This is the second part in our Line Cutter series describing some of the programs available to speed up your wait at airport security.

We started with Global Entry and a brief overview of other DHS Trusted Traveler programs. Clear is another option for those interested.

Clear Away The Hassles

Clear Plus allows you to get through security at more than 50 US airports and various concert and sport venues without having to wait in line to show ID. With it, you’ll find the clear kiosks and the ambassador, scan your boarding pass and then verify your identity via eye or fingerprint scans, and then you get put in line for the physical screening ahead of the folks waiting to get to the TSA agent for verification prior to physical screening.

Enrollment is quick and easy with either an online pre-registration or a completely in-person affair at the airport.

The Fine Print

You’ll have to plunk down \$189 to enroll for yourself for one year in Clear Plus. This is pretty steep compared to competing DHS-administered programs which offer 5 years for much less.

They offer a family plan for \$189 for the first person and up to 3 additional members for \$70 each.

You must be 18 years old with appropriate ID including driver’s license, passport, or global entry card among other identification options.

Other Considerations

You will still go to the physical security line you are eligible for. So it may be worth your while even with this program to also register for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry which includes it so you can keep your belt or light jacket on.

Our Take

Clear is beneficial if \$189 annually is worth skipping the security line wait entirely even versus PreCheck. For a lot of folks it will come down to the math of 5 years being \$100 or \$78 for Global Entry or Pre Check versus \$945 for 5 years of Clear, but I can see a use case for business or frequent travelers or the impatient. I have to say it’s a little tempting when a heard of Clear folks hop in front of me at the security screening as I’m waiting for the TSA agent to check my ID in PreCheck.

Get Clear For Free

You have two options here. You can get Clear Plus for free, or you can get a PreCheck like experience from Clear for free. The first option is to find a credit card that will pay for or discount Clear for you. You can find a list of cards that offer this perk here]( It’s mostly rather high-fee cards that will get your Clear fully free, but they may be worth it to you if the card’s combined perks tally up right.

Clear also offers their totally free spot reservation service called Reserve. It’s not quite Clear Plus as you wait in a designated line to show your ID to TSA agents, and you are put in a Reserve-specific lane and not the Clear Plus lane straight to screening. It’s kind of similar to PreCheck but with departure time scheduled windows. Some of my fellow travelers swear by this for flights from SEA which has branded this service Spot Saver as it cuts their security wait significantly over general security. Below is a list of all airports that offer this service:

  • Amsterdam - AMS
  • Berlin - BER Runway
  • Calgary - YYC
  • Denver - DEN
  • Edmonton - YEG
  • Frankfurt - FRA
  • Hannover - HAJ
  • Los Angeles - LAX Fast Lane
  • Minneapolis - MSP
  • Montreal - YUL
  • New York - JFK
  • Newark - EWR
  • Orlando - MCO
  • Phoenix - PHX
  • Rome - FCO
  • Seattle - SEA Spot Saver
  • Toronto - YYZ
  • Vancouver - YVR