CLEAR is a service that uses your eyes or fingerprints to confirm your identity. This is used at many airports and some stadiums to help you speed through security checks. CLEAR isn’t available at all airports in the US, but thanks to partnerships with Delta and United, CLEAR is widely available at many airports across the United States.
At supported airports, CLEAR makes it possible to skip the sometimes very long ID check lines (just before security). Instead, of waiting to show your ID, you can go to the CLEAR aisle (where available) and simply scan your eyes or fingerprints.
This benefit is complementary to TSA PreCheck. The main difference between CLEAR and TSA PreCheck is that CLEAR lets you breeze past the first line at security: the place you line up to show your ID. TSA PreCheck then speeds up the second part because you don’t have to remove your shoes, laptops or liquids, and you usually go through a metal detector rather than a body scanner. The best is to have both CLEAR and TSA PreCheck so that you can zoom through both parts of security every time.
How to get CLEAR for less
By default, CLEAR costs $189 per year, but there are easy ways to reduce the price:
- Student Discount: $60 per year
- Active Duty Military & Veterans: $99
- Government Rate: $99. Federal, State, and Local Government employees are eligible for a discounted rate. Contact email@example.com for more information.
- Delta & United members (both are free to join): $179 per year
- Delta & United credit card holders and elite members (not top tier): $149 per year
- Delta Diamond, United 1K, and United Global Services members: FREE
- Family Plan: Add up to 3 adults for $70 per person per year (log into your CLEAR account to add family members).
- Pay with an Amex card that offers a rebate for CLEAR:
More about the Family Plan (it’s not just for family!)
The family plan isn’t limited to family members. CLEAR’s website is clear about that. Friends are welcome to be in your family plan. They write:
How can I add family members to my account?
Bundle and save! Add up to 3 family members or friends to your account for just $70 each. Family members under 18 years old can always join you in the CLEAR Lane for free.
With an individual membership, there’s no reason to pay more than $179 per year since that’s the price for any Delta or United member. So, if you get together with 3 friends and divide the fees evenly, the four of you would pay only $89.75 each. Here’s the math:
- Member 1: $179
- Member 2: $70
- Member 3: $70
- Member 4: $70
- Total: $389
- Per Member Price: $389 / 4 = $97.25
Of course you can do even better if the primary member has a better discount.
Do I need CLEAR if I already have TSA PreCheck?
At airports, CLEAR is complementary to TSA PreCheck. The main difference between CLEAR and TSA PreCheck is that CLEAR lets you breeze past the first line at security: the place you line up to show your ID. TSA PreCheck then speeds up the second part because you don’t have to remove your shoes, laptops or liquids, and you usually go through a metal detector rather than a body scanner. The best is to have both CLEAR and TSA PreCheck so that you can zoom through both parts of security every time.
Who can become a CLEAR member?
CLEAR is pretty clear about this, so I’ll just republish their words:
Who can become a CLEAR Plus member?
Individuals 18 years of age and older can enroll in CLEAR Plus. To enroll must have one of the following forms of photo identification:
• US Driver’s License
• US Passport or US Passport Card
• US-Issued Permanent Resident Card
• US State Issued ID
• Global Entry Card
All forms of identification must be valid, unexpired, not amended, and have a photo.
Children under 18 can use the CLEAR Lane for free when accompanied by a CLEAR member, no enrollment needed.
What about kids?
CLEAR is only available to adults 18 and over. Kids under 18 can go through the CLEAR lane when accompanied by a CLEAR member (the CLEAR member doesn’t have to be a family member).
If you are under 18 and traveling alone, you’re out of luck.
What about free CLEAR from Hertz?
This version of CLEAR has been discontinued.