Over the past few years, CLEAR has changed the airport security landscape in a big way, and it’s likely you’ve seen the CLEAR kiosks and employees staffing dedicated lanes at security checkpoints during your travels.
This privately run security service promises a quick trip through security at a growing number of U.S. airports and also a number of professional sports stadiums. It’s different from TSA PreCheck in many way ways – especially in where you can actually use it.
But what airport locations offer CLEAR service? How does this program work? What does it cost, and is it worth it? We’ll lay it all out, including how to get a discount for being a Delta SkyMiles or United MileagePlus member, holding status with either airline or by having a co-branded Delta or United credit card in your wallet.
What Airports Offer CLEAR Service?
CLEAR has been rapidly expanding its footprint and there are now many U.S. airports offering the service, though it still trails TSA PreCheck considerably. Here’s the list of all CLEAR airport locations.
|Atlanta||Atlanta, GA||ATL||North & South Domestic Terminals|
|Austin||Austin, TX||AUS||Checkpoints 1 & 2|
|Baltimore||Baltimore, MD||BWI||Checkpoints A,B,C, D & E|
|Birmingham||Birmingham, AL||BHM||Main Terminal|
|Boston||Boston, MA||BOS||Terminal A|
|Cincinnati||Cincinnati, OH||CVG||Main Terminal|
|Chicago-O'Hare||Chicago, IL||ORD||Terminal 1|
|Cleveland ||Cleveland, OH||CLE||Center & South Checkpoints|
|Dallas-Fort Worth||Dallas, TX||DFW||Terminal E|
|Dallas-Love Field||Dallas, TX||DAL||Terminal 1|
|Denver||Denver, CO||DEN||North & South Entrances|
|Detroit||Detroit, MI||DTW||North & McNamara Terminals|
|Fort Lauderdale||Ft. Lauderdale, FL||FLL||Terminals 1 & 2|
|Houston-Intercontinental||Houston, TX||IAH||Terminals A, B, C and E|
|Houston-Hobby||Houston, TX||HOU||Main Terminal|
|Las Vegas||Las Vegas, NV||LAS||Terminals 1 & 3|
|Los Angeles||Los Angeles, CA||LAX||Terminals 1 - 7|
|Miami||Miami, FL||MIA||Checkpoints E & H|
|Minneapolis−Saint Paul||Minneapolis, MN||MSP||Terminal 1|
|New Orleans||New Orleans, LA||MSY||Concourse D|
|New York City-John F. Kennedy||New York, NY||JFK||Terminals 2 & 4|
|New York-LaGuardia||New York, NY||LGA||Terminals C & D|
|Newark||Newark, NJ||EWR||Terminal C|
|Westchester County||New York, NY||HPN||Main Terminal|
|Orlando||Orlando, FL||MCO||East & West Security|
|Phoenix||Phoenix, AZ||PHX||Terminals 2,3 & 4|
|Salt Lake City||Salt Lake City, UT||SLC||Terminals 1 & 2|
|San Antonio||San Antonio, TX||SAT||Terminals A & B|
|San Francisco||San Francisco, CA||SFO||Terminals 1-3, International Terminals A & G|
|San Jose||San Jose, CA||SJC||Terminal A & C|
|Seattle-Tacoma||Seattle, WA||SEA||Checkpoints 1-5|
|Washington, D.C. -Dulles International||Washington D.C.||IAD||Main Terminal & East Security Checkpoint|
|Washington, D.C.-Ronald Reagan||Washington D.C.||DCA||Terminals A, B & C|
In addition to the CLEAR airport locations above, there are even a number of sports stadiums and event venues across the country that offer CLEAR as a way to fast track your entry. Here’s the full list.
