What is Clear and is it worth it?
Maybe you've seen it at the airport or outside of a sports stadium and wondered to yourself, "How are all of these people cutting the line?"
The answer is Clear.
Clear is a private company that allows you to skip security lines at airports and other venues in exchange for a fee ($179/year, and $50 for each additional family member). You provide your biometrics -- for example: fingerprints, eye scans -- and they provide a faster way to the front of the line.
Recently, the company announced its launch at Chicago's O'Hare Airport as well as LaGuardia in New York.
So, is it worth it? I signed up for Clear in August 2018. After months of testing, I'd say it all depends on how often you fly and how much you hate lines.
Addressing the latter point first: I absolutely detest lines. Each moment spent in line staring at my phone is a moment lost where I could be staring at my phone in a more comfortable setting. I had TSA Pre before signing up for Clear, and the combination of the two is a dream for any line-hater.
With the combination, you're able to skip to the front of the growing TSA Pre lines -- and then keep your shoes on and your laptop in your backpack as you go through security. If you use Clear without Pre, you still go to the front of the line -- cutting more people in the process -- but you'll have to submit to the typical screening on the other side of the ID-checking TSA employee.
Also, I generally fly 1-3 times a month, which isn't a ton compared to some. If you fly any more than that, I would highly recommend signing up for Clear.
Finally, Clear also helps you get into sports stadiums quicker -- which is a nice perk, but I've found the service to be much more beneficial at airports. Simply because you typically don't have to get your ID checked before gaining admission to a sports game, meaning there's no huge benefit.
And the advantage of the service comes in the fact that you get to skip the step of showing your boarding pass and ID to a TSA employee -- simply because they know who you are from your fingerprints already.
Here are the airports that currently allow Clear users to skip to the front of the line:
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
Austin-Bergstrom International Airport
Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport
Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport
Boston Logan International Airport
O'Hare International Airport (Chicago)
Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport
Cleveland Hopkins International Airport
Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport
Dallas Love Field Airport
Denver International Airport
Detroit Metro Airport
Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport
George Bush Intercontinental Airport (Houston)
William P. Hobby Airport (Houston)
McCarran International Airport (Las Vegas)
Los Angeles International Airport
Miami International Airport
Minneapolis−Saint Paul International Airport
Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport
Newark Liberty International Airport
John F. Kennedy International Airport (NYC)
LaGuardia Airport (NYC)
Orlando International Airport
Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport
Salt Lake City International Airport
San Antonio International Airport
San Francisco International Airport
Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport
Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (Washington)
Dulles International Airport (Washington)
Westchester (NY) County Airport
Jacob Palmer is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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