UPDATE: I have written several followup posts detailing my Clear experience.

I coughed up $99 and joined Clear… retinal scanning…. cool. Clear security lanes will be available at SFO in September, already operating at San Jose Mineta.

Travelers who join the Clear Registered Traveler program are pre-screened for security and provided with a biometric card which allows them to pass through security faster, with more predictability and less hassle. Take the first step toward stress free travel and get your fast pass today.

UPDATE: I did the second half of the process today, getting my identification verified and my fingerprints and retinal scan done. All-in-all a pretty painless process but I did have to go to SFO and that’s always a PITA. The kiosk this is done with is pretty slick, it scanned in my passport and drivers license, then did my fingerprints and scored each one for, I guess, thoroughness of the scan, and then did two retinal scans (both eyes). It was a 10 minute process from start to finish. BTW, the SFO Clear lanes are opening on Sept. 6.

BTW, I saw on the list of upcoming airports that LGA is included.

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17 thoughts on FlyClear

  1. I’m also interested to hear about your experiences with this. I fly a lot out of JFK and LGA. It’s ashame LGA isn’t covered yet, but once they do, I’ll be sure to sign up…provided you let us know it’s worthwhile.

    I wonder if they’ll have it available for all the terminals?

  2. Jackie,
    I did find myself thinking “crikey I hope they have some killer data security with everything I am giving them”.

    I guess it’s a Faustian bargain at it’s heart, paying $100 because our government can’t figure out how to have effective AND efficient airport security pisses me off, but I won’t be thinking about that as I breeze through the Clear security lane while everyone else is waiting 100 people deep.

    I’m less concerned about the prospect that my civil liberties will be infringed because at some point in the future they may share it with some agency, maybe I should be but I just don’t get worked up about it for whatever reason.

  3. For the first time in 20 years (at any US entry point) I was asked to go through red line at JFK customs last week. Thank god I only had time to pick some Estee Lauder for my wife in the London duty free -)

    What i noticed was every 4-5th person was being routed to the red line – so either they had a specific alert that day, or the old axiom is coming to play: The total amount of time you spend with govt officials on a trip does not change – if one part becomes more effcient, some other agency will step up and slow you down!

    This week I have spent hours trying to get extra pages for my passport before my next trip…have ended up using a courier service – total cost will be $ 250 (in their fees, fedexes etc) for what used to be free and a process which used to take 2 weeks…

  4. That would be very sweet if LGA were included. I’m flying out of there pretty much every week and it’s baffling to me how uninformed some folks are about modern day security procedures. “My id, you need my id?” Also, some folks have an interesting idea of what “3 ounces of a liquid” means.

    They’ve been piloting Clear at Orlando (MCO) for a while now. And I just checked and looks like Newark and JFK are already covered.

    I’m not too concerned about the gov’t having scans of my retinas. I mean the chip they put in my head hasn’t really caused me any inconveniences. 😉

  5. I stopped at the agreement. How much more personal questions were asked after the agrrement is agrreed to?

    I do not like giving the government more info.

    Thanks in advance for any info you can provide

  6. I didn’t find the data collection to be too onerous, ironically a lot of the data you are providing is in fact issued by the government itself (SS#, Passport, DL).

    The thing that did cause me pause was fingerprinting and iris scanning, but I’ve been fingerprinted a number of times for security clearance, passport, etc.

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  9. I signed up as well and realize that, for now, I’ll be at the front of the line. My two questions are, since I still have to go through all the security checks (i.e., shoes, laptops, bag screening, etc., as I understand it), why do they need a retina scan and thumbprint? Basically, I’ve paid $100 to bypass 150 people but I’ve still got to take off my shoes. Also, at $100 a year, won’t the FlyClear line be as long as the regular security line in a year, once more airports become available? They haven’t reduced the actual screening time. In fact, it’s been increased by going through the retina and print scan, haven’t they? We’ll see if it’s a benefit next year before I decide to renew.

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  11. How is the flyclear working out?
    Have you used it more than once or twice and outside SFO?

  12. I use it all the time at SFO when flying on United. Their security checkpoints are always backed up and Clear can cut 15 minutes out of the process for me. Interestingly, I’ve been flying Frontier more and their gates are almost always wide open so even though they have a Clear checkpoint it’s faster to just go through the regular security.

    Denver is getting Clear, I’m looking forward to that because I’ll be able to use Clear roundtrip. I used it in Indianapolis as well, the line was super long and Clear was a big advantage.

  13. As a not-too-frequent flyer based in the DC area, it beats the hell out of me how Flyclear can set up shop in places such as Albany (?) and Cincinnati (?) but bypass a large, busy airport such as BWI. I know that Rome wasn’t built in a day but, come on, use a little perspective when choosing the sites. They’ve also left out Phoenix, and Tucson, which are my two usual destinations. I’d also like to know more about exactly how they save you time, more so since one poster stated that he still had to remove his shoes. That being the case, where is the REAL saving of your time? Sounds to me as if it might be a gimmick that MIGHT save you time and just as often might not.

  14. its not a retinal scanning…its an iris image…big difference…retinal is deep in the eye where iris is within the top layer…they take an up close picture of your eyes…they don’t scan your retinals…

  15. to have them go your airport they have to be requested and then after they do a bid they have to wait to see if they are accepted by the airport of airlines which ever own the terminals…so they just can’t set up shop anywhere…

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