Cutting the Line: Which Trusted Traveler Program is Right for You?

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A TSA enrollment center in Boston

A TSA enrollment center in Boston


Clear, offered by a private company, offers many of the same benefits as PreCheck albeit at fewer airports and with a significantly higher ($179 per year) cost. A few differences are that you don’t have to even carry an ID with you: simply proceed to a dedicated Clear lane, verify your identity using biometrics (retina scan or fingerprint), and proceed through the checkpoint.

Clear is currently available at over 20 airports although it doesn’t operate in every terminal at a listed airport (for example, at John F. Kennedy International Airport, it’s only available at Terminal 2, one of Delta’s terminals, which won’t make it very useful for passengers flying on American or JetBlue). Other airports include Atlanta, Austin, Dallas, Detroit, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, San Francisco, and Seattle.

Delta Air Lines, which has a small ownership stake in Clear, provides complimentary membership in Clear to Diamond Medallion-level SkyMiles members, and discounts to other SkyMiles members. Clear members who are eligible for PreCheck will be directed to the PreCheck lane; other members will be screened through the standard security checkpoints which require travelers to remove liquids

(Photos: Accura Media Group)

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