I took short business trip to Atlanta from Washington, DC (DCA) this week. This was my first trip since signing up for Clear (R). Let me get this out early in the post. Clear simply rocked. As long as I continue to travel at least once per month, and especially to Atlanta, I will not be without Clear.
Departing DCA Wednesday morning, crowds were very light, and the regular security line looked fine. However, I presented myself at the Clear kiosk where I was greeted by helpful employees eager to shuttle me through my first time using their product. My boarding pass was checked and compared to the name on my Clear card, and then I was escorted to the kiosk. It took a couple of tries for the machine to recognize my fingerprint, but I think that is more my not being used to the best way to place the finger on the scanner than anything else. In what seemed like seconds, my identity was verified and I was escorted directly to the x-ray. The Clear representative asked how many bins I would like and they placed them on the scanner for me. I placed my laptop and other items in the bins, and I walked through the metal detector. Time from arrival at Clear to being inside security: 3 minutes, tops. Yes, that rocks!
The real reason I think this card pays for itself is the security quagmire that is Atlanta. I’ll be losing access to the Delta elite lines come March 1, so there goes any hope of getting through security in a semi-reasonable amount of time.
My Clear experience in Atlanta speaks for itself. I had plenty of time, but the regular line was quite crowded. I presented myself at the Clear kiosk where I was again greeted by pleasant employees with smiles on their faces. Got a good fingerprint scan on the second try this time (I’m learning!!). And with that, I was sent towards security. At the end of the line, another Clear representative was waiting to greet me along with a TSA officer who compared my Clear card to my boarding pass. I don’t remember TSA looking at my clear card in Washington. No worry as it only took a second or two, and then was pointed towards the dedicated x-ray lane for Clear customers. It appeared that others were allowed to use the lane, but Clear representatives will escort you past the unwashed and directly to the machine, where another Clear rep again retrieved the number of bins you need to get through x-ray. And with that, I was through.
The detector caught me this time, but I think that may have been caused by my placing my Clear card in my pocket rather than back in my travel wallet? Can’t say for sure. In any event, time from fingerprint scan to being through the metal detector: well under 5 minutes. You simply can’t top that.
Clear is well worth the money if you travel at all, and I can’t say enough about how great their people were. It’s a nice upgrade to the travel experience, and I recommend it without reservation if you regularly use airports where Clear has a presence.