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Clear expands to 2 additional airports in California

April 16, 2022
5 min read
clear scanners at Palm Springs Airport
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Travelers in Southern California got some new options this week when it comes to getting through airport security. Just as fans flocked to the area for this weekend’s Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, two airports in the region welcomed Clear as an added option for expedited screening.

After opening new screening lanes at Ontario International Airport (ONT) in California Thursday, Clear unveiled new lanes Friday at Palm Springs International Airport (PSP). The move means passengers departing from either of these airports will have access to the system, which involves a quick identity check at a kiosk followed by a trip to the front of TSA security lines.

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The change could also be an added reason for frequent travelers from the region to consider Clear as air travel continues to ramp up this spring.

For Clear, this is just its latest location in the midst of rapid expansion in recent years to more airports, rental car facilities, sports and entertainment venues, and even into the COVID-19 vaccination and testing verification realm.

Reminder on how Clear works

If you’re not familiar with Clear, perhaps you’re familiar with the kiosks you’ve seen while waiting in airport security lines.

Related: Why you should get TSA PreCheck and Clear

The kiosks are actually biometric scanners, which can quickly confirm the identify of paying members who previously shared their iris scan and fingerprint with the company.

As part of the process, members go to the designated Clear lanes to have their identity confirmed; there's no need to take out a driver’s license. Then a Clear representative escorts the member to the front of the TSA security line. If the Clear member is enrolled in TSA PreCheck, they jump to the front of the TSA PreCheck line.

If they’re not a member, they’ll get screened in the regular TSA line. For that reason, many frequent travelers find it worthwhile to enroll in both Clear and TSA PreCheck.

(Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

The newest Clear lanes

Clear’s decision to add lanes in Palm Springs came as the airport – like many in the U.S. and internationally – has reported a surge in passenger traffic this spring.

Related: Clear unveils timed service to speed you through TSA

In a statement about the addition, Palm Springs Mayor Lisa Middleton referred to months of record passenger traffic. "Clear’s expedited security lanes will make traveling through PSP easier and less stressful,” she said.

As you can see in the photo below, Clear unveiled six of its scanners Friday in Palm Springs which are located steps from both airline check-in counters and the TSA lanes.

(Photo courtesy of Clear)

A company spokesperson Friday told TPG with Clear’s expansion this week to Ontario and Palm Springs, the company now operates lanes at 42 U.S. airports, including seven in California.

How to join

A Clear membership costs $179 for the year, although you can tap into discounts with certain credit cards and airline loyalty programs. There are also discounts for government officials, military veterans and additional adult family members.

Related: Get $75 in Uber credits when you sign up for Clear

It’s also worth noting, Clear is not just available in airports. The company operates kiosks at numerous U.S. stadiums and arenas, so this could help you avoid long security lines while trying to get into a sporting event or concert. It can also help you while waiting on a rental car or trying to get into a restaurant.

You can find information here on how to enroll. To be eligible, you must:

  1. be a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident
  2. be at least 18 years old
  3. have one of the following forms of U.S. identification: driver’s license, passport or card, permanent resident card or state-issued or military ID

Travelers under the age of 18 may use the Clear line for free if accompanied by a Clear member.

After filling out some information online, you’ll have to finish your application process on site at a Clear location, many of which are at airports. There, you’ll answer some questions to confirm your identify, present valid identification and payment, and attach your fingerprints and iris scan to your new account.

Here, you can find more detailed information on how the entire process works.

Bottom line

The unveiling of new Clear lanes at two California airports this week marks the latest in a rapid series of expansions for Clear in recent years, at a combination of airports and other venues.

While a membership will set you back up to $179 for the year, the opportunities to use your membership are growing.

Featured image by (Photo courtesy of Clear)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
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Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
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3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
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  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

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  • Annual Fee

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  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

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Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases