‘Clear’ Expands Expedited Airport Screening Service

by Daniel McCarthy

Who needs a passport or a Real ID? Verified-traveler service Clear lets travelers speed through security with just a fingerprint—and it is expanding across the country. This month it opened its own expedited screening lanes at NY’s JFK International and LaGuardia Airports.   

Clear is not the same as TSA PreCheck—rather than heading to expedited security lanes manned by TSA agents, Clear customers avoid the line by using an electronic kiosk that verifies their identity with a scan of their boarding pass and the touch of their finger. Once they complete the process at a kiosk, passengers move ahead of everyone in the regular and Pre-Check queues to physical screening.  

Clear lanes have been installed at LaGuardia terminals A, C and D and at Terminal 2 in JFK—all Delta Air Lines-served terminals. (Delta owns a 5% stake in the company). In total, 22 U.S. airports have Clear lanes and in the coming months more will open at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson, Los Angeles International and Minneapolis-St. Paul airport.  

The addition of JFK and LaGuardia “marks a major milestone for us and where we are as a company,” Clear CEO Caryn Seidman Becker said in a statement, and a step closer to the ultimate goal of “fundamentally [changing] and [improving] the travel experience throughout the country.”  

Passengers can enroll in Clear for $179 per year at any Clear airport kiosk (the fee for TSA PreCheck is $85 and is good for five years).  

Delta is giving new members a chance to get their first month free as a trial during February, and offering its rewards members a discount on the yearly fee. Diamond Medallion members will get Clear membership free; Platinum, Gold and Silver Medallion members will pay $79. All general SkyMiles members will only have to pay $99.  

Passengers who are enrolled in both Clear and PreCheck can still take advantage of both services—they’ll be moved through Clear lanes pre-screening and then they’ll be able to move through security without taking off their shoes, belts or light jackets and removing laptops and 3-1-1 compliant bags from their carry-ons. 

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