for me. That said, it only takes a few minutes to re-do/re-calibrate your biometrics. This has been done 3-4 times, and I still tell the Ambassadors to just use my iris…
5) Since no one at AT&T Park has ever asked to see a photo ID, I’ve yet to figure out why CLEAR is there.
¹ Some Pre-Check lanes use a scanner. Stupidly (IMHO), SFO only has a metal detector at the Terminal 2 Pre-Check lane. (T2 is the terminal I fly in and out of the most.)
I loved reading your thoughts! I remember when they used the card before, I never used it back then and certainly having the card now would be super cool throwback item. I heard about TSA agents that are from private companies taking CLEAR members directly the scanner, but I haven’t encountered that yet! I do wish DTW offers that service. I will start to tell the ambassadors to skip fingerprints and do my iris to clear me. I still have hope for my fingerprints to work, but it’s probably just my fault.
Just updated the article to reflect MSY having clear. Thank you for pointing it out. 🙂
The article says it was posted in 2020, but the comments are from 2018.