Should You Enroll in the CLEAR Airport Security Program? | Why CLEAR Doesn’t Replace TSA PreCheck

Should You Enroll in the CLEAR Airport Security Program? | Why CLEAR Doesn’t Replace TSA PreCheck


Hey, how’s it going everyone? Happy New
Year. It’s Ernest from Trip Astute. In this video, we’re gonna be exploring the
CLEAR program and why you may or may not want to get it. (light chiming music) Hope you all are having a
great start to the new year. We actually spent the weekend and New Year’s in
Sedona, Arizona, which is one of our favorite places. We go there every year
in January and for the first time, it snowed during our visit. It was a really
cool experience and I’m planning to do a video on Sedona in case you’re
interested in visiting the area. On our way back from Sedona, we flew through
Phoenix and I happened to notice a person entering the CLEAR line. I had heard of the
program, but to be honest, it never really caught my attention since I
already have Global Entry which includes TSA PreCheck. However, after seeing
someone actually use the service, I thought I’d do a video on it and also
weigh in on whether I think it’s worth the cost. Before we get started, if you’re
new here, welcome to our channel. Trip Astute is a travel channel that
is focused on sharing ways to make travel easier, affordable, and more
enjoyable. Traveling can be stressful and expensive, so we’re looking for ways to
help you maximize your experience through travel tips, points and miles, and
innovative gear. If that sounds interesting to you, please consider
subscribing. If you’ve never heard of CLEAR, you’re not alone. It’s available in
about 40 locations, so it’s possible that you may not have seen it or even been
aware that it exists. CLEAR is a private service that is not managed by TSA or
Homeland Security, though you’ll often see the line next to the TSA PreCheck
line, which makes it really confusing. CLEAR allows you to get past the initial
checkpoint where the TSA agent checks your ID and boarding pass. What happens
with CLEAR is that you’ll scan your boarding pass and then verify your
identity using some kind of biometric. Typically, that means your fingerprints
and in some cases your irises. Once you’re enrolled, you technically can pass
the domestic US security checkpoints that have CLEAR without carrying any
form of ID, though I totally would not recommend that! What I didn’t realize
until I did some research on it is that you still have to go through the normal
baggage and metal screening. CLEAR doesn’t replace that process. In fact,
once you use CLEAR to verify your identity, you’ll either be placed in the normal
baggage screening area or the TSA PreCheck area if you’re enrolled in the
program. So CLEAR really isn’t a replacement for one of these programs. It
just helps you get through that initial security ID check. Enrolling in the CLEAR
program is easy. All you have to do is talk to a clear representative. You’ll
see them hanging out near the kiosks to see if you want to enroll. The process takes
about five minutes and does involve scanning your irises and fingerprints.
You can also start the process online and finalize the enrollment when you
visit the kiosk. The cost is $179 for the program
per year, which is fairly pricey. The program allows you to add three
additional adults for $50 extra per person. Children under the age
of eighteen can also be enrolled for free. However, if you happen to be a Delta
SkyMiles member, you can actually get some significant discounts. Even general
SkyMiles members without any status only pay $99 for the service. Since it
doesn’t cost anything to join the Delta SkyMiles program, it doesn’t make sense
to pay $179 for the service when all you have to do is join Delta’s loyalty program
to get the $99 pricing. So, what are my thoughts on the service? Well, it’s
definitely not a replacement for TSA PreCheck, but more of an add-on. I can
understand the appeal of being able to bypass the initial ID check using CLEAR,
especially if you’re a road warrior who’s constantly traveling during peak
hours. TSA PreCheck used to be a very exclusive program, but like the Priority
Pass program, a lot of people have enrolled in the service. This means that
the lines can be fairly long, especially during peak travel hours like Monday
morning and Thursday evening. For folks who regularly face long lines even with
TSA PreCheck, I think it might be worthwhile. For me, I don’t think I would
gain much value from the service. I’m not traveling much for work, so the extra few
minutes in line doesn’t bother me as much. Plus, TSA PreCheck is $85 for five
years. CLEAR, on the other hand, is $79 to $179 per year, so it would require a lot
more usage in order for me to get value from the service. If you’re wondering
whether CLEAR might be right for you, here are a couple of additional things
to keep in mind. Number 1: More than just airports. While most people are
familiar with CLEAR at the airports, they actually work with other venues where
you need to provide some sort of ID. For example, in Los Angeles, CLEAR is
available at LAX and also at the Bank of California Stadium which is home to the
Los Angeles Football Club team. With that in mind, Number 2: Check the
availability. Make sure to check the CLEAR program map to see what locations
and venues are serviced by the program. The list seems to be growing, but you
want to make sure that you can actually use a program, especially if you’re
paying the large enrollment fee. Number 3: Consider an American
Express Delta card. Since CLEAR is free for Delta SkyMiles members with Diamond
Medallion status, you might want to consider an American Express Delta
card that can help you get that status quicker. Of course, I wouldn’t do it
unless you actually fly Delta frequently and are interested in getting CLEAR, since
you can still get a significant discount by enrolling as a general SkyMiles
member. But it might be worth getting a credit card to help boost you to the
next status tier level. Number 4: Understand the data privacy implications.
If you have any concerns about your personal data, then you might want to
think twice about using CLEAR. You’re providing a lot of personal data in the
form of biometrics. While I don’t think that CLEAR is going to willingly sell or
release your personal information, it is a risk that you need to weigh, especially
given all the data breaches that we’ve experienced in the past few years.
Number 5: Consider Global Entry. Since CLEAR doesn’t affect the security
baggage screening process, you may be considering getting the TSA PreCheck
program. I know I’ve mentioned it in other videos, but if you’re planning to
apply for TSA PreCheck, I would highly suggest checking out Global Entry. Global
Entry is only $15 more, but it includes TSA PreCheck. For more
information, check our video on Global Entry. Also, if you have a premium travel
credit card like a Chase Sapphire Reserve, American Express Platinum, and
Capital One Venture Rewards card, they’re often eligible for reimbursement of your
Global Entry or TSA PreCheck enrollment fees. Keep in mind that CLEAR is
typically not covered under these reimbursement programs. Number 6:
Check your American Express offers. About a year ago, in January 2018, there was an
American Express offer for CLEAR. While there’s no guarantee that the offer will
appear again, it’s worth checking your offers if you have an American Express
card. Have you used CLEAR? If not, are you thinking about getting it? Please share
your thoughts in the comment section below. If you’re interested in applying
for one of the American Express Delta cards that I mentioned
earlier in the video, we would love it if you used our links. It’s an easy
way to support the channel without any extra cost to you. If you enjoyed this
video or found it useful, please give us a thumbs up and consider sharing our
video with others. It really helps us with growing the channel and our
community. Until next time, travel safe and travel smart.

