The Death of CLEAR and 5000 Free Hilton Points

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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. CLEAR is a joke. Expensive and what does it really get you that you don’t get with pre-check, someone to walk you through a line and hold your finger on a pad. I never understood it and hope it goes the way of the VHS soon.

  2. I love clear and haven’t had to wait at all in the two years that I’ve had it. Yet another reason not to fly AA.

  3. Hmm, I was at Dulles last Friday evening (so peak travel time) and there was zero wait at the CLEAR line, and using it meant that I cut in front of a substantial Pre-Check line.

  4. As 02nz notes, CLEAR can be a benefit when there is a substantial PreCheck line since they allow you to skip the PreCheck doc checker and cut in front of the PreCheck line.

  5. Overall Clear is a joke a waste of time at most airports and overpriced
    Precheck works great
    Exception at some select clutserF airports like Minneapolis or San Fransisco where if you fly out of them regularly might actually make some real sense

  6. I use Clear and have never had a wait, anywhere. The other benefit I’ve discovered is that I always have the Pre-Check designation printed on my boarding pass, even when I am at an airport that doesn’t have Clear

  7. Clear, meet EWR. Finally something decent with this absolute dumpster fire of an airport.

    I wouldn’t pay for it, but I will take it for free!

  8. For a hundred bucks, CLEAR is worth to have in my back pocket, just pay it and forget about it. Plenty of ways the economics make sense.

    It’s about a dollar a flight…

    If it saves me <30 minutes of billable time over the whole YEAR, it's worth it.

    If it offers a 10% chance of preventing me from missing a $1000 flight, it's worth it.

    Etc., etc. YMMV I guess but to me it is a no-brainer.

  9. Gotta agree with JonNYC. Clear is doing just fine in most places and has saved me hours in line. Sorry to hear that IAD Clear was jammed up when Pizza Man was flying but I don’t take one anecdote to mean Clear is dead. Rather just another reason to use DCA if you can when departing from Washington

  10. CLEAR’s value for each person depends on many factors including if it is available at your home airport/terminal and how much you pay for it. As a Delta Diamond I love it because there is no charge. Even though AA blocks it at my home airport, CLEAR still provides great value becase most other major airports have it. Love me some CLEAR

  11. The tap water isn’t required to be free in Dubai. FTA:

    “This is the first time tap-water regulations have been introduced to the code. It will be at the discretion of restaurants if they charge customers for the filtered water or not. ‘In most places around the world tap water is not chargeable, so if it’s not a global trend I don’t think it will be sold here either,’ Ms Albedwawi said. ‘But we have not set any specific rules around this as yet.'”

  12. I am not volunteering my biometric identity AND 100 Bucks to a private company. No ifs or buts, Its simply not happening.

  13. On my most recent flight, the PreCheck queue had 3 people and Clear had 1 person. Clear takes a few attempts to biometrically verify you. This has generally been my experience. CLEAR is basically an insurance program, I bypass it 90% of the time, and have found the experience the 10% of the time I use it not to be very seamless. I wouldn’t pay for it again.

  14. In October in ATL, I had to wait in a Clear line for over 30 minutes. I was shocked as it had been the first time I had seen it like that.

  15. I fly out of SFO and it is a cluster there. Everyone and their grandmother has tsa-precheck. The lines are long filled with occasional travelers and are unfamiliar with the screening process. The clear line is well….completely clear.

  16. You people complaining about SFO must be talking only about United/T3, right? It’s my home airport too, but I take Alaska over United whenever possible, and I don’t think I’ve ever waited more than 5 minutes to get through precheck security in T2, flying pretty often.

  17. Clear will almost certainly expand in Delta and United airports as more elites sign up. Hopefully will expand hours too, especially for when Precheck checkpoints are down.

    Another added benefit – when you’re traveling with kids, being able to just have paper boarding passes out and no IDs is great. Way less risk of misplacing ID.

    And as others have said, if it saves you 30 minutes a year or you make one flight you otherwise wouldn’t have (could be showing up to airport for an earlier shuttle), then it’s worth it. Especially if it’s free.

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