LivingTravelIs this security program a "clear" alternative to TSA...

Is this security program a "clear" alternative to TSA PreCheck?

The Clear biometric program promises to offer travelers an easier airport security screening experience that works with or without access to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) PreCheck line of control.

The original Clear began in 2005 when the TSA tested the use of private companies to handle trusted travelers. At its peak, it was located at 21 airports before the company’s parent company abruptly closed Clear on June 22, 2009. In April 2010, Alclear, LLC purchased the assets of the former Clear program and relaunched it into Orlando International and Denver International Airports in November 2010.

Travelers at 20 US airports now have access to dedicated Clear lines, where, for $ 179 a year (free for kids and $ 50 for additional family members), they can use a special line where they use a fingerprint , without having to remove more ID Cards and move on to detection.

Why should travelers pay for Clear when PreCheck is available? “Today, more than 50 percent of our customers are eligible for PreCheck,” said Caryn Seidman-Becker, CEO of Clear and co-founder of the company. “Every time I fly out of LaGuardia, I know it will take about 20 minutes to get to the airport and through security because I have Clear and PreCheck,” he said.

TSA PreCheck costs $ 85 for five years. Those who enroll in the US Customs and Border Protection Global Entry Global Entry program ($ 100 for five years) receive automatic access to PreCheck. Both programs require travelers to apply online, then go to the nearest airport to get a background check and have their fingerprints taken. If accepted, a card is mailed within two weeks with a known traveler number that can be used when booking travel online through airline websites.

The Clear program provides travelers with a predictable and consistent experience at airport security checkpoints, Seidman-Becker said. “For example, I don’t have to worry about sleeping too much on my morning flights from La Guardia airport because I know Clear will give me a consistent, fast and frictionless experience,” he said. “Clear takes advantage of technology that ensures there is no progress when you enter the airport. And if you can put on your coat and shoes with PreCheck, that’s great.

Even if you don’t have PreCheck, you’re still going through the line faster. “

The process to join Clear is easy. Travelers can complete an application online or apply in person at the nearest airport with Clear lanes. A concierge guides you through the process, which includes fingerprint and iris scans, a government ID scan, and a questionnaire that verifies your identity. The concierge then takes travelers to the dedicated Clear line and guides them through the scanning process.

Thanks to a special arrangement from Delta Air Lines, which owns a minority stake in Clear, SkyMiles frequent flyer members can join for $ 99 per year; SkyMiles Platinum, Gold and Silver Medallion members pay $ 79 per year and access is free for Delta Diamond Medallion members.

And airports aren’t the only place customers can use Clear. “Today we have lanes in the stadiums of seven different sports teams and we will add more,” said Seidman-Becker. Those stadiums are Coors Field in Denver, American Airlines Arena in Miami and Marlins Park, Citi Field and Yankees Stadium in New York and AT&T Park in San Francisco.

“These places are a lot like an airport, where tons of people come in,” Seidman-Becker said. “If you look at a ballpark with a capacity of 48,000 people, 50 percent of the fans come within 30 minutes of playing time. Strengthening security and giving fans a fast, frictionless experience is important. “

Clear remains focused on participating in the innovation curve, Seidman-Becker said. “Having a biometric identity is the beginning. We are analyzing tasks such as boarding passes, access construction or cruise ships, ”he said. “When you visit a business in New York City, you wait in line for security and show them your driver’s license, even if you’ve visited 15 times.”

“What we love is bringing Clear to as many travelers as possible in an affordable way to anyone who flies, regardless of whether they are flying domestic or international. Seeing is believing, which is why Clear is offering travelers a one-month free trial to try it out, ”said Seidman-Becker.

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