32 thoughts on “Should You Enroll in the CLEAR Airport Security Program? | Why CLEAR Doesn’t Replace TSA PreCheck

  1. Very interesting information – I am glad that you highlighted all the cautions that one should consider before jumping on to the Clear program. Happy New Year to both of you!

  2. Love using my TSA Global since It includes TSA Pre for $15 more. Certain global airports will have TSA Global Entry and beats the regular security most people go through. Recommend if you travel domestically frequently even if you only travel abroad once or twice a year.

  3. Hi Ernest. Happy New Year! I live in Seattle, and fly out of SEA on average, 13 times a year. I have used CLEAR for almost two years, and have every intention to continue using it. I do only pay the $79 a year because I have an Amex Delta Platinum Sky Miles card, and pay an additional $50 for my Mrs. to also have clear. We are not fans of rushing on travel days, nor do we like standing in lines, and CLEAR allows us to make a smother transition between arriving at the airport and getting in the lounge. As a matter of fact, we make it a game to see how quickly we can get from arrival at airport to sitting in the lounge, and I think the current record is just over 6 minutes.

    Yes, when signing up for the service we provided two forms of identification, including our passports, retina scan, and fingerprints – but I am not necessarily concerned about identity issues with that information, as I would be with my credit card information. Typically, when we arrive at the CLEAR lane, all we do is present our boarding pass to the representative and put our right index and middle fingers on the scanner; the representative sees our picture on the screen, stamps our boarding pass, and escorts us to the TSA agent, who looks for the stamp on the boarding pass, and waves us through. We both have Global Entry.

    We have also used CLEAR to get into the (formerly) SAFECO Field in Seattle, and Citi Field in New York City; it just makes getting in the ball park a smother process. Also, CLEAR provided us with vouchers for one free beer. As you stated, it's not for everyone. It's definitely something that each individual must decide on their own, weighing the value they will get for the cost, any privacy concerns they may have, and how they value their time. Good video.

  4. After watching this video, it's a no from me. HAH TSA Pre is all I need for my travel needs. Good vid and thank you!

  5. Ernest thank you I was wondering about this program too ! I have TSA Pre-Check as well, I don't think I would sign-up for this either ! Thank you & Happy New Year !

    Jose P.

  6. Costs way more than TSA Pre/Global Entry. Much more invasive (iris scans? what the heck?!). Available in way fewer places than any other service. In summary, it's CLEARly not a good option.

