As I understand it, CLEAR is a service that'll let you skip to the front of the line. To get it you have to go to an enrollment center and have your biometrics taken. It's my understanding that this visit to the enrollment center does not need to be scheduled.

I have a few questions about how it works.

  1. Can I just get to the airport early and do it before my flight? Or would I be better of taking a half day of vacation and taking care of it, myself, a few weeks before the flight?
  2. Does CLEAR work at all hours? Like let's say I have a flight that departs the airport at 11pm. The airport in my hometown does have a few scant flights that depart at that time but, by and large, all the shops are closed and TSA is basically a skeleton crew at that point. If it wouldn't work then at what times would CLEAR work? Is there a website that'd list the hours for CLEAR?
  3. There are a few promo codes for CLEAR floating around the internet. https://thepointsguy.com/2017/09/why-you-should-have-clear/ has two. idk if they're still valid (the post I linked to is over a year old) but let's say they are. Can I use them if I choose to register in-person as opposed to online?
  4. What if my trip isn't for six more months. How soon before the trip should I register? Like if I register right now - a full six months before my trip - could I still get my biometrics taken when I'm at the airport about to catch my flight or will I need to get my biometrics taken before?


  • According to their web site the service is charged at $180/yr. This is a service aimed at regular travellers but you're talking about 'my trip'. I don't think this is a service for you.
    – user79658
    Oct 28 '18 at 2:41
  • "CLEAR is a service that'll let you skip to the front of the line" The front of what line? It's not at all clear to me what you're talking about and the website you've linked has huge amounts of vague marketing speak all over it. Could you edit to clarify? Oct 28 '18 at 11:04

-3. First, you should know that Clear is only available at around 17 airports around the country. They're also available at some sports stadiums but the utility of that is ... (wait for it)... unclear.

-2. Clear costs $180/year so is that really worth it? For businesspeople who fly once a week, saving 10 minutes / trip will add up. But otherwise it's not worth it for most people. Getting TSA Pre (or Global Entry/Nexus) will usually save you more time and hassle. See Does CLEAR allow you to avoid the full body scanner?

-1. Clear is best in combination with TSA Pre (or GlobalEntry/Nexus) as Clear doesn't allow you to skip the internal line past the initial checkpoint plus you'd have to remove your shoes and take out your laptop and get Rapiscanned unless you also had TSA Pre.

  1. Same-day signup for Clear is possible but it takes time to register and you might as well just go into the regular line. You'll maybe save time on the return flight with it though.

  2. It's pretty ... (wait for it) ... clear that Clear is only available at certain terminals at certain airports and only at certain times. See image below for La Guardia, the only New York city area airport that has it. They close at 7:30 for TSA-Pre eligible folks and 10pm for the rabble.

  3. You could bring a bunch of promo codes with you to register in person but you wouldn't know if the promo codes are valid.

  4. Clear really isn't worth it unless you're travelling every week. If you only travel once a year, don't bother unless skipping a 15-30 minute line is really worth $180 to you.

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  • FWIW, Clear predates TSA Pre and back then, it had a lot more value (albeit even fewer airports). These days I have a hard time understanding why you would opt for Clear over Pre Oct 28 '18 at 15:14
  • @ChrisThompson - you wouldn't do "Clear over Pre". I suppose one could consider "Clear without Pre" but I wouldn't say that that's the same thing as "Clear over Pre". And indeed, doing "Clear with Pre" seems more prudent. And as for whether or not it's worth it... there are some promo codes that let you have CLEAR for free for two months. So if you get it right before your departing flight and cancel it after your return flight I'd say it's completely worth it because you haven't paid a dime.
    – neubert
    Oct 28 '18 at 17:08
  • @neubert You could try to scam them out of 2 months but this is also a company that has had its customer biometric data lost or stolen in the past and has also gone bankrupt in the past. I’m not sure I’d trust my biometrics to them. I was going to write this into my answer but didn’t think it relevant to the question asked.
    – RoboKaren
    Oct 28 '18 at 17:10
  • @RoboKaren - fair enough, although I think it's a little unfair to call taking advantage of a trial period to be a scam...
    – neubert
    Oct 28 '18 at 22:00
  • @neubert if you have absolutely no intent of continuing after the trial period, I’d call that scamming the system
    – RoboKaren
    Oct 28 '18 at 22:03

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