Why I Canceled my CLEAR Membership

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For those not familiar, CLEAR verifies your identity using biometrics. You can use either your eyes or face to have your identity verified which expedites the document check portion of the TSA security process. You’ll then enter either TSA PreCheck or general screening depending on your status, aiming to reduce the overall amount of time spent at security.

Prior to the pandemic, CLEAR sometimes offered time savings as it could reduce the amount of time you spent in line at security if you were at a busy airport during a busy time, however with travel slashed, there are hardly the lines as before, which is why CLEAR won’t save you much time these days.

As a Delta Platinum Medallion member, I could of renewed my membership for $109 for another year, but it’s hard to justify that cost for several reasons. I couldn’t imagine paying regular price of $179 for this service right now.

As mentioned earlier, as regular flier out of JFK, I’ve yet to experience a wait of over 5 minutes in the TSA PreCheck, so I wouldn’t really benefit from CLEAR here.

CLEAR isn’t even that fast. More often than not you’ll get to the CLEAR machine, and then one of the ambassadors has to sign on to the machine, then you have to verify your identity before you’ve passed. CLEAR also has random inspections, where your ID may still need to be verified by the TSA screener.

Let’s not forget the CLEAR isn’t at every airport either. If you’re traveling into smaller airports, there’s a good chance you won’t see CLEAR yet. With the pandemic shifting the way we travel, I’ve decided to cancel my CLEAR membership, and will re-evaluate once travel starts to pick up.

Lastly, recently th TSA has re-invented the security process. Instead of having your boarding pass marked up, you just insert your ID into a machine and it quickly pulls up your flight information for the TSA agent to see.

What are your thoughts on CLEAR? Have you kept your CLEAR membership, or have you also decided to forgo it for the time being? Feel free to share your thoughts below.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or suggestions expressed on this site are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed.

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Comments

  1. It’s $9 for me to renew as an AMEX Green cardholder and Delta Gold. It saves time at my most frequently used airports (SEA, LAS, PHX, SJC, LAX, SFO). Sold.

  2. I receive CLEAR at no charge as a Delta Diamond Medallion member. I also find it to be fast and hassle-free. But I doubt I’d pay $179 for it.

  3. I let mine expire this past year since the amount of travel is way down, and I couldn’t get the company to pay for it. It was also nice in the past for expedited entry to Centurylink Field, but since I have no idea when I’m going to be able to go to a soccer/football game there, I’m not worrying about that aspect either.

  4. I mostly agree that Clear is not much faster than TSA pre-check (except at ATL). It’s worth noting that Clear also works at stadiums and other larger events. This can prove to be beneficial.
    Howeve, I did not renew because I don’t see unrestricted airline travel and major events coming back online until this fall.

  5. I agree with your canceling it. I kept mine at the discounted Delta member rate in hopes that either they will incorporate vaccine info or other data into their system. Also as flying increases, it will be more leisure travelers. Less of them will have TSA-Pre or CLEAR and typically slower at going through security so it could pay off later. Pre-Covid it always saved a ton of time in Denver and Atlanta and well worth the price.

  6. As a DD member it is free..or i would not pay $179 It is not in many of the airports i use such as Jax/San/Smf

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