  7. I love CLEAR and at $99 a year, I think it is worth every penny. You should have stressed the real advantage, which is to skip the one hour or more line to get to the ID check. This week I flew out of Denver and it took me exactly five minutes to do security, start to finish (timed it). One year ago, it took me more than an hour to get to ID check in Denver at this time of year. I only fly once a month with Seattle as a home base but still find this a bargain. I have global entry so TSA pre-check is automatic and it has never taken me more than six minutes to get through everything, even with full carry-ons. Flying can be an awful experience but the combination of CLEAR and lounge access improves it a lot.

  8. Conspiracy theory alert: What if the government intentional makes the TSA super slow and ineffective to incentivize people to get PreCheck, and CLEAR as a way of wilfully surrendering all your biometric data, thus making it easier for them to do research to further the agenda of the New World Order?!?

  9. Not even gn Watch this video, but just gn let u know clear is useless. Has absolutely nothing to do with tsa and all it is is a money grab

  10. Thanks for this video. When clear first opened I joined but subsequently dropped my membership in favor of TSA pre-. After watching your video, I am considering re-enrolling in clear. Over the years the The lines at the airports I use most often Have increased exponentially. It can take quite a while to get to that first TSA checkpoint. At $99 it might actually be worth it.

  11. This stuff honestly just frustrates me. I wish they would just make it easier and quicker for EVERYONE to get through an airport, not just the people with more disposable income to spend on these options.

  12. Good info!! We saw the signs right by the TSA precheck at United lax terminal And was wondering what that was…thanks for the info

  13. Hey! nice video… Even with the $79 annual that I would be eligible for with my Delta Platinum CC, I still would not get the service. The lines for Global Entry/TSA Pre Check have not been bad, so as of right now I have no need.

  14. You don't need a premium credit card to get the $100 global entry credit. The Chase's United explorer mileage plus card also offer it, and the annual fee is only $99.
    One should only sign up for CLEAR if someone is paying for it. haha.

  15. I would test out the free trail and consider it if it truly saved me more time while traveling frequently. As of now its not needed or a priority.🤔

  16. I travel all the time and have the TSA precheck which required a background check. Having said that, I will never willingly give out my generic genetic information. I personally feel that our DNA is one of the last bastions of personhood. Why would anyone willingly give up that which makes you you? For those that don't mind, fine do as you please obviously, as is your right.

  17. It does seem that you’d skip the ever growing line of people waiting to show their ID’s at TSA✅…which is good, BUT…it also seems a little ‘big brother’-ish to me. Global Entry has my fingerprint already, so I guess it’s not that big of a deal, but my eye?..now THAT’S entering Minority Report territory. 😬

  18. I've had CLEAR and PreCheck and for years and paying for memberships to both has been well worth it for me. CLEAR jumps you to the front of the entire PreCheck line, then going through security with PreCheck is faster than security without PreCheck 90+% of the time. I've had this good experience in Denver, LAX, LGA, DFW, Austin, and probably some I've forgotten. My one regret is getting PreCheck before CLEAR. When I first paid for CLEAR after a free trial that I lucked into at Denver, I realized CLEAR would have provided a discount on PreCheck or include PreCheck in the price. The potential downside of CLEAR is that it isn't at many airports, generally just in major cities with the exception of some relatively smaller ones like Austin. In fact, LaGuardia was late to get a CLEAR option. If you won't use the few airports or fewer venues where CLEAR is available, you won't get much for your money.

  19. HELLO, thank you for your tips, a question about, what State that required to obtain or change the Real ID act?

  20. I have both global and clear but there was a time in (Jfk) pre check was so backed up and I was running 🏃🏽 late only had 20 minutes before flight clear pushed me passed the long lines and I still made my flight with 10 minutes to spare!! So I got my money back the first week it saved me a flight ticket 🎫 but I do want to say this if your a holiday traveler clear will save time and money and hassle! But TSA pre is great as well it’s just more and more people are getting enrolled so soon it will be just like any other line in time. I would say if you can afford it and use all the discounts available it should lighten the load a little because now everything is just getting more and more expensive I hope that I helped safe travels to everyone❤️✈️

  21. which no annual fee credit card do you think is worth getting that gives TSA Pre check/global entry? i hear the PENFED PATHFINDER REWARDS AMERICAN EXPRESS CARD is good

  22. Clear $99 + GE $85 =$184 not bad. I travel alot for work and fun. I have clear but was thinking of GE.

  23. 🌟CLEAR helps you to get molested by the TSA faster so you can be on your way to where the hell ever you’re going to.

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