|Sports Venue||City||Where to Access|
|SunTrust Park||Atlanta, GA||Chop House, First Base & Third Base Gates|
|Oriole Park at Camden Yards||Baltimore, MD||Gate C|
|Progressive Field||Cleveland, OH||E. 9th Street Patio Gate|
|Globe Life Park in Arlington||Arlington, TX||First Base Gate|
|Coors Field||Denver, CO||Gates C & D|
|Comerica Park||Detroit, MI||Gate A|
|STAPLES Center||Los Angeles, CA||Figueroa Street Entrance
|Banc of California Stadium||Los Angeles, CA||Northwest Plaza & Northeast Gate|
|AmericanAirlines Arena||Miami, FL||Gates 1 & 2|
|Target Field||Minneapolis, MN||Gate 34|
|Yankee Stadium||New York, NY||Babe Ruth Plaza, Suite Entrance, & Gate 6|
|Citi Field||New York, NY||Jackie Robinson Rotunda & Seaver Gate|
|Madison Square Garden||New York, NY||7th Ave South Entrance|
|Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum||Oakland, CA||Gate C & D|
|Oracle Park||San Francisco, CA||Willie Mays Gate & King Street Gates
|Avaya Stadium||San Jose, CA||Main Gate|
|T-Mobile Park||Seattle, WA||Home Plate & Left Field Entrances|
|CenturyLink Field||Seattle, WA||North Plaza & Southwest Entrance|
What is CLEAR?
CLEAR is a privately run trusted-traveler program that uses both fingerprint and iris identification technology to confirm a traveler’s identity. After enrolling on their website, travelers can go to any airport or sports stadium offering the service to complete the registration process – which takes roughly five minutes.
Once you have been cleared at the CLEAR personal kiosk, an ambassador will escort you to the front of the metal detecting and baggage scanning lines depending on your TSA eligibility. This means that if you have TSAPreCheck, you will get escorted to the front of the PreCheck line. If you don’t, you’ll cut to the front of the standard TSA line.
From here, standard TSA procedures and protocols are in place. That means if you are in the PreCheck lane, you can leave your shoes and light jacket on, and keep liquids and laptops in your bag. If you are in the regular TSA line, you will need to remove jackets and shoes, and take liquids and laptops out of your bag.
So while CLEAR promotes itself as the ultimate time-saver, it’s not a replacement for TSA PreCheck. Having both CLEAR and TSA PreCheck is the most powerful tandem. But that being said, if you don’t travel often, having CLEAR won’t be worth it. TSA PreCheck is simply a more cost-effective option, and often times just as fast depending on the airport you are traveling through.
What Does CLEAR Cost?
Annual membership in the CLEAR program is $179, which is a steep price to pay. While a handful of different credit cards offer free memberships in Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, that’s not the case with CLEAR.
For starters, all Delta SkyMiles or United MileagePlus members can enroll in CLEAR for just $119. So even if you’re not flying Delta or United, you can quickly sign up for a SkyMiles or MileagePlus account to capitalize on this lower cost.
But if you’ve got status with either airline or hold one of the co-branded credit cards, that price drops to $109. And the lowest pricing of all is reserved for top-tier status holders, who can select an annual membership as a free perk.
As mentioned above, United recently partnered up with CLEAR to offer similar pricing to its own members. All this said, there really is no reason to pay the $179 price. Just for signing up for a free Delta or United frequent flyer account, you can drop that price to $119 a year.
But it can potentially get much cheaper. The American Express Green Card was recently updated with a host of new benefits including an annual $100 credit towards the cost of CLEAR membership. That means you could potentially get the service for only $9 each year if you pay for it with the Green Card and are an existing United or Delta credit cardholder or have status with either airline.
If you don’t meet either of those criteria, simply signing up for a frequent flyer account with either airline allows you to get CLEAR for only $19 each year if you pay with the Amex Green Card.
Click Here to learn more about the American Express Green Card.
My Experience With CLEAR Airport Security
I have been using the service since 2017 and I think it’s fantastic. It’s been available at my home airport of Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP), and I use it on every trip I take. That said, it works for me because I travel enough to justify the membership cost.
If you are traveling less than ten times a year, your cost per use will be extremely high and likely not worth it. Getting TSA PreCheck on its own makes more sense in this scenario. Especially because there are a handful of credit cards that will completely reimburse the cost of membership, and it is good for five years. And in our experience, TSA PreCheck can oftentimes be just as fast as using CLEAR with TSA PreCheck.
We’re big fans of the CLEAR service but there’s no denying $179 a year is expensive – especially if the service isn’t available in your hometown or airports you travel to and from frequently.
Lead photo courtesy of CLEAR
Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.