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Exclusive: Clear unveils new timed service to speed you through TSA

Oct. 21, 2021
4 min read
Travelers wait in line for TSA security screening at Orlando
Exclusive: Clear unveils new timed service to speed you through TSA
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Clear is introducing a new service called "Reservation Lane powered by Clear" at Orlando International Airport (MCO) to allow flyers to plan for a timed and expedited entry through security, the company told TPG in an exclusive interview ahead of its public launch today.

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(Image courtesy of Clear)

Related: Hate airport lines? Why your family may want to get Clear before your next flight

Using the new system, travelers passing through security at MCO can book a reservation via timed to the departures of their outgoing flights, simply by entering their flight details and number of passengers in their group. Once you select your reservation time, you'll finish booking by entering contact information, before receiving a confirmation QR code via email, which will be used to access the Reservation Lane powered by Clear. Once a QR code has been issued, passengers will be directed to the Transportation Security Administration to show their boarding pass and photo ID, before heading to the standard TSA security line.

Reservations will be tied to one entry time for as many as 10 individuals, meaning families who are traveling together or smaller groups can book one reservation based on departure time. Reservations can be made up to one month in advance of travel and a limited number of time slots will be available.

Alternatively, travelers can sign up for a time slot on the spot as they approach security. Picture this: You are walking up to security, presumably already frazzled after just making it to the airport, and see that inevitable long security line. You head to the Clear kiosk and are told they have an opening for timed entry in 30 minutes, which would enable to you go grab a Starbucks, go the bathroom and overall alleviate some stress about traveling during an already stressful period.

"This is about making air travel more predictable, giving travelers control of their own time and making what could very often be the most difficult part of the trip easier," said Andrew Wingrove, senior vice president of travel at Clear, making it "ideal for families or groups traveling together."

Since its launch in 2010, Clear has used biometric data, including fingerprint and iris scans, of more than 7 million members to automate identity verification in security screening processes when users are normally asked to show a valid ID, such as at airports. It's now in use at 38 airports across the U.S., in addition to stadiums and other public venues, where users have access to a separate security line allowing them to bypass having to show a physical form of ID. Once your identity is confirmed, you are escorted to the front of the normal TSA security screening line.

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Unlike the normal $179 a year for membership Clear charges, this new service is free and available to all travelers seeking capacity-controlled access to a TSA officer, regardless of whether they belong to Clear. Many credit cards offer a credit to use on Clear membership, including the American Express® Green Card, which comes with up to a $100 annual credit. American Express Centurion Card holders receive an annual statement credit for up to three family members to purchase Clear. Additionally, The Platinum Card® from American Express offers cardholders up to $179 in annual credit to cover a Clear membership. Enrollment required.

The information for the Amex Green Card and the Centurion Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

The company has ambitions of bringing this service to airports around the country but the reservation program will pilot at MCO, which was also the first airport to have Clear Plus lanes in 2010. The reservation lanes will be located at both the East and West checkpoints of MCO.

“Since the very beginning, Orlando International Airport leaders have guided growth and development of Central Florida’s main airport to include innovative technology and to enhance the travel experience,” Brian Engle, director of customer experience for the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, said in a statement. “The Reservation Lane service will offer a streamlined process for the modern traveler, allowing us to better deliver The Orlando Experience.”

Related: Should you get TSA PreCheck or Clear — or both?

Featured image by SOPA Images/LightRocket via Gett
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.