CLEAR is the independent security program that provides a way to more quickly clear the ID check portion of the TSA checkpoint at US airports. You have to do a one-time registration where they collect your ID information and biometric data (fingerprints and iris scan). After that, when going to a flight, you head to the CLEAR kiosks instead of going to a regular line. You scan your boarding pass and your fingerprints (I’ve never had my iris scan used for ID). The clear representative then takes you to the TSA agent for whichever line you qualify for (PreCheck or the regular line).
A combination of CLEAR with TSA PreCheck is the quickest way for you to get through the checkpoints.
While some people swear by CLEAR and how it saves them so much time at the airport, we’ve just not seen the time savings because of our travel patterns. While it wasn’t hard for us to give it a try as we got a free trial through TripIt Pro, the decision to renew will be a bit tougher.
A basic CLEAR membership costs $179 per year. With a family plan, you can add up to three additional adults to your membership for $50 each. CLEAR’s definition of family is rather broad.
The Family Plan helps you and your loved ones enjoy CLEAR together, whether it’s your biological family, chosen family, or friends that feel like family. It’s totally up to you!
If you want to join CLEAR, just know that NO ONE should be paying the $179 fee. CLEAR has partnered with Delta to provide discounted memberships to all Delta SkyMiles members. Here’s the breakdown of the discounted prices for an annual membership:
- General Members – $119
- Platinum / Gold / Silver Medallion Members and
Select SkyMiles Credit Card Members – $109
- Diamond Medallion Members – Free
Since anyone can join the SkyMiles program for free, no one should be paying over $119 for a membership.
Following United’s operating model of copying everything Delta does, should anyone be surprised the United has just signed a partnership with CLEAR?
Here’s the breakdown of the discounted prices for an annual membership:
- MileagePlus Members – $119
- Platinum / Gold / Silver Premier Members and
United U.S. Credit Cardmembers – $109
- Premier 1K Members – Free
New members can visit clearme.com/partner/united. Existing members can log in at my.clearme.com/mileageplus. You’ll be prompted to add your MileagePlus number. Once your MileagePlus number has been added to your account, you will be eligible for the discounted membership pricing at your renewal.
I’m just saying that those prices for United look awfully like Delta’s pricing model.
There are some positives coming from this announcement. I’d imagine this would mean more CLEAR kiosks at United’s hub cities. Right now, CLEAR has no presence at Newark Airport. At Houston Airport, they are only at Terminal A, which is not where United flies from.
So if you’re a United flyer and a CLEAR member, this would be great news for you. If you’re a United 1K, the news is even better since now you’ll get a free CLEAR membership. Existing CLEAR members will receive the MileagePlus member pricing on their upcoming CLEAR renewal by adding their MileagePlus number to their CLEAR account. If your CLEAR account was created or renewed within the last 60 days, you’ll receive a refund for the difference. Please allow 4-5 business days for refund processing.
Now that CLEAR is giving discounts to Delta and United members, there’s even less reason for anyone to pay full price. In addition, now that the other two airlines have partnered up, is American going to be that far behind?
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary