Every Time We Agree We’re Not Going To Use CLEAR Anymore, Joe Finds Another Excuse To Renew It

After the TSA lines at MCO got so bad that even the Pre-Check line had a 10-minute wait ([sarcasm] OMG, TEN WHOLE MINUTES! [/sarcasm]), Joe looked into getting CLEAR. Around, on and off, since 2005, it’s a third-party vendor that allows you to check-in with them instead of the TSA officers.

Joe finally decided to enroll us later that year (2018) after he got a four-month subscription to CLEAR, along with a free family pass so I would have it for free, too.

It was…OK. It had its issues, though…

The price of it wasn’t bad, since he had gotten a free trial. There are also a bazillion other ways to get it for free or at a steep discount. This post goes through a couple of them.

The problem for us was some other things:

  • The registration process was a little bit of a mess. I won’t go into the whole thing here – you can read it in this post. And since that was almost a year ago, maybe it’s better now, I dunno. I hope it is.
  • The full registration process DOES NOT WORK for people who are under a certain height, and that includes people who rely on a wheelchair for mobility. The security is via biometrics of your fingers, and a retina scan. However, the way the machines are designed, they can’t “see” the retina of someone who is extraordinarily short (like me), or someone sitting in a wheelchair, because the cameras don’t angle that far down. It usually won’t matter much, because they do either/or for verification and always start with a finger/biometric scan. But if I’m ever in a cast and can’t use my ring hand, then what? What can I say…I was an occupational therapist for 23 years and it left a bad taste in my mouth that the registration process wasn’t fully adaptable to everyone.
  • This one isn’t really a problem as much of an observation. We have Pre-Check and THE PRECHECK LINE IS NEVER MORE THAN 10-15 MINUTES! Not even the day before Thanksgiving! So really, why bother?

Anyway, about 6 months after we started using CLEAR, Joe wrote a post about why/how we think it’s just not worth it for us. All well and good, and we got to go back to the Pre-Check line. Yay!

So what happens? The AMEX green card is getting an update (he finally has to stop bugging me about my not wanting to get rid of mine) and one of its benefits is you receive up to $100 per calendar year in statement credits when you pay for your CLEAR membership with the American Express Green Card. This almost pays the fee for CLEAR each year since anyone can get a membership for $119 or less. You can also add three additional adults to your account for an extra $50.

He thinks that paying $69 for the 2 of us to get CLEAR for a year is a good idea, so we’re apparently going to have it again.

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

4 thoughts on “Every Time We Agree We’re Not Going To Use CLEAR Anymore, Joe Finds Another Excuse To Renew It”

  1. As I was just at your home airport of MCO. My wait time in the Pre-Check line was about 10 minutes on an off-peak Wednesday afternoon (2:00 P.M), and that was before I took some time to stroll the mall-like terminal and food court before heading through security. My point? It seemed busy for weekday off-peak travel day, I thought to myself this has to be a mess during times of increased travel, and this was only on the “B” side. It could also be the heightened level of security at MCO because of the increase in international travel and/or those newbies that don’t travel much. Anyway, MCO is much more efficient than most of the terminals at my home airport of LAX. Because of the mess of increased traffic volumes and extended wait times outside the terminals at LAX, I do all possible to fly to/from Burbank to lessen the hassle factor. I believe you have real gem at MCO – and wish more airports were as efficient.

    I did notice that folks from CLEAR were out and about offering their services to travelers – I guess they are allowed to hawk their service at the security lines?

    SO_CAL_RETAIL_SLUT

  2. Thank goodness we have TSA Pre-Check. Our recent experience at MCO, the TSA agents were not rude, but more than likely, we had frequent travelers among us in line, and those passengers know the drill. Everything went smooth. Hopefully, the wait times improve at MCO for those without Pre-Check and/or Clear and/or the new terminal will lessen the waits.

    I knew that MCO has grown since our last visit in August of 2001, but WOW – it really has grown. Again though, our MCO airport experience was great. Also, I’m flying about 15 trips a year, as compared to 30 to 40 airline trips I would previously fly. Today, I rent more cars to travel to locations in California and Arizona. Hertz is our go to company, and with locations nearby without having to go to the airport, it makes the drive more compelling than flying shorter distances within California and dealing with the extra time factor wise to/from the airport.

    On the other hand, our travel will be increasing to/from MCO over the next two years or so. I guess if it gets that bad, I could schedule into either Daytona Beach and/or Melbourne, maybe Tampa. The drive to Melbourne down the Beeline is not that far.

    The increased number of passengers into MCO is hopefully driving the local economic engine beyond Disney. It’s apparent by the amount of new and under construction commercial buildings I made note of that were not hotels or leisure-related business.
    That’s why we have decided to invest in the MCO area – commercial real estate.

    By the way, I enjoy reading your posts. No shilling of credit cards – but very good and common sense travel related tidbits that are usable for the very leisure traveler and/or frequent traveler.

    SO_CAL_RETAIL_SLUT

    1. Oh yes, it’s grown. A LOT!

      Thanks for the kind words. We try. And hey, there is a place for shilling credit cards. We do it on occasion, too 😉 Some people love those posts, some not so much. TYYM 😉

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