A New TSA PreCheck Partnership Just Made Navigating Airport Security Even Easier

Listen up, fellow travelers: enrolling in TSA PreCheck is getting a whole lot easier. Earlier today, and after a successful trial that kicked off last year, the Transport Security Administration has officially announced that they'll be partnering with CLEAR — a private biometric security identification subscription service — to expand their services and allow for a more streamlined travel experience. This makes the company the third official TSA PreCheck enrollment provider, along with Idemia and Telos.

Simplifying the verification portion of the security process by using biometrics such as fingerprints and iris scans to confirm a traveler's identity, travelers who sign up for TSA PreCheck with CLEAR Plus can now bypass the traditional TSA ID check lines and proceed directly to one of the official CLEAR pods. There, your identity can be verified in seconds. Once that's done, you'll be brought to the security area, and thanks to your TSA PreCheck, you'll breeze through the screening. 

Although the program is only offering in-person enrollment at Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), Orlando International Airport (MCO), and Sacramento International Airport (SMF) for the time being, it's expected that there will be more participating airports to come. Travelers can pre-enroll online through the CLEAR website.

The benefits of traveling with TSA PreCheck and CLEAR Plus

Put simply, the new service is a great tool for frequent flyers who want to cut down on wait times at airport security. Typically, the TSA uses standardized screening procedures to help ensure the safety and security of passengers, crew members, and flights. This generally involves a tedious process that, let's be honest, nobody enjoys. First, passengers must present their boarding pass and passport to a TSA officer to confirm their identity and flight details. Then, and if everything checks out, they can move forward to the main security checkpoint, where they must remove everything from their pockets, as well as other items like belts, jackets, and shoes — all of which must be placed in bins for X-ray screening.

Once this is all said and done, you're left standing there — cold, shoeless, and with your personal belongings stuffed into a slowly-advancing plastic bin — while you wait for the already-intimidating agent to wave you through the body scanner.

However, with TSA PreCheck and CLEAR, things feel a little more hassle-free. Instead of the standard procedures, signing up for CLEAR basically means you can skip the line at airport security. From there, signing up for TSA PreCheck allows you to bypass another significant component of the screening process: Taking anything off, as well as pulling out any laptops or liquids from your bag.

Signing up for TSA PreCheck and CLEAR Plus

Whether you're signing up for the first time or renewing your TSA PreCheck membership, getting CLEAR Plus is simple. At the time of writing, the PreCheck and CLEAR Plus bundle is available for $199.95. This includes a $77.95 fee for five years of TSA PreCheck, plus $122 for your first year of CLEAR Plus. After the first year, your membership will renew at $189 annually. Beyond this, CLEAR also offers promotions through various partnerships — including ones with major airlines like Delta and credit companies such as American Express — all of which come together to offer reduced rates or complimentary memberships.

Although the price might seem steep, for many frequent travelers, the benefits outweigh the cost. After all, anything that gets you through the dreaded security line faster and away from running into any TSA issues is a godsend, right? Plus, beyond local and participating international airports, CLEAR also allows for more streamlined access to other venues — think stadiums and arenas — throughout the country. All of this ultimately means more access to faster screenings, less waiting time, and enhanced efficiency no matter how far you're planning to go.