The Argument For CLEAR In One Photo

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About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I made fun of CLEAR for years, but I admit it’s nice using it at EWR-C when there are ~50 people in the Pre line and non-Pre people milling about and mucking up the whole area too

    (of course EWR will always be a dumpster fire…)

  2. I signed up for CLEAR in Seattle a year ago when the precheck line was so long I was concerned I would miss my flight. The Delta discount did not hurt either.

  3. DCA can be especially bad for PreCheck, and some part of that is that most of the people working for DOD/Pentagon get PreCheck.

  4. I am a strong advocate of biometrics. Unfortunately my personal experience with Clear is decidedly negative. My wife and I both signed up for it. After trying to use it in about a half dozen locations, she gave up. My own experience is that of about a 50 percent success rate. It never works for me in Las Vegas. In LA it only works after several attempts, while people are breezing through Pre-Check much faster. In Atlanta it has been closed on my last two efforts to use it.—Michael Childers

  5. CLEAR is such a joke, it offers marginal value in extremely limited circumstances. I didn’t understand it when blogs first started pushing it, I didn’t understand it when the new owners resurrected the service after the bankruptcy, and I still don’t understand why people are so eager to give away their biometrics for the chance to potentially save 1-5 minutes a few times a year. Some people will sign up for anything that makes them feel remotely VIP.

  6. Two things about CLEAR:

    1. This is a private company that you’re giving your biometric data to. When they went bankrupt previously, they were perilously close to selling their customers fingerprints to settle their debts.

    2. That pic is of DCA and in DC. All military IDs get free PreCheck, meaning it’ll often be a mess there

  7. Clear for net $9 with Amex Green? Sure. Much more than that and I’ll pass. However, now that I am over the whole airport lounge thing, it’s nice to be able to show up as late as possible to the airport and know that security will be at most a few minutes.

  8. Any context for that DCA pic? Timing/date? Somesort of massive IROPS or special event?

    I fly out of DCA regularly and have NEVER seen a PreCheck line anything approaching that.

  9. It must be a joke about Harry and his wife being featured in the JP Morgan Chase summit, right? Not only do I doubt each of them has much insight on investing deserving of a spot but it really devalues them to be shilling for a buck where they clearly don’t belong.

  10. I saw that in DCA Friday morning. I only have free clear through UA 1K status, and was thinking of dropping it as I am now Plat, but that made me rethink it.

  11. I saw that on Friday morning at DCA. I am losing free clear since I am no longer a 1K, but the precheck line had me rethinking that.

  12. Fascinating story about CR Smith, although it’s so sad that the superb airline he built has fallen so low under Doug Parker and his ilk. What once was a beacon of integrity, innovation and customer service is now a confused mess with multiple personality disorder.

  13. Often the case at DCA. What is interesting is on Thursday evening I was flying out of Dulles to Vienna. The line for Clear was actually the longest! I skipped it and went into the regular Pre and was through in a few minutes. Must have been 60-70 waiting at Clear. Was the first time I saw this.

  14. Sadly they keep pushing people to signup for pre-check and eventually pre-check will be worthless because everyone will be standing in the precheck line and have paid for the privilege to do so.

  15. Yea I dunno about giving my biometric data to a private company, because we all know how trustworthy corporate america is….

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